A world-first platform which replicates the real-world process of investing in start-ups has been launched. Angel Investor Simulator is designed as a safe, risk-free training environment for potential investors to learn the complex world of investment.
Aspiring angels can try investing with virtual funds knowing they are not putting actual money at risk until they feel ready. The platform also offers business founders and potential investee firms a chance to learn how to secure investment and gain insight into what investors look for in pitches. The simulator shows them the pathways to investment and provides valuable insight from the investor’s perspective, including interviews with serial investors.
Having successfully closed an early investment round, AI Simulator has opened its next round to raise £1 million to enable them to successfully scale and expand to the US, Germany and Pakistan.
AI Simulator has already received support from many academic institutions. These include Birmingham City University, University of Bristol, UWE Bristol and Aston University all of which have run pilot tests.
Universities and education establishments have expressed interest in including the platform in undergraduate and graduate enrichment learning journeys. They are interested in using the platform to give students an insight into the risks and rewards associated with investing. Educational institutions can sign up to buy licences for students.
Also, several well-known incubators have been actively involved in the AI Simulator development testing process, including the SETsquared Partnership through its Bristol based programme and the Diversity Business Incubator in Plymouth. The AI Simulator has also been supported by a number of tech ecosystems leaders such as techSPARK UK and SuperTech in the West Midlands.
Commenting on AI Simulator, co-founder Ali Kazmi, who also runs the Ethical Equity marketplace said: “The investment marketplace is really only open and accessible to those ‘in the know’, broadly, those who know the right people, come from wealth or privilege that also gains them access to support networks and advice.
“We know that investment is key to long term economic prosperity. To stimulate investment, we need to unlock the many millions of pounds of disposable income. Many are interested in supporting entrepreneurs, but are put off by their lack of experience, knowledge, or access. That’s why we built and are proud to launch AI Simulator – to provide a safe environment for potential investors to learn, experiment and ultimately build their confidence and reap the potential returns on offer.
“The second key audience for AI Simulator is people seeking investment. We know from our work with the Ethical Equity marketplace that barriers to entry exist and the lack of diversity needs to be addressed. AI Simulator helps level the playing field through its power to educate and support. Well educated investors ultimately benefit entrepreneurs, and well educated entrepreneurs in turn can attract and land financial support.”
Mustafa Rampuri, director of enterprise services at the University of Bristol added: “We have piloted the AI Simulator in various settings. Our students and early-stage entrepreneurs were able to experience first-hand what it feels like to be an angel investor or founder in the Private Market, creating valuable and non-risk insight that they couldn’t have accessed before.”
Private investor James Myatt who previously led the investment round and has used the AI Simulator commented: “I have been investing in businesses for many years and when I started this would have been such a valuable tool to learn the tricks of the trade.
“One of the main factors for investors is always going to be the level of risk that an opportunity presents; we usually learn through experience and that means investors learn through gains and the losses. The AI Simulator is a great way to encourage best practice in a safe, risk-free environment which is open to all.”