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Ian Thomas, Managing Director at Turquoise shares advice on how sustainable SMEs can improve their chances of accessing capital…

As you will know, Cleantech Innovate 2018 is all about helping the low carbon stars of tomorrow scale up their game-changing technologies by connecting investors with environmental innovators. At Cleantech, pioneering businesses have the opportunity to present their technologies to the audience with the chance of securing investment.

As part of the knowledge exchange leading up to the event in London on March 20th, we asked Ian, who came to the 2017 event, for an investor’s perspective on how companies can refine their pitches for investment. Read the full interview, which includes Ian’s top tips below, and don’t forget to check out to see how you can become involved.

Could you give us a quick overview of Turquoise, what you do, and your focus in environmental technology?

Turquoise is a merchant bank specialising in Energy, Environment and Efficiency. Founded in 2002, Turquoise has a long-established track record in corporate finance advisory (fundraising and M&A) and investment management. We have a core team of 10 people plus 8 advisers.

And how about yourself, what does your role involve?

I am a co-founder and one of the 3 Managing Directors of Turquoise. I am involved on both the advisory and investment sides of the business.

What are the 3 most important aspects of an Environmental Technology business that make you want to invest?

  1. Clearly-defined need for the product.
  2. Visibility on route-to-market
  3. A team capable of executing

What are the 3 biggest mistakes that environmental technology companies make when seeking investment?

  1. Over-emphasis on the technology at the expense of the market
  2. Lack of realism about timescale and capital requirement
  3. Absence of sales & marketing resource

What is your best piece of advice for an investment pitch?

Keep it concise and be very disciplined to ensure that all aspects of the business are covered within the time available

You were at Cleantech Innovate last year, why do you, as an investor, attend?

To see the companies that are presenting, to network and to gather market intelligence.

How can Turquoise help SMEs take their environmental technology to the next level?

We invest at early stage and advise later stage companies so are able to assist in a variety of different ways.

If we want to find out more about Turquoise, where should we go for more information?

Either our website or contact me direct at

About Ian

Since joining Turquoise in 2004, Ian has led numerous fundraising and M&A advisory assignments, as well as investments on behalf of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and Turquoise Capital. He has also acted as current or former board member at Bactest, Vayon, NRL, CH4NGE and Controlled Power Technologies. Previously, Ian worked as an investment banker specialising in the energy sector at Close Brothers, Flemings and Deutsche Bank/Morgan Grenfell. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

We hope that you found this interview valuable, if you are seeking investment for your cleantech innovation you can apply for a presentation slot at Cleantech Innovate 2018! Just click on the banner below or visit

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