Startup Accelerator Events

Optimise Your Business, Position for Funding & Keep Your Equity

A revolutionary series of startup accelerator workshops

Join us for a selection of workshops by highly successful entrepreneurs and industry experts plus networking with other founders.

Nestled high above the Peak District, Influence Ventures host a series of practical workshops, tailored to your requirements and covering subjects such as: Finance: Investment, Advisory Boards, Non-Executive & Executive Directors, Pitch Decks, Business Positioning, Sales & Marketing, Due Diligence and Exit. Hardware Technology: 3D Rapid Prototyping, Manufacturing, Distribution and Supply Chain, Software Development Languages, Frameworks and Best Practices.  Retail: Distribution, CTA and Total Customer Value Optimisation, Marketing and Advertising, Automation, Marketplace Integration and Routes to Market.

Learn how to position your business to achieve the same trajectory from leaders who have done it before. Mike Duma, Founder

The workshops provide an unparalleled opportunity to work with highly successful entrepreneurs, consultants, advisors and experts who have first-hand experience raising funding at every level from Angel, Seed, Super Seed, Series A, B, C, IPO and Exit.  Learn how to position your business to achieve the same trajectory from leaders who have done it before and then begin implementing those strategies in your business during the workshops. 

The people you connect with at this exclusive event will become trusted business advisors, colleagues and friends you can rely on for the rest of your life. It's like being handed a ready-made network that would otherwise take a lifetime to build, this on its own is truly phenomenal. Harriot Rockey, CEO Influence Network

Alongside the sessions, there will be the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the extraordinary surroundings of the Cliffe House Estate.


Startup Accelerator Workshop

June 2019
24th – 26th

Ticket Price:


Cliffe House Estate, Peak District.


For any questions & more details:
Call: 0207 523 5311

Mike Duma

Founder, Influence Ventures

Why I created Influence Ventures

I began my career in startups almost 15 years ago, founding a number of my own companies, following through into exits, mergers, license deals and eventually culminating in a $50 million exit in 2014.

For the last 10 years my passion for new business and technology has driven me into all areas of the startup world, including taking on roles as investor, acting CTO, and 2 years ago starting the project closest to my heart; Influence Ventures.

I have learned many valuable lessons navigating the rocky terrain of building a business from the ground up, many of which I had to learn the hard way. Despite having great products ready to launch, I found myself in those early days with no route to market, little knowledge on how to get in front of investors, and a lack of meaningful contacts and connections with experience, who had done it before and were willing to share. Through each successive business I picked up new skills; how to write the perfect pitch deck, how to make my business an attractive investment for Private Equity & VC’s, and how to position my product in a crowded market.

Over the years I have crafted an invaluable network of like-minded entrepreneurs and successful business leaders, which makes setting up new ventures a walk in the park; my most recent company was patent pending, valued at £2 million pre-revenue and had over £200k of funding in under 3 months of being set up.

During my time branching out into advising external start-ups I was involved with, I began to see many of them were experiencing the exact problems I had faced years before. This is where the thunderbolt struck; there is still no one place or program for Founders and Entrepreneurs to springboard their business by getting access to world-leading experts, 3D product design & prototype printing, investors ready to invest at every stage of a business, world-class software developers, branding & marketing, true routes to market, one to one coaching and a readymade network – the important magic formula.

Influence Ventures is the delivery of that formula; I’ve brought together everything I wish I had all those years ago and I’m lucky enough to possess now. The aim of this all-encompassing workshop series is to add real, tangible value to start-ups and scale-ups for an affordable price during those critical stages of development. I wanted this startup accelerator to cultivate an environment of personal, one to one interaction; rather than seminars that offer generic advice, every speaker and every process we guide you through will be applied to your business – my aim is to give each business not only a tailored recipe but all the ingredients to springboard your dream to new heights – and in a fraction of the time it took me!

Practical workshops and on-site consultancy

Hear from successful serial entrepreneurs who have raised Angel, Seed Capital, Series A, B, C, Funded and Exited their own start-ups and understand what it takes to achieve the same results in other businesses.  We have developed a series of workshops and talks to help you at every level of your business and no matter what stage your business is at, giving you practical input that you can begin implementing at the event with our on-site experts.

Pitch Decks

Have your existing pitch deck reviewed by active investors and take the opportunity to ask your questions through fireside chats. Learn what truly works and get your pitch deck in the best possible shape.  Walk away with your finished pitch deck.


Talks from finance specialists and active board members who are experts at achieving sustainable growth through debt and/or equity release from startups to IPO, mezzanine finance, SEIS and EIS.  We’ll provide you with a number of funding routes to walk away with.

Brand & Marketing

Workshops with UX/UI strategy specialists with a wealth of experience in creating brand and marketing strategies that have helped secure funding and taken businesses to the next level.  Walk away with your honed brand designs and marketing strategy. 


Talks from individuals who have successfully applied for and received patents for their product and software.  Walk away with patent contacts and the most cost-effective patent strategy.

3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping, Design for Mass Manufacturing & Bridge Manufacturing (Hardware Track)

Meet Poppy the Humanoid Robot and experience other 3D Printed prototypes alongside our 3D printers.  We will work on your product and help you with the 3D design.  Send us your .STL or 3D file before you arrive and you will leave with a 3D printed prototype.

Deep Dive on your Software (Software Track)

Our team of expert developers has produced cutting-edge patented software that is utilised in B2B & B2C applications. The team will work with you to look at your code and help you to refine, develop and position your product in the best way for funding and exit due diligence.  Walk away with a coding strategy, tools to use and the beginnings of your restructured code to apply when you leave.

“One of the most pervasive problems for many startups I work with is not just getting the funding but how and where to spend it for maximum impact.

I’ve seen life savings, friends & family money and early seed investment spent on the wrong things but also far too much wasted on the right things, delivered by businesses making huge profits on the dreams of inexperienced entrepreneurs.

Influence Ventures exists for the entrepreneur


Morning Sessions

Start time 08:30

The day begins with breakfast

Start time 10:00

After a light refreshments and informal networking, the day begins with the founder’s introduction followed by attendee introductions.

Consultants & advisors will discuss their first-hand experience of positioning multiple businesses in different verticals, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.  

The floor will be opened up for discussions with the attendees about their business and the challenges they are facing today.  Our experts will help answer your questions and discuss how they would approach your business and which strategies they would employ.  

Afternoon Sessions

Start time 13:00

The afternoon will be spent in a number of workshops where you will get the opportunity to deep dive into your business model, competitor analysis, market opportunity, funding strategy, growth trajectory, future funding, longer-term build and/or exit. 

We will look at your current business model and pitch deck, giving you a top-level analysis from active investors who see pitch decks every day. Further analysis will be done by the team of experts who are responsible for writing pitch decks that have enabled millions of pounds of investment to be achieved across multiple businesses in various verticals.

We will help you improve on your existing business model and pitch deck or rewrite it, based on our proven formulas.  

The end of these sessions will provide you with the opportunity to discuss whether the investors present would invest in your company or if there is someone in their wider network who would be interested in investment. You could have your new investor lined up at the end of this workshop and you will have worked on vital areas of your business.

Close: 16:00

Your consultants and advisors

Mike Duma

Inventor, Product Architect, Entrepreneur, NED, Advisor & Tech Investor

Mike Duma is a hardware and software inventor, tech startup addict, advisor and early-stage investor. He advises a number of companies on their strategic technology and commercial direction, helps with innovation in their vertical and sits at board level.

Mike has successfully funded a number of his own startups and has taken them through to multi-million dollar exit. He sits on a number of boards as Exec, Non-Exec, Interim CTO & Advisor to the Board and helps businesses position their technology and commercial offering for scale, funding and exit.

Mike is in high demand, he consults and advises a number of successful businesses in addition to his other activities in his own businesses, he will be working with the businesses that attend during the workshops and afterwards as a trusted advisor.

Philip Meir

Private Equity & Investment Specialist and Board Advisor

Philip is a Private Equity & Investment Specialist and Board Advisor, leveraging my expertise in both global consulting & financing to identify investment opportunities that help major corporates, ambitious SMEs and Fund Managers achieve sustainable growth.

Philip founded Ajis Capital Ltd in 2011, to identify strategic fits between capital providers & sponsors in Asset Management & PE across diverse sectors. My earlier career includes 23 years with Banque AIG as an Executive Director to manage $50bn+ of assets on a 5-member trading team.

Philip usually only works with businesses with a minimum EBITDA of £1MM per annum so we are very fortunate to have him consult for our Influence Ventures workshops.

Marina Nicholas

Multi-award winning innovator, entrepreneur, advisor & author

A multi-award winning professional passionately helping companies navigate a route to success. Marina is known for strategic clarity, devising innovative value propositions, new business models and implementing strategies that accelerate success. Affectionately called the ‘Queen of Clarity’

In recognition of her innovative approach, Marina has won awards; ‘International Business Woman of the Year’, ‘Start Ups Women in Business’, ‘Business Start Up Award’ and ‘Best New Product’ from 80 global entrants.

Marina is an active Start Up mentor, advisor, guest speaker and judge. Most recently for Virgin Start Ups, Wayra Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, KISED (the South Korea government Start Up enterprise initiative), UK Business Awards 2017 and UK Digital Experience Awards 2017.

Adam Shaw

The Heart Guy. Stress Expert

Adam is The Heart Guy, and a stress and rapport expert. He runs a business network and hosts funding events. As a professional speaker, he works with entrepreneurs on how to present their businesses, helping them to see the areas that they need to address before they seek funding. Author of: The Lunatic Gene: How to Make Sense of Your Life

Roei Samuel

Audience growth & engagement, content marketing, talent/sports media management, esports, early-stage start up investor

A specialist in organic growth, audience engagement and content marketing, Roei has built user bases for several media platforms in different markets. Having founded numerous start-ups, Roei is now an active early-stage investor with a hands-on approach, helping to develop marketing, content and engagement strategies.

Your experts

Mike Duma

Intellectual Property, Patents, 3D Printing, Product Development, Manufacturing, Fundraising, Due Diligence, Exits, Technology Strategy, Distribution, Retail & E-Commerce, Supply Chain Optimisation, Cross And Upselling, Adtech, Fintech, Product Commercialisation, Digital Marketing

Mike Duma is a hardware and software inventor, tech startup addict, advisor and early-stage investor. He advises a number of companies on their strategic technology and commercial direction, helps with innovation in their vertical and sits at board level. 

Philip Meir

SME Consulting, Private Equity, Investment Management, Non-Executive Board Advisor, Funding, Structured Financing, Debt & Equity Release

A Financing Specialist and Board Advisor, leveraging contacts and expertise in both financing and digital marketing to help startups and ambitious SMEs achieve sustainable growth in both debt and equity from startup to IPO.

Jon Foster

UI/UX Strategy, Brand Development, Brand & Market Strategy, 3D Design

Jon brings 15+ years of Brand & Platform Design & UX Strategy experience taken from start-up’s and successfully exited businesses. Jon works on 3D Prototyping Design Projects, Branding and Re-Branding for successful startups & scaleups and Software Platform UX/UI Design. Jon also works on his own ground-breaking startups as well as helping businesses reimagine their own brand and product development.

Simon Bennett

Event Sourcing, Software Engineering, CQRS

Simon is an expert and thought leader in his field and regularly hosts talks on Event Sourcing & CQRS. He helps teams to modernise their practices and architectural designs through consulting, teaching and support. 

Thomas Freeborough

Software Development, UX Frontend Development

Single Page Application developing using latest ES2017, Specialising in React/Redux architecture to communicate with comprehensive API’s. Thomas also works with development frameworks and is a digital forensic security expert.

Nick Hexter

Graphic & Web Design, Animation and Motion Graphics, Freehand illustrator

Nick has 8+ years of Graphics and Web Design skills, Animation and Motion Graphics commercial experience. Nick is an expert at bringing brands to life through his illustration and design skills.

Harriot Rockey

Social Media Influencer Marketing Expert, Micro Influencer, Business and Law 

Harriot is the CEO of Influence Network – The platform that gives businesses the ability to connect directly to their target audience using a unique algorithm that identifies “The social media marketing imperative of 2017”.  After her law degree, Harriot travelled extensively, gaining experiences in travel influencing & blogging, the mindset of the community, their wants and needs and also developed her own Micro Influence Network to truly understand the Influence landscape.  Harriot expertly applies this knowledge in the running of Influence Network and in guiding the company to continually improve its platform for the thousands of influencers who use it.

Trevor Crouch

Operations Consultant, Hardware Engineer, 3D Printer Hardware Product Developer, Manufacturing Expert, Prototype Designer

A wealth of global commercial experience during his early career working in Germany in DTP Advertising, Electronics and IT.  Trevor was responsible for the prototype development & manufacturing of the World’s First Full Colour Desktop 3D Printer, heading up the manufacturing, assembly line, injection moulding, bridge manufacturing utilising commercial 3D printers and also lead the drive to enable the mass manufacturing and optimised non-skilled assembly line.  Trevor currently advises a number of businesses via FormFab on their prototype design, production, design for manufacturing and design for mass production.  He also works with businesses on their software commercialisation and program delivery.

We are considering a number of other phenomenal experts, more details will be announced shortly…

Cliffe House Estate

Influence Ventures is hosting its next event at the Cliffe House Estate

The Cliffe House Estate offers 2 recently converted cottages that were originally constructed circa 1765 when they were functioning as the Coach House and Stables servicing the estate.  These cottages host our delegates via 7 double/twin en-suite bedrooms, super fast Wi-Fi, an open plan working kitchen where our chef will prepare your food, meeting spaces and break-out areas. The accommodation is nestled high above the cliffs of Matlock Bath with stunning views across the valley to Riber Castle.

Set in over 5 acres, the grounds of the estate feature grassland, woodland, our own free range, organic hens (Burford Brown & Old Cotswold Legbars) and a local natural monument, Jacob’s Pillar, which is thought to have been a pilgrimage destination sought out in history for its connection to energy lines and other local monuments and stone circles.

Take Home

The take homes from our events are very unique.  You will leave with Branding, Pitch Deck, Go-To-Market Strategy, 3D Printed Prototype, Software Infrastructure and Architecture, Development Strategy and a ready-made Influential Business Network.

Peer to Peer Network

Attend one of our events and you will automatically become part of our growing network of tech founders and entrepreneurs. This network of peers will stay with you for life.

Active Investor Network

You will have spoken to, asked questions of and received advice from our active investors who have in turn a wider investor network. The investors are your key stepping stone to your next level & could take out investment directly in your business.

Marketing and Investor Collateral

Go home with a polished brand, a pitch deck that has been used by our investors to attract millions of pounds and a clear route to market with marketing and advertising strategies to accelerate your sales.

3D Printed Prototype

If you were part of our hardware track, you will have had the chance to refine your 3D prototype in the workshops, as well as taking home a 3D Printed Prototype that you can show to your other investors.

Software Strategy

Our expert team of developers will give you insights and help to improve your software during your time on our software track with actionable changes and a forward-looking development strategy designed to pass the toughest due diligence.


A greater understanding of your business from start to finish. Strategy on how to fund, build and/or exit. What to look for, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship experience and how to avoid the pitfalls and build a successful, valuable business.

Join us at our next event

Tickets are limited so register before the event sells out.

To discuss the event in more detail & for any questions call us on: 0207 523 5311

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