the mothers of invention

tern believes in the power of tech to change things for the better. Could that tech be yours?

“The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything”

Sean Gerety

User Experience Manager, The Home Depot
There is no magic bullet when you’re trying to take that exciting idea from kitchen table start-up to global business. A lot of VC companies kiss a lot of frogs to find the next big thing, but tern believes its experience and own entrepreneurial expertise means it is better placed to help the next generation of future thinkers turn dreams into big deals.

Technology is change. It dominates our lives. Many of its pioneers are household names, alongside sports and movie stars. How much is the success of these companies down to inspiration, hard work or just plain dumb luck?

“I co-founded Tern with Al (Sisto),” explains Tern’s Business Development Director Bruce Leith.“ Prior to that I had been a director and CEO of several AIM listed companies. In fact, I’ve been in the IT space for over forty years, so you could say that’s a fair amount of experience in those markets. So, as part of tern I’m able to help founder/directors of tech companies to grow their businesses, particularly in terms of sales, and marketing.

“Really, for me, it’s about discovering new, exciting businesses. Personally, I’m specifically focused on the digital health space. Understandably, that’s an area with huge opportunities. It took a bit of a tumble during COVID but, as we emerge, there’s a significant expansion drive in that area.“An example and one of the companies we work with is Fundamental VR. I’m Tern’s representative director for this incredibly exciting company. Their product, Fundamental Surgery, is exactly the kind of idea and technology that we look for in a company because it’s an innovation that will genuinely revolutionise something crucial to society; in this case the way we approach surgical and medical training.” 

A common purpose

“Now, there’s no magic formula for a new business. Even more so when it’s a disruptive technology in a big market. What I always look to do when working with companies is to help them join the dots; between the technology, the market, pricing, scale, strategy — the key factors you need to have front of mind when bringing a product and technology to market.

“We’re very operationally driven at tern. One of the biggest factors in the way we work is a company’s management team and how they engage with us to think about achieving market readiness for their technology. To do that we must take a long-term view. It takes time to develop the strategies that make a product successful, regardless of how good the technology is. But one key differentiator for tern in the VC space, is that we’re entrepreneurs too. We bring a wealth of experience to the companies we work with and, because we’ve run companies globally ourselves, we can do things for our companies like make introductions, open doors, market access – things that can take months, for companies to do for themselves, if at all.

“I think what’s really exciting is at tern we have companies we work with at different stages of development and at different parts of that journey. Some are start-ups; some are starting to really achieve scale. That portfolio effect, and the expansion of that collaborative environment is proving incredibly rewarding.”

“Really, for me, it’s about discovering new, exciting businesses”

Bruce Leith

Business Development Director