Fourteen years into life at Angel Investment Network, Xavier Ballester says that the journey from approaching ‘grey-suited men’ in ‘oak-panelled rooms’ in the hope that they would ‘bestow you with some cash’ is finally over. The network’s database of nearly a million users worldwide has helped democratise early-stage investment. Ballester tells Spear’s that ‘ideas are now ten-a-penny’. The trick to standing out, he says, is in creating something that solves a problem, but is also difficult for other businesses to execute. How? By a winning combination of an idea and great people to build and execute it. ‘We all have ideas, I have great ideas…all the time. But it’s teams and people that turn great ideas into great businesses,’ Ballester says.