Making the most of your Training Contract: Benefits of getting involved with MAINstream

Making the most of your Training Contract: Benefits of getting involved with MAINstream

MAINstream is a network for business angel investors to help accelerate the growth and diversity of angel investing, particularly in the South West. As a trainee in the Corporate team, I had the opportunity to engage with this network which included:

  1. dealing with applications from the founders of young businesses and answering any questions they may have;
  2. attending the selection panel meetings and summarising key information about the applications; and
  3. organising the pitch events: welcoming attendees on the day, filming the presentations to share with the wider network and facilitating connections.

Getting involved with MAINstream was one of the highlights of my seat and I’ve found it extremely beneficial for the following reasons.


MAINstream is a great opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders in the startup ecosystem. Building a network in these circles is essential for trainees as it facilitates knowledge sharing, provides industry insights and helps build a strong reputation early on in our careers.

Event Management Skills

Organising the pitch events hones project management and organisational skills. Trainees are given the opportunity to coordinate various aspects (with the help of the Marketing department), from scheduling to logistics, which are transferable skills valuable in any legal practice. One of my highlights was participating in the Female Founders Pitch Event held in Bristol on the 27 April. This event was very important as in 2023 the Gender Index, which tracks female-led companies nationwide, found that female led businesses made up 16.2% of businesses in the South West, with only 25% of them having accessed external capital. This proved that the difficulty of obtaining equity funding was one of the biggest factors which prevented female led businesses from flourishing.  The event was extremely popular and included a Q&A panel made up of many successful women coming together to share their experiences and expertise in the world of investing and entrepreneurship.

Understanding the Investor-Entrepreneur Dynamic

First hand exposure to the interaction between the investors and entrepreneurs provides insights into the negotiation dynamics, what investors look for in a pitch and how entrepreneurs present their business ideas. Exposure to a variety of business models and industries through pitch events is also a great opportunity to enhance commercial awareness. As trainees, we gain insights into market trends, innovation and the economic landscape which is crucial for becoming a successful solicitor as these skills allow legal professionals to anticipate and respond to changes in the business environment as well as assisting them in providing proactive, rather than reactive, advice which aligns with the current and future economic conditions.

Enhanced Legal Acumen

By observing pitches and the subsequent investor reactions, trainees can better understand the practical application of legal concepts such as intellectual property, corporate structures and investment terms. This is a great opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of how legal frameworks support business objectives.

Confidence Building

Taking responsibility for the events has really helped me with my confidence. These events are a great opportunity gain assurance in your abilities to manage complex tasks and interact with high-level professionals which is extremely important for our overall professional development.

Overall, I believe the experience of organising and getting involved with MAINstream events was a great way to gain practical knowledge and professional connections. It offers a unique blend of legal, business and investment experience, which can significantly enhance trainees’ professional development.

You can find out more about trainee involvement with MAINstream and Tatiana and Will’s reflections on their experiences here.

MAINstream Pitch Event | In partnership Hazlewoods

Applications for this pitch event close 19 September. We are pleased to announce that this pitch event will be held in Cheltenham in partnership with...

MAINstream Pitch Event

If you are interested in joining the network and attending our events please email for further details. We hold five pitch events a year where high-growth early-stage...