Veteran media man advises tech start-ups on BES

30 Apr 2007

Seasoned technology industry public relations adviser Ronnie Simpson is to advise early-stage technology companies on raising their public image in advance of securing Business Expansion Scheme (BES) or venture capital funding.

Simpson’s move follows the Government’s decision to increase BES limits per company to €2m, including individual personal limits of €150,000.

Simpson has already worked with Cork-based e-commerce firm NitroSell, which in coming weeks will complete a €1.5m funding round, of which €750,000 was provided by Enterprise Equity.

Simpson, who already works on behalf of the Irish Venture Capital Association as well as the Irish Association of Pension Funds, said the company will provide technology firms with a no-cost pre-consultancy.

However, he says they must have an interesting product, founders or backgrounds so there is news potential.

“Many early-stage tech firms will benefit from profile to interest investors in advance of fund raising,” commented Ronnie Simpson, founder of Simpson Financial & Technology PR.

“The problem is that they often can’t afford or don’t want to buy into a six- to 12-month PR programme. And the big PR agencies are too busy or don’t have the experience to handle it. We have developed a specific service whereby tech firms can buy four or five days from us to highlight their offering to the market,” Simpson said.

He added that the cost of the service will range from €5,000 to €10,000 depending on requirements. “This is a small investment if you are looking to raise €200,000 to €2m.”

The Irish Software Association estimates that some 50pc of Irish start-ups rely on a combination of BES or SCS (Seed Capital Scheme) funding to get their company on the path to achieving scale.

By John Kennedy