HBAN’s Boole syndicate in Cork invested €2.3m in start-ups last year

26 Apr 2022

CorkBIC CEO Michael O’Connor. Image: CorkBIC

‘Cork’s economy is thriving and that is reflected in the start-up ecosystem,’ according to the CEO of CorkBIC.

Cork-based angel investment syndicate Boole poured €2.3m into start-ups last year, a 52pc increase from the previous year.

The syndicate – which is managed by CorkBIC and the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) – has invested nearly €11.5m since its creation in 2013.

Boole now has 52 active members, a rise of 24pc from 2020, with a significant amount of funding going to Cork companies.

One of its most recent investments is in Cork medtech Gasgon Medical, which raised €2.25m in its first seed funding round.

“Cork’s economy is thriving and that is reflected in the start-up ecosystem,” CorkBIC CEO Michael O’Connor said. “Some of the world’s biggest companies are based in Cork, creating a talent pool for start-ups and a knowledge pool of angel investors who can share their expertise with entrepreneurs.”

CorkBIC is planning to showcase the strength of the region’s start-up ecosystem next month, when it hosts the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) conference on 18 and 19 May.

The conference is set to attract business leaders, early-stage investors, business angels, VCs, entrepreneurs, accelerators, seed funds and start-ups to Cork. It will also be attended by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath, TD.

“We want to show investors that world-class innovation and expansion is happening nationwide and that some Cork companies have recently delivered returns to business angels that are 12 times greater than original sums invested,” O’Connor said.

This will mark the first time EBAN members have had a conference in person in more than two years. Cork was selected to host the 21st annual congress for EBAN in 2020. However, the event was postponed due to the pandemic.

Some of the sponsors of the two-day conference include Cork City Council, Cork County Council, EY Private, Enterprise Ireland and AIB.

“Business angel investment is a vital source of funding for start-ups and we look forward to supporting its growth in Ireland and across Europe through this year’s EBAN Congress,” AIB Capital Markets managing director Cathy Bryce said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic