HBAN’s first woman chair to lead €10m fund for sustainable start-ups

27 Jan 2022

HBAN Impact Syndicate co-chair Faye Walsh Drouillard. Image: HBAN

The new Impact Syndicate launching at HBAN’s all-island conference will invest €10m over the next three years in areas such as climate, agritech and energy.

A new investment group focused on sustainable start-ups is being launched by the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), co-led by the organisation’s first woman chair.

The syndicate will focus on impact investing, where investors seek to create positive social and environmental change alongside financial returns. Its members will invest €10m into environmental, social and governance (ESG) start-ups on the island of Ireland over the next three years.

Future Human

The Impact Syndicate will be co-chaired by Faye Walsh Drouillard, the first woman chair of a HBAN syndicate, and Mark Peters. Both are impact investors and co-founders of impact fund WakeUp Capital. Walsh Drouillard is also a board member of Philanthropy Ireland and founded the collective philanthropy group The Giving Circle.

“Impact investing provides exciting financial potential for investors, while also enabling them to make a difference in the community and even the planet,” Walsh Drouillard said.

“I am passionate about supporting entrepreneurs to drive real social and environmental change, and impact investing is central to this. It also attracts a more diverse investor profile, which in turn facilitates investment in a more diverse range of companies.

“It is this diversity that will help us to solve real-world problems and build a better future for everyone,” she added.

HBAN’s Impact Syndicate will consider pitches from start-ups focusing on climate, agritech, energy, the blue economy, health and clean-tech.

“Investors and entrepreneurs alike want to make a meaningful impact,” HBAN’s syndicates manager, Julian Seymour, said. “The global focus on ESG has created a market with almost boundless opportunities for growth and we want to help Irish businesses to be a part of that story.”

The Impact Syndicate will launch at HBAN’s all-island conference on 2 February. This is where HBAN will encourage more people to get involved in angel investing and the event will have a focus this year on impact investment.

HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. It recently surveyed 114 of its angel investors about their portfolios, expectations and future plans. Those surveyed have invested a median of €200,000 in start-ups on the island of Ireland.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic