HBAN, the umbrella group responsible for stimulating angel investment in promising start-ups on the island of Ireland, has been named as the EBAN (European Business Angel Network) Federation of the Year at an awards ceremony in Vienna, Austria.
HBAN, which stands for Halo Business Angel Network, is a representative group for business angel networks around the island.
A joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, HBAN works regionally in partnership with the Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Galway Business Innovation Centres (BICs) and Halo Northern Ireland. Each of these entities run local angel networks.
The network is currently headed up by Michael Culligan. Its goal is to promote angel investment and nurture the development of early-stage start-ups around Ireland.
European business angel vista
In terms of the EBAN awards, they are held annually to recognise European business angel networks and investors who have been driving business angel investment into new ventures over the last year, Culligan explained today.
HBAN was selected as EBAN Federation of the Year in recognition of its contribution to the Irish and European business angel landscape, he said.
Another reason why HBAN got the accolade is for the guides it has developed for both business angels and entrepreneurs. Business angel federations across Europe will be using these guides to grow the overall number of angel investors on the continent.
In Ireland, for instance, three new HBAN-supported syndicates came onto the scene in 2012.
For example, the FUSE syndicate. It is aiming to spark business growth in the south-east of Ireland and attract new high-growth businesses to the region.
There are also two new industry-specific syndicates – the Medical Technology syndicate and the Food & Nutraceuticals syndicate – which will support Irish businesses operating in these sectors.
Working closely with the BICs, HBAN hooks up these syndicates with pre-screened, high-potential Irish businesses that are seeking funding and mentoring expertise in order to take their start-ups to the next level.
Culligan said there is an appetite out there for angel investment.
"We are continually working to accelerate business angel activity and educate both the entrepreneurs and potential investors of the crucial role angel investment plays in raising equity," he said.