North-South M1 angel investor corridor planned

2 Feb 2011

A syndicate of angel investors is examining the feasibility of setting up a North-South group of private investors around the M1 economic corridor to invest in promising start-ups both sides of the border.

InterTradeIreland is urging potential ‘business angels’ to get involved in stimulating new local businesses and the economy.

Interested investors are being invited to an information meeting at the Carrickdale Hotel, Ravensdale, Dundalk from 4-6pm on Thursday, 24 February.

At the event, potential investors will hear from expert speakers about how they can make meaningful investments in high-potential businesses.

HBAN is the all-island industry body for business angel investment north and south. Established in 2009, the initiative is designed to support emerging high-potential firms while also being of benefit to the individual investors concerned. HBAN actively screens the potential businesses who submit proposals and if they are deemed to be ‘equity ready’ it brings these forward to investors as viable investment opportunities.

Groups or ‘syndicates’ of investors, co-ordinated by HBAN, have already established investment pools of some €10m since HBAN was established in 2009.

Opportunities for private investors

“The downturn has created significant opportunities for private investors where they come together as syndicates to invest in emerging companies,” Diane Roberts, national director of HBAN Investor Syndicates explained.

“The costs of starting a company are less today than they were some years ago and private investors can create an exponential growth effect with their funding. Investments are also providing value for money as valuations are reflecting economic conditions.

“Investing in early stage companies is also considered to be an attractive prospect by many investors following the fall in stock market and property values.

Internationally, private investors have become a well-established source of capital for innovative companies. The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) estimates that there are some 75,000 private investors across more than 300 syndicates with more than €3bn invested in emerging companies.

“The most effective method of investment is where investors pool their resources and form portfolios of invested companies where they can support greater numbers of businesses and spread the possible risk of investment,” Roberts said.

The meeting on 24 February is strictly for potential investors only (not for start-ups) and registration is available by contacting HBAN via its website or by telephoning 01 6550420.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years