More than 100 angel investors and entrepreneurs will be in Dublin next week for the first-ever Irish Angel Meetup. Four start-ups will also be pitching at the Angel Meetup in order to catch the attention of investors and potentially raise finance.
US angel investor Bill Payne, who has already successfully invested in more than 50 start-ups, will be sharing his investing insights at the event, as will technology investor and entrepreneur Bill Liao, who co-founded the CoderDojo movement, and angel investor Nelson Gray.
Diane Roberts of Xcell Partners has organised Angel Meetup, which will take place at the offices of Startup Bootcamp on Barrow Street in Dublin City on 18 April.
Angel Meetup is aiming to make the angel community more accessible to the start-up community in Ireland, and to help angels build relationships with other co-investors, seed funds, the venture capital community, and enterprise agencies.
Start-ups making investment pitches
The start-ups that will pitch to investors at the event in order to raise finance will be Fol.io, Greenyourgoods.ie, PayByMobile and Relevenz.
Fol.io is a new marketplace for digital goods that was co-founded by Cillian, Kieran and Simon Keane. Niamh Hughes, a young Irish entrepreneur based in New York, is the site’s operations manager, and will be making the pitch next week. She is also a member of the Sandbox Network, which connects up young innovators who are under the age of 30. Sandbox is launching its Dublin hub next week.
The cloud-based solution is delivered in the form of a desktop application, web service and plug-ins. Hughes said Folio can be built into a user’s existing productivity or creative tools, such as PhotoShop. The aim is to allow users to quickly find and upload quality digital assets that are produced, curated and approved by the digital professional community.
Folio’s target audience includes digital creatives, programmers, musicians and business professionals who are both seeking and selling digital content.
Greenyourgoods.ie, which is based at the Rubicon Centre at Cork Institute of Technology, is clean-tech start-up that pays people for unwanted mobile phones, laptops, DVDs, gadgets and games, to help keep them in the IT lifecycle a bit longer.
Greenyourgoods.ie is also an international B2B supplier of large value orders of consumer electronics to the global market. The company is in development talks with Groupon and iBood.com to provide a ‘new-for-old’ buying option on their sites, according to CEO Barry Walsh. He said the start-up is also developing niche payment protection software linked to international logistics companies.
PayByMobile is a top-up and text-based system for electronic payments. It recently launched its mobile wallet in the UK with Paddypower.com. According to CEO Liam Lowe, the site is currently the only mobile solution that delivers cash payments online at credit card rates.
Relevenz is a location-based social networking system for people to search for the best deals and offers and to share their plans. Stephen Oman said people can also use Relevanz to take requests for a product or service from local merchants and be informed of relevant local offers, products and services.
Relevenz was also at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, in March. The Relevenz mobile app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play for free.
"We hope to see some shiny diamonds emerge and be snapped up by savvy investors with real know-how. Entrepreneurial zeal alone won’t cut it if you want lift-off for your new enterprise," said Liao. "I’m looking forward to the competitive pitches by four start-ups in front of an appreciative, yet discerning, audience. There will be tension and excitement and it remains to be seen if there will be investment, as well," he said.
Danny Moore of Loughshore Investments, Diane Roberts of Xcell Partners and Gavin Duffy, the entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den presenter, will also speak at the event.
Roberts spoke today about the opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of start-ups with innovative intellectual property and strong commercial potential.
"Angel investors can create an exponential growth effect with their funding and their expertise. Angel Meetup will help investors to identify how best to match this capability with appropriate start-up ventures. For entrepreneurs, it will also establish an understanding of what it takes to seek out, approach and attract private investment," she said.