An organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment in Ireland has seen a record-breaking number of current and prospective business angels attend its All-Island Conference 2018. The event, organised by HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), saw almost 300 current and prospective business angels gather the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, making it the largest gathering of business angels ever in Ireland.
HBAN aimed to sign up 35 new business angels at the conference and have already signed up 21 new investors in advance of the conference, indicating the strong interest in angel investing.
There were representatives from nine syndicates in attendance. Seven were Irish-based, including the MedTech Syndicate, Irrus Investments, Food Syndicate, Bloom Equity, Boole Investments, WxNW Syndicate (West by North West) and SEBAN (South East Business Angel Network). There were also representatives from overseas, syndicates including the New York syndicate that HBAN has partnered with.
Key speakers included super angel Christopher Mirabile, who outlined his advice for angel investors based on his experience of more than 60 investments, focusing on the importance of syndicated investing. Serial tech entrepreneur Peter Cowley spoke about what to look for in an investee company, key metrics for evaluating companies, the importance of investing as part of a syndicate and some of the pitfalls in angel investing. Feargall Kenny summarised what Irish start-ups need to do to break into the US market, giving a list of 10 things not to do.
Commenting on the Irish angel investment market, John Phelan, National Director, HBAN said: “The angel investing market in Ireland is estimated to be currently worth between €70 and €120 million. Due to a lack of venture capital in early stage funding, business angels’ fill a gap by providing not just a cash injection, but also advice, insights, knowledge and contacts to entrepreneurs. The benefits of “smart money”, is apparent in the big exits we’ve seen to date. Investors recognise the potential returns in Irish start-ups and our team at HBAN is continually working to accelerate business angel activity in Ireland.”
Pictured above: John Phelan, National Director, HBAN