Host of Angels Cast their Eye Over Northwest Investment Opportunities

3 February 2011

Innovative companies from the Northwest seeking early stage investment were given the unique opportunity, Dragon’s Den style, to pitch to 50 of the top Business Angel Investors from across the island of Ireland and UK at an Angel Investment Forum event held in the University of Ulster, Magee on 19th January 2011.

The event was delivered by Halo, the NI business angel network, a joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland and InterTradeIreland, in partnership with the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and the University of Ulster. Six local companies emerged from an initial long list of applicants to win the chance to present their ideas to the gathering of wealthy individuals, in the hope of securing much needed funding to take their business idea to the next level.  Business Angel investment has witnessed tremendous growth in recent months  as traditional investing and funding models remain challenging due to the ongoing turmoil in the global financial markets.

Based at the Northern Ireland Science Park, the Halo network has grown to over 140 angel members within the last year and already includes a significant number of business angel investors from across the UK and Ireland. Halo also used the event as a platform to promote and grow the network membership, particularly from high net-worth individuals based in the northwest.

Speaking about the Investment Forum, Alan Watts, Halo Director said; “The Halo angel network has been growing from strength to strength and we are keen to unearth good investment opportunities wherever they are. This event has given some of the northwest’s best investment prospects a fantastic opportunity to pitch their business idea to a large number of potential angel investors from across the island and UK and we remain hopeful that they will have attracted interest. Either way, we know that all participants will have benefitted from the experience as it allowed them to gain valuable feedback and insight into their own business plans from a range of seasoned business people.” 

Sinead McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the event. She said; “This event demonstrates that innovation is alive and well in the northwest and we hope that it will now become a regular occurrence in the local business calendar. We know that business angel investment is an ever more important source of early stage funding for SMEs and can be the difference between success and failure of a business idea. We hope that a number of them will ultimately get the investment and smart money that comes from Business Angel investing so they can bring their ideas to commercial reality.”