100 new business angels appear in Ireland

The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) has reported that it recruited more than 100 business angel investors last year, more than it expected.

HBAN, which had originally projected 75 angels, now plans to sign up a further 100 angels in 2020.

Business angels are investors who bring knowledge and experience as well as funds to businesses they back.

“The average angel investment on the island of Ireland is €25,000, so many people are discovering that angel investment isn’t just an activity reserved for high-net-worth individuals”

Business angel investment is continuing to grow across the island of Ireland and in December last year, HBAN announced that its members have now invested more than €100m in start-ups since 2007. This represents a doubling of the €50m figure reached in 2015 thanks to increasing angel numbers and activity.

“The business angel community is continuing to grow year-on-year and the success of last year shows that interest in angel investment is accelerating at a terrific rate,” said John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN.

“One of the drivers behind this is that we are seeing a lot of younger people who are coming up through the ranks of the larger tech companies, and who then want to invest in start-ups themselves.

“At HBAN, we are doing a lot of public education on what is involved in angel investment, which is having a significant impact on our numbers. The average angel investment on the island of Ireland is €25,000, so many people are discovering that angel investment isn’t just an activity reserved for high-net-worth individuals.”

The angels are calling

Smiling man in dark jacket leaning against a rail in Dublin.

John Phelan, national director, HBAN.

Through its 2020 recruitment drive, HBAN aims to sign up 100 angels with €20m available to invest in Irish start-ups.

This will begin at the All-Island Conference in Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow, on Thursday 6 February 2020. Under the theme of ‘driving value with exits and data’, a series of talks, panel discussions and masterclasses will provide attendees with the skills and knowledge they need to build a lucrative portfolio.

“The All-Island Conference is all about giving prospective investors the confidence and knowledge to become successful angel investors,” said Phelan. “Of course, everyone wants to achieve as many exits as possible, so this year’s conference will show how the clever use of data can yield better returns for investors and the companies in which they invest.”

John Harbison, chair emeritus of Tech Coast Angels, will provide insights from his work with one of the largest and most active angel investment organisations in the US. Having achieved exits ranging from 100x to 1,110x in companies including Microsoft, Apple, Abbott Labs, Nucor and McGraw-Hill, he will discuss how new and existing angel investors can make better investment decisions and achieve more exits through data analysis.

Dr Jim Mountjoy, who has 20 years of investment, mentorship and leadership experience in the technology sector, will also speak at the event. Mountjoy founded telecoms software company, Euristix, which was sold for over $80m in 1999, and has also had a number of successful exits in recent years.

Meanwhile, Áine Denn, co-founder of Altify, will tell the story of how the company’s leadership team built value in their company resulting in a sale to US tech firm, Upland Software, for $84m. Denn volunteers as a mentor to female and returning emigrant entrepreneurs as part of the Irish government-sponsored programmes Going for Growth and Back For Business.

For more information on the event and to register, visit https://www.hban.org/conference

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 17 January, 2020