The investment and start-up community is currently thriving in Cork.
CorkBIC figures show that Cork-based angel syndicate Boole invested €2.3m in start-ups last year – up 52% on the previous year – and a total of €11.5m since its inception in 2013.
The investment and start-up community is currently thriving in Cork, reflected in the fact that membership of the Boole Syndicate went up 24% last year.
“Cork’s economy is thriving and that is reflected in the start-up ecosystem”
Cork will be on the international angel investment stage next month when it hosts the EBAN Congress 2022. A number of new speakers have been added to the line-up, including Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Women; and Pearse Flynn, founder, EI-H2.
The event will feature panel discussions; networking; an awards ceremony; and a pitching competition. It will educate Europe’s business angels and entrepreneurs on key elements of successful angel investing, including exits; cross-border investing; and syndicates. Speakers and panelists will also explore the opportunities of impact investing, ESG, DeepTech for a safer Europe and the funding of new technologies such as AI, blockchain and machine learning.
“Cork’s economy is thriving and that is reflected in the start-up ecosystem,” said Michael O’Connor, CEO, CorkBIC.
“Some of the world’s biggest companies are based in Cork, creating a talent pool for start-ups and a knowledge pool of angel investors who can share their expertise with entrepreneurs.
“As a result, angel investment in Cork is continuing to grow year-on-year. Now is the ideal time to showcase that on a European stage and use our knowledge to help our international angel investor community to be successful. We want to show investors that world-class innovation and expansion is happening nationwide and that some Cork companies have recently delivered returns to business angels that are twelve times greater than original sums invested.”
One example of a Cork company that has received significant funding from business angels and other investment sources is Gasgon Medical. The company recently raised €2.25M as part of a funding round that was led by DBIC Ventures and included HBAN’s Boole Syndicate, Irrus Investments, and MedTech Syndicate; Spain’s AIG; and a number of private investors in the US.
The company has developed a low-cost device, Air Vault, that attaches directly to IV drips in hospitals to eliminate air bubbles. These can be fatal for patients if they enter the bloodstream and dangerous for nurses, who must break the IV line if air bubbles form, therefore exposing them to medications that can be harmful over time. Gasgon Medical will use its funding to launch in the US in Q1 2023 and grow its team from six to 10 by year-end 2022.
“We deliberately sought investors that would bring strategic value to our business: not just capital, but smart money,” said Vincent Forde, CEO and founder, Gasgon Medical.
“They will be invaluable as we grow the business. We are currently carrying out pilot studies in hospitals in Ireland, Europe and the US. They see it as a no-brainer solution and our aim is for every IV system worldwide to have an Air Vault attached as the de facto solution to eliminating air bubbles.
“We have a growing MedTech community in Cork and that has proved very beneficial to us as we seek funding and supports to expand. The network effect is very strong and that gives us access to investors and knowledge in the industry, which we may not otherwise have.”
Speakers at the EBAN Congress will include some of Europe’s most successful investors and super angels. Tickets can be purchased online at https://ebancongress.com/tickets/.
Main image: Michael O’Connor, CEO, CorkBIC, is pictured at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork, as CorkBIC prepares to host the EBAN Congress 2022.