European investor event will bring €250k to Cork’s local economy

European Business Angels Network Congress in Cork in May a significant win for local businesses and hospitality providers.

CorkBIC will host the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) Congress in May. In doing so, it will help to grow annual business angel investments in Europe from €8bn to €10bn by 2025.

The Congress puts Cork at the heart of business angel investment in Europe and represents the first time Europe’s business angels have gathered in-person in more than two years.

“Angel investment has been steadily growing in the south-west region, bringing opportunities to investors and start-ups alike”

With a theme of ‘reconnect, reimagine, reinvest’, the congress – organised by CorkBIC, EBAN and the European Commission’s InvestEU Portal – will be a major networking event for Europe’s angel investors to share ideas, make connections and meet promising start-ups.

Up to 350 business angels, investors and start-ups from 35 countries will attend the Congress, which marks the first time Europe’s business angels have gathered in-person in more than two years.

European super angels fly into Cork

The two-day event will host a series of speakers, including some of Europe’s most eminent investors and super angels.

“This year’s congress is hugely significant for our members and Europe’s start-up ecosystem”

They include Dr. Hermann Hauser, founder of Acorn, and an investor and inventor with an Honorary CBE and KBE for his contributions to the UK’s enterprise, engineering and technology sectors. The venture capital firm he co-founded, Amadeus Capital, has invested in 180 companies. Peter Cowley, another super angel meanwhile, is the former president of EBAN and has invested in more than 76 companies.

Cork’s success in landing the pivotal congress was welcomed by Minister for Expenditure and Public Reform Michael McGrath, TD. “Cork is continuing to raise the bar as a hub for entrepreneurialism, scaling and investment.

“Some of Ireland’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups are located here, along with some of the world’s largest enterprises. Helped by the tremendous work of CorkBIC, our region is now on the world map as a centre for innovation, making it well-placed to host an international event of this calibre and being a launching pad for the future of angel investment across Europe.”

The win also reflects the Southwest region’s contribution to angel funding in Ireland. Last year, of the €18.2m angel investment recorded by the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) on the island of Ireland, the southwest contributed €7.5m.

HBAN’s Boole Investment Syndicate, located in Cork and focusing on investments in start-ups in the region, grew by 20% last year and has now invested more than €10m in 42 companies.

“Angel investment has been steadily growing in the south-west region, bringing opportunities to investors and start-ups alike,” said Michael O’Connor, CEO of CorkBIC.

“We are honoured to be putting Cork on the European stage as we reconnect the angel community and work together to increase angel investment across Europe. We look forward to welcoming business angels, investors and start-ups to the Congress and exchanging ideas on how angel investment can further economic growth.”

The congress will mark a return of EBAN’s in-person annual awards ceremony, which was moved online in 2021 and 2020.

The ceremony will be held at a gala dinner in Vertigo, Cork County Hall, on the evening of Wednesday 18th May and will recognise the start-ups, angel investors and networks that have made a significant impact on the angel investment community over the last year. Previous Irish winners of EBAN Awards include salon software company, Phorest; chipmaker DecaWave; the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN); and CorkBIC as a Best Performing New EBAN Member.

“This year’s congress is hugely significant for our members and Europe’s start-up ecosystem,” said Janne Jormalainen, President, European Business Angels Network.

“A vital element of investing and fundraising is networking and as Europe’s largest angel network – consisting of more than 100 member angel networks and over 20,000 investors – we are very excited to be able to facilitate that on a large, international scale again.

“Last year, angels in our member organisations invested close to €8bn in start-ups. By reconnecting angel investors with Europe’s start-ups, this congress represents a new era of angel investment on our continent as we work towards reaching the €10bn milestone by 2025.”

Main image at top: Michael O’Connor, CEO, CorkBIC; Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; and Cork camogie player Katrina Mackey, five-time All-Ireland medal winner

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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