Sunday, 5 July 2015

HBAN record 2014 - €30M funding to create an estimated 700 jobs

Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN)  announced record business angel investment supporting significant job growth across the island of Ireland during 2014. An estimated 700 jobs will be created by 2017 by HBAN-supported companies, following a number of successful funding rounds during 2014 totalling €30 million.

Figures have risen steadily since 2011, during which it supported 344 new jobs and €12 million in business angel investment across 29 companies. Of the €30 million raised during 2014, €9.5 million came directly from angel investment, with the rest leveraged from public and private funds including Enterprise Ireland, venture capital companies and founders.

HBAN, which is a joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, embodied its 2014 success further last October during a week-long series of informal talks at HBAN offices in Cork, Galway and Waterford, where the opportunities of business angel investment were explored. The series, titled an “Introduction to Business Angel Investing,” saw HBAN recruit additional angel investors for the year ahead.

Technology based start-ups across both Ireland and Northern Ireland made up a large segment of the companies supported. This included Galway-based medical devices company, Embo Medical, which raised €3million with over €1.5 million stemming from business angel funding alone during 2014, and will grow its team from three to sixteen by 2017.

Northern-Ireland based Treze, a software company dedicated to protecting children from cyber bullying through technology, raised nearly €150,000 entirely from business angels and will create 20 jobs over the next three years.

Dublin-based Lumafit, which provides an interactive fitness coach that can fill the role of a personal trainer, raised a round of €575,00, of which €175,000 came from angel investors, and will add 15 jobs over the next three years.

Darran Hughes (pictured), Founder and CEO at Lumafit, said: “HBAN introduced us to business angel investors with the entrepreneurial experience, networks and industry knowledge we needed to fulfil our ambitious growth targets. The relationship extends far beyond fundraising, as the angel investors have become an invaluable extension of our team, acting as a soundboard and helping us develop marketing plans and our business strategy.”

John Phelan, National Manager, HBAN, added: “HBAN is well positioned to help business angels to find the right type of early stage company and maximise their chances of a successful investment. We offer a lot of supports to them in terms of advice, networks and syndicates. The success of this is reflected in our strong annual results and our recruitment of new angels following the series of talks last October.

“We recognise the growing importance of business angels as catalysts in start-up companies, particularly in the technology and knowledge economy and sectors associated with it, like MedTech, FinTech and AgriTech.”

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Blacknight Launches Trailblazers Irish Podcast Series

Being Irish is more than just geography: it’s a state of mind. That’s the message of a new podcast series launched by the Irish web hosting and domain names company Blacknight.

Trailblazers.Irish is a series of exclusive interviews with the people behind websites using the new .IRISH Top-Level Domain (TLD) which launched last week.

The new .IRISH registry is among hundreds of new Top Level Domains, like .TECH and .DESIGN, which have come on stream as part of a process of expansion managed by the international organisation ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

As the only Irish-owned domain registrar with ICANN accreditation, Blacknight works directly with hundreds of domain name registries to ensure a positive experience for customers.

Company CEO Michele Neylon says Blacknight is particularly pleased to welcome .IRISH.

"The launch of .IRISH provides the global Irish community with a meaningful digital identity that can be easily recognized and understood throughout the world. .IRISH is not restricted to people resident in Ireland, which makes it particularly useful for the wider community where 80 million people claim Irish heritage.”

The idea of being a Trailblazer is an essential element of Irishness, he believes.

“The Irish are Trailblazers. We’ve had to be. Now, for the first time, there’s a new way to express your Irish identity online. The new gTLDs bring meaning to the space ‘right of the dot’. .IRISH is a showcase for Irish Trailblazers of all kinds.”

Trailblazers.Irish is produced and presented by award winning podcaster and radio-producer Conn Ó Muíneacháin, who edits Blacknight’s technology news site Weekly interviews will appear on the site each Tuesday, featuring a diverse range of Trailblazers from the worlds of business, culture, art and academia.

Happy 4th July

Happy 4th July to all our American readers.