HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network – a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland) has unveiled its new angel syndicate. The ‘West by North West’ (WxNW) syndicate, together with Enterprise Ireland, will invest €2 million in start-ups located around the western seaboard in 2016.
The new syndicate includes 12 business angels based in or connected to the western seaboard of Ireland. These are successful entrepreneurs judged to have the experience, network and business acumen to help start-ups grow their businesses into international success stories. Over the next year, WxNW is actively recruiting to double its number of angels to 24 and become one of the largest syndicates in Ireland.
Working with syndicates means angels have the opportunity to diversify risk by spreading their investment across a number of companies with support from other angels both in WxNW and other syndicates throughout Ireland.
HBAN’s WxNW syndicate wants to invest in west of Ireland-based and connected start-ups in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, education and tourism. The new syndicate is working closely with bodies such as Enterprise Ireland, WestBIC and the Western Development Commission to provide not only funding, but the support and access to networks to help these start-ups grow their businesses.
Through its other syndicates, HBAN has already supported a number of companies located in the west, such as Embo Medical and Capsos Medical. HBAN last year celebrated reaching the milestone of €50M invested in start-ups across Ireland and Northern Ireland, cementing an annual growth of 44% in angel investment on the island since 2008.
John Mullen from County Mayo co-founded technology company Version 1 in 1996. He’s the chairman of the new syndicate.
“WxNW is a harbour for angel investors either located around the western seaboard, or with an interest in or connection to the area”, he says.
“We’re conscious that there are active angels investing in the region and WxNW is a platform through which they can engage with more companies, spread risk and crucially, increase their chances of gaining significant returns on investments.”
“The area has shown promising growth in recent years, particularly in areas such as med-tech. We want to capitalise on this growth and the energy it breeds, to give more start-ups across multiple sectors the opportunity to grow. Angel investment means start-ups receive the guidance, networking ability and experience – along with the funding needed – to grow into successful businesses.”
Michael Culligan, national director, HBAN, said: “Research shows that angels and angel syndicates working together achieve better outcomes, both for companies and investors. WxNW is set to become an important part of the investment ecosystem along the western seaboard and the growing angel community in Ireland. We at HBAN look forward to supporting the evolution of the WxNW business angel syndicate”