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HBAN virtual conference to showcase 2021 angel investment opportunities

Join some of the world’s most influential start-up visionaries on February 11th for a look at the best angel investment opportunities across the island of Ireland

John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN: “As the business community continues to grapple with the range of pandemic-induced challenges, this period of flux has also given rise to a proliferation of innovative solutions tailored to addressing cross-sectoral inefficiencies. With an expanding catalogue of future-proofing companies to choose from, the purview of Ireland’s angel investors has broadened significantly.”

John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN: “With an expanding catalogue of future-proofing companies to choose from, the purview of Ireland’s angel investors has broadened significantly.”

 

In Ireland, opportunities are plentiful for angel investors to expand their portfolio, and for prospective investors to stake their claim in the burgeoning scene. With this in mind, Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, will be hosting its annual conference virtually on the afternoon of Thursday, February 11th, 2021. Tickets are available at www.hban.org/conference.

The annual event is designed to encourage wider involvement in business angel investing across the island of Ireland, showcasing a range of exciting investment opportunities and associated benefits to prospective investors. Ireland’s angel investment community continues to go from strength to strength, providing start-ups with access to early-stage funding from individual angel investors and syndicates. HBAN members have now invested more than €121M in start-ups across the island of Ireland since 2007.

Over the past number of years, the annual conference has attracted hundreds of angel investors, and this year’s virtual setting will hone in on the overarching theme of Start – Grow – Exit – Repeat – charting the business angel lifecycle and assessing the inroads being made in the space from a technological standpoint. The conference is expected to attract over 300 attendees, who will gain a firm understanding of the investment landscape in high-potential start-ups in 2021, and the opportunity to broaden their network with hundreds of like-minded angel investors.

This year’s virtual conference will feature Irish and International speakers as well as round table discussions featuring leaders in emerging sectors. The event is Ireland’s only angel investment-focused national conference and is geared towards prospective angels who are looking for structured and quality deal flow. The event will also be of interest to those looking to invest and create portfolios with likeminded investors through syndicates, locally and internationally. HBAN has syndicate partners in London, New York and Singapore. 

The HBAN Conference 2021 will feature contributions from Charles Fred, co-founder of TrueSpace, a business ecosystem designed to help entrepreneurs scale to the middle market; Bill Liao, general partner in SOSV founder of the CoderDojo movement presenting their future technology forecast; Colin Mason, professor of Entrepreneurship at University of Glasgow presenting the research evidence regarding Exits; Alan Coleman, CEO of Sweepr, the provider of simple care for the connected home. Round table leaders include Ronan Quinlan, joint CEO of Taoglas, Richard Watson of DBIC Ventures, Faye Walsh-Drouillard, founder of Wake Up Capital and Brian MacNamee, associate professor in the UCD School of Computer Science and expert in machine learning.

As an aside to the bespoke presentations, there will be round table discussion giving attendees the opportunity to explore topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Impact Investing, Cyber Security and IoT – and discuss these strands as they pertain to the angel investor space and early-stage technology companies.

Commenting on the upcoming event, John Phelan, all-island director of HBAN said: “The Business Angel Lifecycle is critically important to the identification, growth, exit and recycling of capital, experience and networks. This year’s HBAN conference focuses on each of these important inflection points of a company journey – The Start, the Scaling, the Exit and Repeat.

“As the business community continues to grapple with the range of pandemic-induced challenges, this period of flux has also given rise to a proliferation of innovative solutions tailored to addressing cross-sectoral inefficiencies. The confluence of a vibrant start-up space and a pressing demand for enterprise-ready tech solutions provides fertile ground for angel investing in 2021. Never before has there been such a paradigm shift in the way companies leverage technology, and high-potential, nimble start-ups are stepping up in a big way. With an expanding catalogue of future-proofing companies to choose from, the purview of Ireland’s angel investors has broadened significantly.

Across the pond, the UK early-stage investment market is in robust health, as illustrated by the British Business Bank’s 2020 UK Business Angels Market report. Most notably, the findings show that over half of angels surveyed have continued investing since the onset of the pandemic, and 46 per cent plan to add companies to their portfolio by the end of the financial year. Similarly, investment in Welsh businesses by angel investor syndicates has increased, irrespective of external uncertainties precipitated by the pandemic, according to the Development Bank of Wales. It just goes to show, the foundations are there for a sustained period of growth.”

Along with the widescale decentralisation of the workforce, the conference will explore how this ongoing workforce evolution is opening the door to heightened technology-led decision making at boardroom level, with bespoke solutions now catering to the changing needs of staff and management. From an angel investing perspective, AI in particular has become intrinsically linked to a high volume of investment opportunities. These ‘efficiency drivers’ are transforming key processes for a wide variety of companies, spread across multiple verticals. Among the other strands of focus for large swathes of enterprises are IoT, edge computing and cybersecurity-based solutions.

HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. The HBAN umbrella group supports the early stage entrepreneurial community across the island of Ireland and actively works to increase the number of angel investors investing in early stage companies. HBAN also acts as a voice to Government, stakeholders, business and the media to promote the interests and needs of the wider angel investment community.

For those interested in learning how they can support and invest in some of Ireland’s most exciting start-ups, register for Ireland’s only angel investment-focused all-island conference at www.hban.org. The four-hour event will stream live online from 1:30pm-5:30pm on Thursday, February 11th, 2021.