John Phelan All-Island Director
John is commercially driven to identify, create and scale new business opportunities. He has grown and scaled companies, including his own, in Ireland, the UK and in the USA. These include several start-ups; one in the UK, three in Ireland (most recently RecommenderX AI) and GM of a games company in Chicago. His domain knowledge is in the AI, Software, ICT, MediaTech & Animation/content sectors.
John is involved with all stages of funding (Equity, Debt, Grant, R&D) and stages of development from M&A exit transactions, Series A, Seed and R&D, and has also engaged in early stage Research (H2020 and the European Commission).
Through his engagement with Dublin BIC, the Halo Business Angel Network, the AIB Seed Fund and Enterprise Ireland he has his “Finger on the Pulse” of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland.
John is also the co-founder of RecommenderX, Chair of lifestyle learning content brands Knowhowdo and the Independent Chair of Animation Ireland with members employing over 1,500 and annual revenues ~ €100m. Sometimes artist, sometimes sailor...
Niamh Sterling Investment Consultant
Niamh is an Investment Consultant for HBAN, sourcing & selecting investor ready deal flow for a network of over 700 Business Angels. Niamh is the Co-founder & Board Member of several high performing export driven companies both in Ireland and overseas. Most recently her digital publishing company has launched in the UK and U.S markets. With over 20 years Directorial & Senior Executive experience, she has developed & implemented viable business growth strategies & cohesive business processes, exercising control and accountability for driving revenue growth & profitability.
Julian Seymour Syndicates Manager
Julian is a proven business development professional with over 18 years international experience in Telecoms, ICT, Cleantech, Education, NGO and FMCG sectors.
He has held senior sales roles with Diageo in Germany, Ericsson, Telecom New Zealand and is former Head of Operations for ECDL Foundation. He has also worked as Head of Industry Engagement for The Green Way, Dublin's Cleantech cluster.
Julian has a 1st class MSc in E-Commerce from DCU, an honours degree in Marketing also from DCU and post graduate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from UCD's Innovation Academy.
Paula Finnan Programme Coordinator
Paula is an experienced Administration and Human Resource Professional with an extensive background in the insurance, customer service and retail sectors which she has consolidated and broadened in the start-up eco-system. She brings a holistic view to the business world with her international experience in Education. She is a natural networker and communicator with 3 years’ experience working with startups and business angels in the areas of programme content, development of the entrepreneurial workshop cohorts, project management, events and operations, social media & marketing. In addition, Paula specialises in a range of HR activities including recruitment, learning & development, talent retention and performance management. Paula holds a BA International Honours Degree in German and Psychology (NUIG), and more recently a Masters Honours Postgraduate Degree in Human Resource Management (UCD)
Siobhán Killen Comms & Events Coordinator
Siobhán is an experienced professional administrator who joined the HBAN team in 2017. Her primary background is in higher education and the arts from which she draws extensively as part of her work in the start-up eco-system.
With considerable experience in event management, recruitment and customer service, Siobhán brings a diverse range of skills to her role in HBAN. In addition, Siobhán specialises in social media, graphic design, website management. She has also worked in theatre across Ireland working as a stage manager and technical director.
Siobhán holds a BA Honours Degree in English (UCD) as well as a qualification in Film Production.
Allison Grey-Noble Programme Administrator
Allison is an experienced administrative professional who joined the HBAN team in 2020. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, she has an extensive background in the arts and cultural sectors having worked in administration and progamming with museums, festivals, gallerys, and studios in both Canada and Ireland.
She moved to Ireland in 2017 to further her education after working within a growing Canadian SME and developing an interest in business development in the arts. She has continued to develop her diverse skillset through recent roles in events coordination and customer relationship management.
Allison holds Masters Degrees in both Art History (University of Vicotria) and Arts Management & Cultural Policy (UCD) with a specific interest in innovative arts and cultural engagement practices. She is excited to join HBAN in helping to foster a growing and vibrant start-up ecosystem in Ireland.
Jim Curran Programme Manager HBAN Ulster
Jim has 20 years management experience in industrial, research, economic development and technology transfer roles. He joined CFM in November 2003 as an Investment Manager from a senior university technology transfer position. He has considerable experience of deal negotiation and working with early stage technology ventures. Jim represents the funds under management’s interests on the Board of four portfolio companies. He holds a MEng in Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast, an MBA from the University of Ulster and a professional investment management financial qualification.
Chris Trotter Coordinator HBAN Ulster
Chris joined CFM in 2017 after returning to Belfast from London where he started his career qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC. Following 3 years working on M&A, Due Diligence and Restructuring projects, he joined Keystone Petroleum where he was involved in a significant restructuring project that included a multi-million dollar debt for equity swap. He has also worked in software with a cyber security company. Chris holds a BSc (Hons) in Accounting from the University of Ulster.
Claudine Owens Lead Coordinator HBAN Ulster
Claudine graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Accounting from Queens University, Belfast and trained with PWC in Manchester. Claudine later spent 12 years working in Corporate and Business Banking where she managed a varied portfolio of business clients across a diversified range of business sectors with lending requirements ranging from £100k-£20million. Prior to starting with Clarendon Fund Managers as a Portfolio Manager in November 2018 Claudine worked in the Accounts department of Kane Group Building Services.
Stuart Gaffikin Coordinator HBAN Ulster
Stuart graduated with a BSc in Finance from Queens University, Belfast and completed his training contract in the Advisory team at BDO in Belfast. Stuart spent 6 years with BDO in the Advisory, Insolvency and Corporate Finance teams and subsequently moved to the Corporate Banking team at Bank of Ireland in Belfast. Stuart managed a portfolio of the bank’s customers across a diversified range of business sectors with lending requirements of between £20m-£100million. Stuart subsequently took a role with Clarendon Fund Managers in March 2019 and works across the Fund Management and HBAN teams.
Michael Culligan Director
Michael is an experienced international business development executive with a background in the ICT, financial & education sectors. He has direct business experience in the City of London, China, Japan, mainland Europe & North America. Michael has developed specialist skills in the seed capital arena - working with early stage, knowledge intensive, companies and has also lectured Business Strategy on the Michael Smurfit MBA programme at UCD for a number of years. He has advised multiple startups on successful seed and early stage fund raising. Michael in his role as Director of the Halo Business Angel Partnership, on behalf of Irish BICS, has led the team in raising over €30M for 80+ startup companies in co-operation with other public and private funds. Michael has an undergraduate degree in Applied Physics & Electronics and is a 1st class MBA graduate of the UCD Smurfit School.
Aidan O'Driscoll Coordinator South West Region
Aidan has spent the last twenty-five years in the technology sector both in an executive and consultancy role.
He spent his formative years in Ernst & Young/
In 1985 joined a high tech start up called Intepro Systems as financial controller. Subsequently, he transformed an engineering-led company with a competitive presence in one regional market, into the world’s number one supplier of power supply AT instrumentation, software and turnkey systems. In 1991 he successfully negotiated the sale of the organization to Shaffner giving the VC investors an annual return in excess of 12% per annum.
He spent 4 years with Avocent International as VP Sales EMEA from 1999 to 2002 where he expanded and grew the sales organization into a $35m annual turnover.
He has spent the last number of years working as an independent consultant working with companies in setting and implementing their strategic direction in the area of sales, marketing, finance and strategic management.
Aidan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.
Ted Foley Coordinator South & Mid- West
Ted, a Commerce graduate from UCC, has worked with a number of companies including KPMG, Revenue Commissioners, the Industrial Credit Corporation (ICC) and AIB.
Following 8 years with ICC, Ted joined AIB in 1988 where he held a number of Senior Management positions, initially working in the Capital Markets Division with responsibility for setting up the Bank’s investment management operation in the West of Ireland. In 1992 he transferred to the Bank’s Retail Banking Division in Cork. He was appointed Regional Director in May 1997. Ted served on the Board of Cork Chamber of Commerce for nine years.
Since leaving AIB in 2010 Ted has worked as an independent business consultant in various sectors and has extensive experience across key areas of business performance
Ultan Faherty Coordinator West & North West
As a HBAN representative in the west and north-west region, Ultan works to match private investors with pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing business and to create a community of investors in the region.
For over 20 years he has worked with WestBIC in providing tailored support to innovative enterprise through the initial stages, from concept to commercialisation in identifying incubating and supporting value-added enterprise opportunities.
Cormac Coade Coordinator South East Region
Cormac is the Coordinator for the South East. His role involves the creation of a community of investors in the region to match private investors with pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing businesses.
Cormac has over 30 years experience working in the Financial Services Industry in Ireland. Prior to joining HBAN Cormac worked with the Bank of Ireland Group. He has worked in various functions including Credit Management, Asset Finance and more recently in Wealth Management where he held the role of Regional Pensions Manager. Cormac is a Qualified Financial Advisor, holds a Pensions Diploma and a Financial Services Diploma from the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.
Siobhan Oates Business Consultant
Siobhán works as a business consultant with South East Business & Innovation Centre. Her role is to advise entrepreneurs and small companies on all aspects of business planning and development, with a special emphasis on financial planning and sourcing funding. Siobhán is also the HBAN co-ordinator in the south east region and matches individual private investors with pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing business. Her role also involves the creation of a community of investors in the region.
Siobhan holds a BA (Hons) in Accounting and is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with extensive experience both in practice & industry.
Aidan Shine Coordinator South East Region
Aidan is the HBAN co-ordinator in the south east region and matches individual private investors with pre-screened investment
opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing business. His role also involves the creation of a community of investors in the region. The South East Business Angel Network (SEBAN) Members, who have a broad sector focus, are interested in investment opportunities in both start-up and more established businesses that are based primarily, though not exclusively, in the South East region.
Aidan is a business consultant with the South East Business & Innvoation Centre. His role is to advise entrepreneurs and small companies on all aspects of business planning and development, with a special emphasis on financial planning and sourcing funding.