The Startup Gathering was launched this month by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD.
Venture capital funding to SMEs rose over 40% to €401m last year, the highest level seen for 10 years and 22 VC funds and Business Angel networks attending the conference.
Belfast software company FarmWizard has been bought over by the global Grosvenor Estate, in a deal which will see the local company expand its presence and workforce here. Wheatsheaf Investments, part of the Grosvenor Estate led by the Duke of Westminster, has acquired a majority stake in the leading web-based livestock management business- the first ever buy out of a company invested in by business angels from Halo, the NI business angel network.
This month Marianne Hudson, angel investor and Angel Capital Association (ACA) Executive Director published a great article about early stage investors being angels as opposed to sharks and dragons, as is sometimes portrayed on TV. Shark Tank is an American reality competition television series based on the international Dragons' Den format and Hudson says “I am glad Shark Tank exists because the show has really helped lots of people understand and get excited about early-stage investing and being an entrepreneur.”
The first European Business Angels Investment Forum was held at the Shangri-La Bosphorus, Hayrettin İskelesi Sk İstanbul,Turkey in December. It was organised by EBAN, Business Angels Association - Turkey (TBAA), Borsa İstanbul, and Forbes I Para Conferences.