PANEL 1 – M&A Exits and the Irish Market Potential for Returns

Moderated by Julian Seymour

The Investor Exit is seen as the primary objective for the Angel Investor and the founders of the investee company. Timing and format of the exits for either party vary however with conflicting set of objectives. This panel will explore the pathway for typical successful companies in Ireland to realising a Merger/Acquisition.  It will look at how the deals are structured, and the role of a secondary markets is explored (private equity/strategic sale)

Panel Discussion Objective(s):

The moderator will explore the following areas with the panel;

  • Understanding what the current activity level and profile of the M&A Activity involving Irish Companies

  • Understanding the role of the early stage investors (silent or active) in helping the company grow to the stage of part or full acquisition and if/when they become surplus to requirements

  • Exploring the courtship process with the secondary/retail investment markets

  • Understanding the board dynamic during the M&A phase

  • Understanding from the Investor perspective the impact/influence you can have on when to exit and how to shape the best exit possible

  • Explore the experience of dealing with multiple suitors from initiation to deal completion and managing investee relationships during that period

Panel Participants

  • Jim Mountjoy - Founder Euristix & Development Capital
  • Pat Garvey - Found of Riantec - Chair of Phorest - HBAN Angel
  • John O'Sullivan - Head of Investments, Beechbrook Capital

PANEL 2: Using Data as a Tool When Choosing Investment & does it dilute cognitive bias?  

Moderated by Niamh Sterling

Technology as an investment sector is only 25 years old and is still maturing.  How has this maturity informed: Network memory,  risk mitigation mechanisms, evolution of patient capital, importance of diversification. The panel will address the importance of an investment thesis. 

Panel Discussion Objective(s):

The moderator will explore the following areas with the panel;

  • Does the network have a memory – does it mature in it’s investment strategy taking less moon shoots over time?

  • The tech business as an investment sector is only 25 years old if you take the hard lessons that have been learned, coupled with the evolution of technology, a more mature network and ecomonic factors – will we continue to see an increased number of better outcomes? 

  • Mechanisms that give security and mitigate against risk…does histrocial performance data inform additional rachette mechanisms? 

  • Is angel investing Venture Capital by another name?

  • In Ireland promoters and angels seek faster exits –  are both parties therefore missing the true value if it ‘takes longer for a home run to mature’?

  • Diversification: less than 35% chance of getting a 4.8x or more return with a portfolio of only 25 investments - is this similar in Ireland? Do angel syndicates/vc need to factor this in?

  •  Which industries produce better cumulative returns?

  • Is it possible to map commonalities amongst the 100x return ecits - what part does more intangible factors such as timing have in those?

  • How important is it to have an investment thesis and stick to those principles, ignoring hype?

Panel Participants

  • John Harbison - Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels
  • Debbie Renick - General Partner, ACT Venture Capital
  • Richard Watson - Managing Partner, DBIC Ventures