Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Angel touch helps do the business

A network of risk-taking investors said today that the outlook for Northern Ireland entrepreneurs is improving as it celebrated signing up its 100th ‘business angel’.

The halo Business Angel network said the small business community is catching the eye of investors keen to back new commercial opportunities and are flocking to join its ranks.

The 100th member, Stephen Houston, said of the network: “It’s the ideal opportunity for individuals with experience, equity and contacts to gain access to the |potentially lucrative investments.

“Due to the economic climate, many small start-ups have found it tough to find funding for their business ideas. halo offers Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs a route to market and support for their growth plans.

“This, in turn, helps to generate growth and employment within the local economy — creating a ‘rising tide’ for the whole community.”

Based at the Northern Ireland Science Park, halo is funded by |Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland with the purpose of stimulating Angel investing in NI-based companies. It holds its next investment forum in April.

Alan Watts, halo director, said: “The companies seeking investment not only receive financial aid to get their concepts off the ground — they also gain the business background, skills, experience and contacts that come with the Angel.

“I would encourage individuals who meet the Angel criteria to come forward.”