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Entrepreneurs seek angels in Dragon's Den

By Clare Weir

UP to 80 'angel investors' have met entrepreneurs in Co Down who need up to £500,000 funding for new business ideas.

The 'Dragon's Den' type pitch event at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry was attended by eight firms looking for money and mentorship to grow their businesses. It was organised by Halo, which has raised £5m to support new and growing firms, and sponsored by accountants John MacMahon and Co.

Among the angels who attended was Newry entrepreneur Michael O'Neill, a former director of First Derivatives and a key investor in Fred Daly Golf, inventors of the next generation 'Peanut Putters' – recently adopted by ladies world number one, Inbee Park.

He said that the city has plenty of business potential: "I have been investing in local start-up companies for some years now and I know from first-hand experience that there is a lot of talent in Northern Ireland and some very capable and innovative entrepreneurs."

Among the Newry firms there were Dealtronic, owned by former publican Peter McCaul, and Trailblazer Tech, represented by Jerome Finnegan.

Also there were Heavenly Tasty Organics, ILoveQC, Art On Fashion, Goprezzo, Shotclip and Redburn Solutions.

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