Belfast Telegraph

Fledgling firms enter dragons' den in hunt for 'angel' funding

Fledgling companies in the north west have pitched their business ideas - Dragons' Den-style - to 50 top 'business angel' investors from across the UK and Ireland.

Firms from the clean energy, hygiene, undersea equipment and equestrian sectors took part in the event in Londonderry organised by Halo, the Northern Ireland business angel network, in partnership with the city's Chamber of Commerce and the University of Ulster.

Five companies emerged from an initial long list of applicants to win the chance to present their ideas to an audience of business people and investors willing to splash their cash on the right idea.

Business angel investment has soared in popularity as traditional funding methods continue to suffer because of the economic downturn. The Halo network has grown to over 140 angel members within the last year.

Halo director Alan Watts said the network is keen to unearth good investment opportunities wherever they are.

"This event has given some of the north west's best investment prospects a fantastic opportunity to pitch their business idea to a large number of potential angel investors from across the island and UK and we remain hopeful that they will have attracted interest," he said. "Either way, we know that all participants will have benefited from the experience."