Pictured at Catalyst’s Inbound Investors event in the Europa Hotel in Belfast are Kieran Dalton, Head of Scaling at Catalyst; Patrick Magee Chief Commercial Officer at British Business Bank; Clare Guinness, Director of Innovation City Belfast; Alan Watts, Director of Funding at Catalyst; and Isabelle O’Keefe, Principal of Sure Valley Ventures.
More than 80 investors meeting with local start-ups and scale ups during two-day programme.
Northern Ireland startups and scale up companies have been given the opportunity to meet and pitch their companies to more than 80 venture capital investors from London and the rest of the UK at a two-day event organised by Catalyst.
Run in partnership with the British Business Bank, Belfast City Council and Innovation City Belfast, the Inbound Investors programme will see Belfast play host to a range of external Venture Capitalists, Family Offices and Syndicates.
Among the well-known investment firms meeting innovative Northern Ireland tech founders are Ada Ventures; Amadeus Capital Partners, Deepbridge Capital; Downing LL; Draper Esprit; Foresight Group; Forward Partners; Fuel Ventures; IQ Capital Partners; Mercia Asset Management; Octopus Ventures Ltd; Par Equity; and Playfair Capital.
While some of these VCs have already invested in Northern Ireland companies, many are taking an interest in local companies for the first time and are coming to Belfast primed to explore investment opportunities.
Alan Watts, director of Director of Funding at Catalyst and organiser of Inbound Investors said: “We have seen interest in innovative, high potential Northern Ireland companies growing over the past few years from the UK and international VC community, which can be seen in some of the funding rounds secured by firms like Sidequest, Cloudsmith, Cumulus Neuroscience and B-Secur over the past 12 months.
“Inbound Investors will see the largest number of funders ever to come to NI at the same time and represents a great chance for more of our companies with global aspirations to meet them one-to-one and accelerate their path to securing potential funding. The VCs in attendance are interested not just in companies who are raising now, but also in building relationships towards future potential rounds. We hope a number of deals will originate from the connections established here.”
Inbound Investors is the first significant inbound conference in Belfast since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Steered by a committee involving representatives from the main NI funds, the event’s goal is to give external investors an understanding of the opportunities in the NI ecosystem and the culture which is generating good investment deals in the region.
The investors in attendance include early stage specialised SEIS funds, early-stage investors in pre-revenue companies and growth investors looking to expand companies with £1m+ revenues. They include specialists in media, consumer, female founded companies, clean tech, trans-Atlantic, social impact, health and life science, and more.
Some of the Northern Ireland-founded companies taking part in panels or being matched with investors include Cattle Eye, We Are Paradoxx, Statsports, Lightyear, Trimedika, B-Secur and Locate a Locum.
Catalyst is an independent, not-for-profit organisation focused on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, supporting transformative businesses and developing Northern Ireland’s tech industry.