06th March 2013
The 12th annual InterTradeIreland Venture Capital conference entitled, “Securing Investment in 2013” has attracted all of the major active venture capital and business angel networks from across the island to attend. With 22 VC funds and angel networks taking part, this is the highest number of investors the Venture Capital Conference has ever had taking part in the investor panel. In addition, following on from delegate feedback from the 2012 conference, InterTradeIreland introduced for the first time ‘speed networking’ for companies with investors as an integral part of the event.
The flagship event has attracted more than 2,600 delegates to date since its inception over eleven years ago. This year’s event in particular was a great success with over 350 delegates in attendance.
This year’s conference “Securing Investment in 2013” taking place in Croke Park today (March 6th 2013) will build on the experiences of companies that have been through the venture capital process and showcase the buoyant equity scene on the island, with an increasing number of venture funds actively competing for the best early stage equity opportunities.
Seán Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation said, “Our future prosperity depends on our ability to increase and sustain a high value added, internationally competitive, export-led economy. Today’s conference confirms for me that our entrepreneurial and innovative spirit is alive and well. It is a positive environment to raise equity in Ireland. The available funding for enterprises that are investor ready provides a solid opportunity for many entrepreneurs to build internationally competitive businesses.”
Amongst the keynote speakers at the conference were Paul Adams, the Global Head of Brand Design at Facebook who spoke on ‘The Future of the Web’. Paul Adams, a native of Sligo, has been hailed by Fortune magazine as one of Silicon Valley’s most wanted. Delegates also had the opportunity to hear from Johnny Walker Founder of Global Diagnostics who gave his views on creating, capturing and monetising value in a business. Amongst attendees at this year’s conference was John Holloway, Director of the European Investment Fund with responsibility for venture capital.
A new concept explored at the 2013 conference was that of crowdfunding - the funding of a company by selling small amounts of equity to a number of investors. The recent ‘pebble smartwatch’ crowdfunded by US based Kickstarter highlights the demand by investors for innovative tech products and consumer orientated gadgets. Thomas Davies of Seedrs, the first FSA regulated crowdfunding equity firm in the UK, gave his views on this relatively new but growing source of funding.
Martin Cronin, Chairman of InterTradeIreland said, “In the current economic climate it is more important than ever that knowledge and resources are shared across the island for the mutual benefit of both economies and our conference today is key to achieving this in the venture capital space. InterTradeIreland has been an active player in helping companies raise venture capital since 2002. Our objective is to assist equity raising businesses to become first class investor ready companies.”
He continued ... “InterTradeIreland continues to see a buoyant venture capital and business angel sector as essential to a strong growing economy. An example of this is the Halo Business Angel Networks across the island of Ireland which in 2012 facilitated 46 deals worth 9 million euro in direct investment from business angels, a big increase on 32 deals and 4.3 million euro in 2011. Studies undertaken on venture backed companies by the Irish and British Venture Capital Associations continue to show that these companies grow more quickly, and create more wealth and employment than other businesses.”
Drew O’Sullivan, Lead Equity Advisor with InterTradeIreland said, “At the early stage, there is a substantial amount of seed equity funding. In Ireland we are seeing approximately 40-50 deals a year, each from €500,000 to €1million, which is almost triple the level three years ago. There are also several accelerator funds that are working to get early stage companies off the ground. For longer-term funding requirements, there is interest in the commitment of €500 million by the National Pensions Reserve Fund to three new long-term funds to provide equity, credit and restructuring investment for Irish small and medium sized companies. We also look forward to the launch of the two new £60m development funds in Northern Ireland. It is a good time to be seeking equity across the island and we anticipate significant interest in the conference this year.”
InterTradeIreland offers a range of supports to early stage companies to ensure that they are better prepared as they seek to raise equity and that they are ‘investor ready’. This ranges from advisory services, education programmes, business angel finance and the All-Island Seedcorn Business Competition. The organisation has recently launched a series of monthly regional advisory clinics in Belfast, Dublin and Cork where entrepreneurs can meet on a one to one basis with the equity advisor. For more information on the range of equity supports available from InterTradeIreland visit www.intertradeireland.com/equity
For more information following the InterTradeIreland annual Venture Capital Conference please visit http://www.intertradeireland.com/vcc/ to access speaker presentations. You can also follow the post Conference conversation on Twitter - @VCC2013.
The InterTradeIreland 2013 Venture Capital conference was sponsored by Eugene F Collins and Kernel Capital.
For further information:
Morwenna Rice / Orla Benson
01 260 5000
086 194 0069 / 087 803 3262
Morwenna.email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors:
Biography of speakers:
Paul Adams, Global Head of Brand Design, Facebook
Paul Adams is the Global Head of Brand Design at Facebook. He works with the worlds leading brands and ad agencies, using his background in social research and design to help them be successful on Facebook. Previously at Facebook Paul worked in product management on Facebook's ad units, including sponsored stories and page posts.
Paul's work has been widely published and cited, and his talk on the future of the web is one of the most viewed presentations online. Fortune magazine described Paul as "one of Silicon Valley's most wanted."
Prior to Facebook, Paul led social research at Google, where his work was foundational in building Google+ including being a patent holder for Circles. He also worked on Gmail, YouTube and Mobile. Prior to Google, Paul worked in research and design consultancy for clients including the BBC, The Guardian, Vodafone, and UK Government, and as an Industrial Designer at Dyson.
Paul holds a Master of Science in Interactive Media and a Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design. He writes a popular blog at ThinkOutsideIn.com.
Johnny Walker , Founder Global Diagnostics
Johnny is a medical entrepreneur and clinically active dual qualified Interventional Radiologist and Nuclear Physician. He is an Australian medical graduate and a Fellow of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (Sydney and Perth). He was the recipient of The International Schering Scholarship for post-graduate specialist training at The Royal Post-Graduate Medical School in London and was subsequently invited to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University as a Consultant Specialist in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
Johnny founded "Imaging The South Group" in 1995 providing mobile ultrasound scans literally out of the back of a truck in remote Western Australia servicing small aboriginal communities. He integrated simple robust off-the-shelf technologies to build a secure digital web-based platform to link these small isolated fragmented communities and provide 24/7 medical diagnostics.
In 2001 Johnny scaled this "virtual network" into an international tele-diagnostics enterprise named Global Diagnostics (UK) focussing on providing tele-diagnostics to the NHS and private providers in the UK healthcare space. In 2007 Global Diagnostics (Ireland) entered the Irish market through a joint venture partnership with Centric Health ( www.centrichealth.ie) servicing the HSE and several private clients including The Hermitage Medical Clinic.
In 2008 Global Diagnostics (www.globaldiagnostics.ie) formally merged with Centric Health and based its international corporate HQ in Dublin. Johnny is a major shareholder of the combined entity and member of the Board of Directors representing the Group as its "Vision Ambassador". Centric Health provides Primary Care services through branded GP Practices and the Swiftcare Clinics ( a JV with Vhi). The company provides Medical Recruitment through its human resource arm "Locumotion" (www.Locumotion.com). Group revenues are circa €34M.
The Group employs over 450 people internationally and performs approximately half a million investigations per year via its web-based digital image transfer system, linking a stable of diagnostic imaging specialists around the clock around the world, who through the use of voice- recognition technologies deliver average turnaround times measured in minutes not days or weeks. Reports with key diagnostic images are then delivered seamlessly to the referring doctor’s desktop or mobile device.
In October 2012 Johnny has been invited to join the Singularity University Executive Program at NASA, an intense dive into accelerating technological change in an intimate forum with world experts and leading thinkers from across the technology tracks.