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Business Angel Partnership - "A huge appetite among investors"

17 July, 2007

Angel investors are typically successful business leaders looking for a little more adventure in their investing life. They are often retired business owners or executives who provide capital for business start-ups, usually in exchange for a share in the company.

But angel investing is usually more than just a simple cash transaction, according to Lar Burke, who heads up the Business Angel Partnership in Dublin.

"Not only will they invest cash in the business, but they will also look at investing their skills, their experience, their knowledge and their expertise," he says.

The Business Angel Partnership, which is sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Intertrade Ireland and the Irish Business Innovation Centres, aims to provide a formal framework for the angel investing process in Ireland.

"We match private investors with pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early-stage and developing businesses," says Burke.

Investors and advisers initially see a brief outline of the business and the investment opportunity and, if interested, they can access a more detailed summary giving key information about the business and the investment opportunity.

Burke says there is a huge appetite among investors to get involved in the partnership. "That is reflected in the fact that we have 125 investors at this stage across the country. Eight deals have been done in the last 18 months. Around €875,000 was invested into these companies, which gives you an average of just over €100,000." Angel investing is high risk. So, what's the motivation for investors?

"One of them is obviously the return. It is a commercial decision. The second element of it is quite genuinely that a lot of investors actually want to give something back - they have skills, they have grown a business, they have been involved in business at high levels," says Burke.

Peter Bennett at Business Angels Cork on 021-7304603 or email at irelandsw@businessangels.ie

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