Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gasta Tech Update: Sophia Search and Halo

Gasta Tech Update: Sophia Search gets massive funding round and Halo pick up angel network award

Heavenly growth helps Halo to pick up angel network award

A Northern Ireland business investors network has fought off stiff competition to win UK Business Angel Network of the Year.

The Halo network, based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast, said the award marked "amazing" growth over the last year after it expanded from 35 to 135 investors.

Halo is supported by Invest Northern Ireland and InterTrade Ireland with the purpose of helping private investors (business angels) investing in Northern Ireland-based companies.

The network was also recognised for the establishment of only the second Enterprise Investment Scheme approved fund in the UK - a method to drive business angel investing.

It was also commended for developing several angel workshops and investee company training programmes, demonstrating non-financial means to support entrepreneurs and angels in Northern Ireland.

Richard Ferguson, Halo manager, said: "This recognition puts Halo and the Northern Ireland Science Park at the forefront of the angel investment industry in the UK and can only strengthen Halo's presence and reach here, to attract not only local investors, but those from all around the UK.

Angel investors from the mainland bring not just new money to the region, but also much experience and learning for our local angels."

He added: "We now have a world-leading Angel Investment Network with an accolade to prove it, but in years to come the true legacy will be the new breed of Northern Ireland companies that Halo helps create, who will in turn lead the world in their respective sectors."

Belfast technology company SOPHIA Search recently won £800,000 seed funding, the single largest angel investment ever made in Northern Ireland.

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