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News : Innovation Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011 - 8:11 AM

Availability of seed funding for Irish companies at highest level in 30 years
By Finfacts Team
Mar 21, 2011 - 12:07 AM

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An Irish Venture Capitalist has said that the availability of seed funds to invest in Irish companies in 2011 is at its highest level in 30 years.

Speaking at the launch of the InterTradeIreland  Annual Venture Capital Conference on Monnday, Niall Olden, founder of Kernel Capital said that this is an extremely vibrant time for Irish VCs and that there has never been a better time to start up a business in Ireland.

Olden will be amongst the speakers at the tenth Annual InterTradeIreland Venture Capital Conference, in association with Kernel Capital, and will take place at the Institute of Chartered Accountants' headquarters, Dublin, on April 7th 2011.

Paul Kerley, CEO of Norkom will be the keynote speaker at the event. Last January, BAE Systems, the UK defence contractor, agreed to buy Norkom, the Dublin-based financial software company specialising in regulatory compliance and crime detection products, for €217m.

InterTradeIreland is the cross-border enterprise agency that was established under the 1998 Belfast Agreement and it said that the conference is designed to facilitate networking between Ireland’s leading venture capitalists, business angels and start ups that are seeking funding from across the island. Investors attending the conference have access to over €250m available for new investment opportunities. The agency says the event, has attracted more than 2,000 delegates over its nine years and a further 250 attendees are expected at next months conference.

The theme of this year’s conference focuses on three key areas: securing investment, becoming self sustaining and realising the investor exit.

Speaking to launch the event, Niall Olden said: “Now is an exceptional time to set up a business and in 30 years of Irish venture capital there has never been more seed and early stage funding available than there is today. We are seeing a lot of early stage companies that are presenting very exciting technologies and innovation that is scalable globally. There has never been a better time to start a business in Ireland. Business costs are at an all time low for startups as they hire staff and lease premises at much more cost effective levels.

Ireland is at the top of the curve internationally and has an excellent infrastructure in place to support new business. I have a strong level of optimism about Ireland’s future and our ability to deliver on our objective of becoming an ‘innovation’ economy.”

Sean Gallagher, entrepreneur turned investor and board Member of InterTradeIreland added: “The future of this economy will be driven by small and medium enterprise. These enterprises require support in order to be given the opportunity to grow and prosper in a new Ireland. We know that venture backed firms outperform non-venture backed firms, create more jobs and invest more in R&D - - our focus in InterTradeIreland therefore is to transform equity raising businesses into first class investor-ready companies. In doing so, they can play a part in assisting economic recovery and growth.”

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.

Kernel Capital has €196m in active venture capital funds under management and is supported by Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the University of Limerick Foundation and NUI Galway. The company recently launched a €10m Medtech venture capital fund.

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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