We are pleased to announce that we have been re-appointed as the delivery agents for Invest Northern Ireland’s Propel Programme.
Propel is a one year enterprise development programme that takes people with a business idea on a journey to commercialisation; from prototype to product; to sales and new customers; seeking funding along the way to fuel export growth and local employment. At the end you will be able to stand and pitch for investment, present your business plan and do business internationally.
In the past three years over 30 new Northern Ireland based companies on the Propel programme have developed new markets, sought and gained over £3m investment and are already employing 50 people. Now we need more determined entrepreneurs to build on this success with three planned programmes to run between now and November 2015, with the first kicking off in February 2013 with an application date of 22nd January 2013.
Invest Northern Ireland is running a series of regional awareness seminars to launch the latest programme which will provide startups with high quality training, one to one mentoring, workshops, networking opportunities and financial support. The sessions will take place in the week commencing 10th December and will be held in Newry, Omagh, Derry/Londonderry, Ballymena and Belfast.
To find out more about the information sessions and book a place, click here.
Alternatively you can call 0870 4954841, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the programme website www.propelprogramme.co.uk or follow the Propel Programme twitter feed here.
The Propel Programme 2012 came to close yesterday with the conclusion being marked with an awards dinner event, held at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast. Guest speaker Alastair Hamilton, CEO Invest NI, addressed the audience and made particular remark to the achievements of past participants of the programme, and the central role export focused innovative businesses have in the Northern Ireland economy.
The awards event was held to acknowledge the efforts and progress of all of the participating companies on the programme, with a number of special awards given to 5 of the startup businesses.
Propel Company of the Year – Okotech, Janette O’Hagan
Best Final Investor Pitch – GripZone, Fergus Wallace
Business Which Made Most Progress - School Apps Kit, Richard Johnston
Best Go To Market Strategy – NoSho, Collette McCrarren
John Butler Best Networker - Adoreboard, Chris Johnston
Our inaugural Angel Meetup event was deemed a success with over 150 delegates in attendance who heard a group of leading angel investors share their insight and experiences with a packed audience. Media personality and angel investor Gavin Duffy compared the event, with investors including Bill Laio of SOS Ventures, Tadgh O’Toole of Bloom Equity and Danny Moore of Loughshore Investments amongst the panel and speakers.
It also gave Diane Roberts of Xcell Partners an opportunity to launch a new investment initiative Colman Equity which will have hubs in both Belfast and Dublin.
“We’re open for investors; we’re open for entrepreneurs,” she said. Roberts also reflected on the new breed of start-ups that are emerging in Ireland.
“We’ve seen lots of new words emerging in recent times,” she said, “such as lean-start-ups, to reflect the change.” However, Roberts said that these start-ups need to be funded.
“We need to have a robust angel community. We now have eight additional syndicates across the country.”
According to Roberts, the aim of future Angel MeetUps in Ireland will be to share knowledge about angel investing, while also giving both self-starters and investors a forum to network. “Ultimately, it’s about funding start-ups,” she said.
Further details about the event can be found at Silicon Republic, who done an excellent job of covering the event. Thanks also go to all the event sponsors and in particular to Eoghan Jennings and the entire team at StartupbootcampDublin. Take a bow to Alison and Tom.
Future Angel Meetup events are planned for this year, both in Dublin and Belfast.
Photos: Read More
We are pleased to announce we are hosting Angel Meetup 2012, on 18th April 2012 in Dublin.
This inaugural event, targeting both Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs is uniquely designed to discuss the hot topics of the Business Angel Community and to showcase four innovative companies raising finance demonstrating what Irish based entrepreneurs have to offer.
Speakers include, Gavin Duffy, Entrepreneur & Irish Dragon’s Den Presenter; Bill Liao, Entrepreneur & Micro Angel; Danny Moore of Loughshore Investments; Diane Roberts from the event host Xcell Partners; Nelson Gray, an experienced Scottish investor; Accomplished business leader Leslie Buckley. We are delighted to announce the internationally renowned Bill Payne as our keynote speaker. Accomplished, award winning, experienced and here in Dublin, Bill will be sharing his wealth of knowledge and insights into angel investment with us. Don’t miss this chance to listen, meet and possibly pitch your business idea.
Come meet the leaders in angel investment on the island – be there! Book your place
Unique Event. With the vision to make this the place for entrepreneurs, seed funds, and the Angel community to meet, network, and to learn. We aim to make the Angel community more accessible and open to the startup community in Ireland, and help the community to build relationships with other co-investors, seed funds, VC community, and enterprise agencies, across the island.
Calling all start ups! If you are a start-up company seeking to raise seed capital from angels, we want to hear from you! We are offering four invigorating companies the exclusive opportunity to pitch at Ireland’s first Angel Meetup and importantly avail of 1-1 mentoring in advance with Bill Payne.
Xcell Partners are delighted to announce they have moved offices in Dublin to Startup Bootcamp, 35A Barrow Street, Dublin 4. Please feel free to drop in any time!
The first Propel networking event of 2012 was held on 9th February in Belfast. This was an exclusive gathering for the current Invest NI Propel Programme participants to share their business ideas and connect with the wider business community. We were fortunate to have Dylan Collins give a keynote speech to the group, sharing his 7 steps to entrepreneurial success.
Bill Scott, Executive Director Invest NI, who also addressed the group, stressed the importance of the programme and its’ positive economic impact.
Those in attendance included current and past Propel Programme participants, investors and a range of business executives from across the region.
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland congratulated 15 of Northern Ireland’s brightest entrepreneurs for making it through to the second phase of Invest NI’s Propel programme at the Ramada Plaza hotel at Shaw’s Bridge.
Speaking at the programmes inaugural workshop Mr Hamilton said: “The Propel programme offers local entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to turn innovative ideas into high growth, export focused businesses.”
“The 15 companies represent areas of growth for our economy. They include businesses in the renewables and environmental sectors, software and App developers, and niche manufacturing and recycling businesses. Each of them has demonstrated good export potential which we hope this programme will help them achieve.”
“We have already demonstrated that this type of business support is good for our economy. Last year 18 companies completed this programme and already they have created 17 high value jobs, and we anticipate a further 39 new jobs will be created over the next 12 months. Five of the companies have secured equity investment totalling more than £925,000.”
Janette O’Hagan from Okotech Ltd, which has developed an innovative product to revolutionise the control energy in homes and businesses was one of the successful candidates who made it through to Phase 2.
Janette O’Hagan said: “Being able to progress with this programme is a fantastic development for our business at this stage. It will allow me to focus my efforts 100% on the continued development of our product and the market potential. Our HeatBOSS product is designed to help our customers to use energy more efficiently, thus saving up to 30% of their heating costs.
“At a time of rising energy prices we can see huge potential for our business both domestically and in overseas markets. I hope that through my participation in Propel that we can bring our product to market within the next six months, something that will ensure we capture a significant share of our potential market.
“Propel has given me the opportunity to learn the business ropes from experienced and successful mentors and also meet many of Northern Ireland’s brightest entrepreneurs along the way.”
Press Release issued by Invest Northern Ireland (Friday 02 September 2011)
We have moved into our new office in Newry. Complete with meeting facilities and incubator offices available from September.
To celebrate we are hosting a ‘open house’ between 4-6 this coming Friday, 1st July. Everyone is welcome to drop in and say hello. There is street parking is available, but there is also ample paid parking to the rear of the office in the car park close to the cathedral.
Map showing 9 St. Colman’s Park Newry BT34 2BX.
Coverage of the Propel Programme in the Irish Times.
Programme helps propel barber to brand leader
An Invest NI-funded boot camp for budding entrepreneurs grooms businesses for success
A 987-mile round trip from Edinburgh to Bristol fuelled by a desire to change “the way men think about grooming” might not seem like the easiest way to get a new business venture off the ground.
But for Belfast entrepreneur Jason Shankey it is all in a day’s work when it comes to making the transition from “barber to brand leader”. Shankey, who trained as a barber in London before launching his “men only grooming” concept in 1997, last year decided it was time to build on his brand.
After 15 years at the cutting edge of the men’s grooming sector and successfully building a franchise business across the UK, Shankey decided to launch a range of “Expert” hair and skin hair products. Shankey believed it was a logical step for him to help clients look great not only in the salon but also at home.
Today his products are available in high-end department stores the length and breadth of the UK – hence his 987-mile trip in his Jason Shankey-branded Mini last month to meet all the retailers now stocking his male grooming range.
Read the full article here.
Blog post on syncni.com here.
Applications are now open for the Propel Programme. To find our more about the programme take a look at the Propel Programme website.
Propel is a business support programme provided by Invest Northern Ireland designed to help export focused start up businesses. Propel aims to educate, to challenge, to support and above all to get the best out of the business owner and accelerate the growth of their business. Propel is not simply a training course. It is a programme that sets rigorous challenges to the participants. It is designed for entrepreneurs with business ideas that have export potential and the ability to scale up within 12 months. The programme of support will not suit every business. It is specifically for business ideas that are innovative, are knowledge based and can demonstrate the potential to export and create local employment.
Xcell are teaming up to run and walk the Newry Marathon on the 19th May 2011. We will be raising funds for two charities, the Southern Area Hospice in Newry, Northern Ireland and for Pratham Shiksha a school in Jaipur India, providing an education to many children who may not otherwise receive it.
Go here to donate
The HBAN Business Angel Conference is the largest knowledge and networking event of its kind for angel investors in Ireland. This event attracts a targeted audience of Ireland’s top entrepreneurs and most active angel investors.
Last year’s conference brought together 80 of Ireland’s angel investment community to share tips, tricks, and experiences of investing in Irelands innovative knowledge sector. The 2011 Business Angel Conference will see contributions from experienced international angels and experts in private equity.
Event Date: Wednesday 23rd March 2011,
Time: 8.30am – 1.00pm
Location: Westin Hotel, Dublin
Find out more here
The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), the national network for angel investing in Ireland, has today announced the establishment of four new investment syndicates that will be targeting opportunities in the technology, telecommunications, life sciences and renewable energy fields.
HBAN said the four syndicates – Irrus Investments, Reddo Partners, the Technology Investment Group, and Clean Technologies – expect to invest at least €10 million between them over the next three years, largely in early stage, indigenous enterprises. HBAN was set up last year as a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland. To find out more visit the HBAN website.
We are proud to announce that we were selected by Enterprise Ireland to deliver the EnterpriseSTART programme. It follows a successful delivery of the programme for this client for one year.
If you have ideas for an innovative, export focused start-up business or are considering entrepreneurship as a career option this programme might just help. The EnterpriseSTART introduction workshop series will help you understand and evaluate the entrepreneurship process, discover what it involves and assist you in determining if it is the right choice for you. Find out more information by visiting the Enterprise Ireland site here.
HBAN is delighted to announce that Ireland’s first Business Angel Conference will take place on Wednesday June 16th 2010. This is the first conference of its kind specifically dedicated to Ireland’s Angel Capital Industry; a knowledge sharing event to upskill Ireland’s private technology investors. The Business Angel Conference is a series of workshops on Best Practice and Strategic Angel Investing given by International Experts and local veterans of Angel Investing.
The recruitment drive for the Propel Programme is in full swing with Invest Northern Ireland’s Sharon Poulson and Diane Roberts programme director driving the promotion of the programme to the local entrepreneurial community. Some further coverage here at Business and Leadership.
Sharon and Diane, and some past participants of the Transform Programme talk about the programme on Belfast Telegraph TV, here.
Diane will also be attending the Digitial Circle lunch event at 12-2pm at the Presidents Club, Belfast. find out more.
Xcell Partners is delighted to announce that we have been selected to deliver the Propel Programme for Invest Northern Ireland. The contract awarded for a three year period will see Xcell Partners deliver the programme in its’ entirety from recruitment, promotion, delivery and management. Xcell Partners will partner with some leading delivery partners to deliver the programme including Martin York of G4H, Mary Sadlier of SR Capital, innovation expert Chris Kurjan and leading Irish authority on leadership John Butler. The Propel Programme builds on the previous Transform Programme ran jointly by Invest Northern Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. More details of the programme can be found by visiting http://www.propelprogramme.co.uk/. It aims to take entrepreneurs with a business idea in its’ infancy through a cohesive learning and development programme with mentoring, workshop and other support mechanisms. Applications are invited for participation now with the first workshop phase commencing in October.
A key difference with this programme will be a two phase approach, where an initial group of 30 entrepreneurs will be drawn down to 15 to complete the second phase. Invest Northern Ireland expects the interest for the programme to be very popular.