Meet Belfast’s leading tech investors
If you’ve got an idea for an early stage start-up, there are plenty of investment opportunities right on your doorstep in Belfast – a city with innovation at its heart.
Northern Ireland’s largest local venture capital fund, Crescent Capital was an early investor in Andor Technology. Founded by Queen’s alumni, Dr. Hugh Cormican, Dr. Donal Denvir and Mr. Mike Pringle right here at Queen’s, the company designs, manufactures and sells scientific imaging equipment. Today, Crescent’s investments range from a multimillion investment in a new clean electricity power plant in Belfast to independent start-ups, such as baby product designers, Shnuggle.
Originally established in 1989 as a spin out from Queens University business, Andor now employs over 400 staff across the group at its offices in Belfast, Japan, China, Switzerland and the US. Since Crescent's investment in 1997, Andor's sales have grown by around 30% per annum every year.
Clarendon Fund Managers
Clarendon Fund Managers are managing NI’s new £50million Co-Fund which aims to stimulate more private investment in Northern Ireland companies with high growth potential. The previous fund of over £12million invested in 37 high growth companies including Cirdan Imaging – who have teamed up with Queen’s for a £1.4million R&D project supporting 46 new jobs in the precision medical market - and Sisaf, located in Catalyst Inc (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park).
Cirdan designs, manufactures, and supplies innovative software and imaging solutions that help to enhance and speed up the diagnostic process. Our systems are currently helping to increase efficiency and streamline operations in clinical laboratories across six continents.
Bank of Ireland’s venture capital fund, Kernel Capital is one of the largest and most active sources of equity finance for technology companies on the island of Ireland. Among their most recent projects is a £1.2million investment in Causeway Sensors, a Queen’s spin-out company. Founded by Dr Robert Pollard, Professor Robert Bowman and Dr John Nelson, Causeway Sensors is working on a solution to antibiotic resistance. The team has developed a sensor that allows doctors to distinguish between different types of infections in real-time, allowing them to curb the use of ineffective drugs.
Real-Time Diagnostic solutions
Invest NI is the regional business development agency for Northern Ireland, offering support to local businesses. Recent investments include the creation of 28 jobs at Fusion Antibodies – a Queen’s spin-out company that provides a range of engineering services for the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications. Invest NI has also recently offered Novosco – the Belfast-based IT firm- a £1.2million investment towards 150 new staff as part of the company’s £20million expansion.
L-R Alastair Hamilton, CEO, Invest NI and Patrick McAliskey, Managing Director, Novosco Managed cloud provider Novosco is recruiting almost 150 additional staff in a £20million expansion project. Invest Northern Ireland is offering the company over £1.2m towards the creation of 114 of the new roles to be based at its Belfast headquarters.
TechstartNI helps entrepreneurs build successful technology businesses from the ground up. They were among the initial backers behind Liopa, a Belfast start-up that has developed innovative lip-reading technology following ten years of research at Queen’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT). TechstartNI is among the backers taking Liopa to the next level with a $1m boost.
The Halo Business Angel Network
The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), which serves as a go-between to bring start-ups and investors together, is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland. This year, they announced that its new London Syndicate plans to invest €3 million in Irish start-ups over the next three years. The news follows a HBAN partnership with the New York-based Digital Irish Angels (DIA) to encourage US-based investors who want to back early-stage Irish companies.
HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, today announces that its new London Syndicate plans to invest €3 million in Irish start-ups over the next three years.
Growth Loan Fund
The Growth Loan Fund provides Northern Ireland SMEs with access to growth finance. Belfast-based BLK BOX Fitness recently secured a £300,000 loan to invest in a new e-commerce platform to drive overseas sales, fund working capital and expand into new markets. The company is set to take on an additional 12 staff over the next 18 months as part of its growth plans.
Belfast-based BLK BOX Fitness has secured a £300,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund to invest in a new e-commerce platform to drive overseas sales, fund working capital and expand into new markets. The company is set to take on an additional 12 staff over the next 18 months as part of its growth plans.
Catalyst Inc (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park), is home to some of Northern Ireland’s most successful companies. The enterprise centre currently houses 200 companies employing over 3,000 people and they recently unveiled a 10-year plan to develop 1m sq ft of office space and to create 5,000 jobs. Catalyst Inc are behind the annual Invent awards aimed at discovering the product with the most commercial potential as well as showcasing Northern Ireland’s flourishing knowledge economy.
Catalyst Inc is delighted to be working in partnership with Danske Bank on plans to open a new co-working space in Belfast city centre. The ground floor of Danske Bank's headquarters in Belfast will be converted into a brand new co-working space specifically for financial technology start-ups.
Discover more about Queen's spin-out companies