The launch event included a panel debate on ‘How to win Investment’ with a stellar panel of major investors. These included Andrew Sloane, Investment Lead at Accelerated Digital Ventures, Julia Groves, partner and Head of Crowdfunding at Downing LLP, Conor Clarke, Investment Associate at Eli Global and Nicola McClafferty Investment director at Draper Esprit.
Alan Watts, Director of Capital Match launched the new service saying “Capital Match provides intelligent and highly focused sources of fund-matching for high growth-potential knowledge economy companies, principally graduates from the Connect Springboard programme.
“Capital Match operates by building extensive personal relationships with multiple sources of funding largely outside Northern Ireland. These are venture capitalists, funds, family offices, syndicates, investor groups and selected experienced individual investors.
“The difference between Capital Match and say an angel network is in the laser focus of the introductions. Instead of time being wasted in meetings where it turns out investment was never likely, relatively few meetings are set up. But where they are, they are with funders who will be interested in the particular company. This saves huge amounts of time for the companies and also for the funders”.
Speaking at the launch event, Conor Clarke of Eli Global said, “As a USA based family office with a global focus, we are keen to invest in high quality companies from Northern Ireland. We see Capital Match as a great benefit as it will efficiently connect us with companies who exactly match what we are looking for.”
Fellow panelist Andrew Sloane from ADV added, ‘ADV is a venture platform, created by business builders to invest in generation-defining entrepreneurs across the UK. We’re delighted to see Capital Match launch and look forward to working with them as they match Northern Irish technology companies with the right sources of capital’
The level of ambition of companies supported by Capital Match is such that they will need £500k-£2m of initial funding. Workshops held during the formation of Capital Match showed that this is where the greatest funding gap exists in NI.
Alan commented further, “We already have the relationships with funders so the really ambitious companies don’t have go out to make them”.
200 companies employing over 3,000 engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and executives work on our campuses – Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Ballymena (opening June 2017) – enabling us to invest the surplus generated from our property operations to provide the underwriting necessary for Connect, the community-led support ecosystem that supports over 600 entrepreneurs per year in Northern Ireland, and Capital Match which provides intelligent and highly focused sources of fund-matching for high-growth-potential knowledge economy companies, principally graduates from the Connect Springboard programme.