A NEWLY formed group of investors targeting food start-ups has ploughed about €300,000 into its first project, sports nutrition group Elivar.
The group, called the HBAN Food Syndicate, consists of 15 anonymous investors who all have extensive experience in the food industry.
Part of the countrywide HALO network of investors, the Food Syndicate has made "significant" funds available to invest in ambitious food companies. Members invest their own money and provide advice and expertise.
They are led by Alison Cowzer, managing director of The Company of Food, a Dublin-based business whose sole remit is to help grow food companies. The investors are looking for start-ups that are highly scalable, whose founders have a track record of success.
Their first investment, Elivar, has now raised a total of €700,000 – with Enterprise Ireland matching the funding provided by the Food Syndicate and other private investors. Founded last year, Elivar develops a range of sports nutrition products tailored for the over-35 age group.
Founders Donal Hanrahan and Len Dunne trained and rowed at an international level in their 20s and now, in their 40s, are active in endurance sports.
They found that while there is an abundance of sports nutrition products for young athletes, there was nothing tailored for the needs of their specific age group, despite having different nutritional needs.
The company, Ms Cowzer said, should be generating sales in the multi-millions in the next couple of years. The €700,000 investment will enable it to create 10 new jobs by the end of 2015.
Ms Cowzer is pictured above with Donal Hanrahan (centre) and Michael Culligan, national director, HBAN (right).