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Tech financing urged

THE Government should use cash to be set aside by the two main banks for seed capital financing to create a multimillion euro co-investment fund to help support early-stage technology and life science enterprises.

That's according to Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), the national network for angel investing in Ireland today.

HBAN said that the combined €40 million sum that is planned to be used by Bank of Ireland and AIB as seed capital for Enterprise Ireland-supported ventures should instead be used to set up a co-investment fund, along the lines of similar initiatives operating in several other European countries.

The proposed co-investment fund should work on the basis that any investments by business angels through a formalised syndicate will be matched under the same terms by public sector funds, said HBAN.

"We believe that an Irish co-investment fund would allow for individual investors and investment syndicates to be systematically matched with appropriate opportunities," said Diane Roberts, National Director with HBAN.

"In turn, this would support the creation of an angel capital industry in Ireland, where high tech entrepreneurs will be able to access essential working capital.

"This co-investment fund model is already working in a number of countries, including Belgium, Portugal and Scotland."