The Bridge Network Consortium of UCC, IT Tralee, CIT and Teagasc has created a forum for nascent spinout companies across the consortium to engage with investors at an early stage to understand how to build effective strategies and pitches that can attract funding.
Established in 2017, “Meet-the-Investor” is a bi-annual forum that connects company creators with venture funders (both public and private) and seasoned entrepreneurs. Working together with UCC, the research partners have a platform that their individual scale wouldn't support. Hosted in turn by each of TTOs, selected companies from across the consortium are invited to give a short presentation, with advice from their TTO. The investors on the panel are selected for their experience in dealing with spinouts from educational institutions and are briefed on the companies by the TTO. In a confidential setting, the company and investors discuss strategy, pitch and the technology development plans for the company. The TTOs facilitate subsequent discussions and provide a feedback channel for the participants. By leveraging the critical mass of the Bridge Network Consortium, Meet-the-Investors provides a single structured learning environment and creates a pathway for impactful relationships to develop between the funders, the companies and the RPOs. “The group described the event as a fantastic way of seeing what’s going on in a short timeframe in a relaxed non-committal atmosphere” says Declan O’Mahoney, seed investor and former CEO of both HeartSine Technologies and Firecomms. Of the 6 companies that presented at the initiative launch, 3 have had subsequent follow up meetings with individual members of the investor panel.
Underpinning funding sources include: Enterprise Ireland