Third Anniversary Marks New Developments for Techstart NI

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  • Techstart NI’s position as a key provider of funding and advice to NI’s technology ecosystem has been reinforced, after its two lead partners in Northern Ireland, Hal Wilson and Jamie Andrews, have reached agreement to become majority shareholders in the business, Techstart Ventures.

    Coinciding with the third anniversary of the launch of techstart NI, the move has been welcomed by parent group, Pentech Ventures.

    Sandy McKinnon Partner of Pentech Ventures said:  “The new structure facilitates the NI-based team to grow whilst continuing to leverage the Pentech Ventures network which, with our active funds, can help broaden the options for techstart companies looking for sources of later-stage investment. We look forward to continuing to work with Hal, Jamie and the team to bring capital and advice to Northern Ireland’s best technology entrepreneurs.”

    Hal Wilson commented: “Having a broader team with operational experience on the ground whilst remaining part of the Pentech Ventures network is the best of both worlds for Techstart Ventures.  We are delighted to welcome John Murray and Audrey Osborne to the team.  John has a strong heritage in successful technology companies, having been in the senior management teams of both Amphion Semiconductor and Lagan Technologies, businesses that both raised significant capital and delivered meaningful exits.  Audrey has great operational experience in product management having worked for a local tech start up for the past four years”.

    Jamie Andrews added: “With our local leadership team now strengthened we look forward to building on the progress achieved over the past three years and to helping the best teams achieve their ambitions".

    Established by Invest NI as part of its Access to Finance strategy, techstart NI provides support for early stage technology businesses and university spin-outs through its £17m equity fund, two £1.5m university funds and a £3.6m proof of concept grant fund.

    William McCulla, Director Corporate Finance and Property Solutions at Invest NI, commented, “Techstart NI plays an important role in supporting the vital growth of technology businesses in Northern Ireland and in helping to boost the private sector by ensuring that high growth potential companies which are just starting out are not held back because they can’t access finance.  

    “The fund has demonstrated that there is a real need for seed capital in Northern Ireland by already investing in 26 start up and early stage technology companies and has provided proof of concept grants for over 160 innovative ideas,. Having a larger team whilst maintaining the broader connectivity with the Pentech Network is also welcomed".   

    Invest NI’s funding for techstart NI is part financed by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

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