Capital Match recently hosted 20 UK VCs and funders for the first ever Invent Day.
Invent itself is the largest gathering of the entrepreneurial and investor community in NI, with 700 people attending what is basically an awards ceremony run like a rock concert.
However this year this was extended into an opportunity for interested investors to visit NI, get a real feel for the entrepreneurial ecosystem and also have some fun – plus attend Invent.
One section of the day which scored really highly in the feedback was a panel session of local players. These included local VCs and Seed Funds, accelerators, key university links and the Catalyst Inc Springboard programme. Funders could quickly get a feel for where the deals would come from and who were the local investors alongside whom they would be likely to invest.
Also present was the Centre for Secure Information Technologies – itself a national centre of excellence in cyber.
The day included the chance to sample local companies to illustrate the quality of the growing deal flow in NI. Positive factors for incoming investors included the supply and loyalty of local skills, the support infrastructure on display and of course realistic valuation.
As well as being impressed by how much is going on, there was also time for some fun. A guided tour of Belfast was laid on before dropping into a pub to sample ‘real Guinness’ supplied by the local VCs.
Following the success of Invent Day, there are already plans to run it again in 2019.