Silicon Dock – at the heart of Northern Ireland’s innovation ecosystem

Agri-software firm Farmwizard was acquired by the Duke of Westminster’s Wheatsheaf Investments.

Dr Norman Apsley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Science Park, talks about Halo and its first successful exit by Farmwizard…

Another important element to the Innovation Ecosystem is providing access to risk capital. NISP delivers Halo, the highly successful Business Angel Network, a joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland.

Halo’s role is to match companies with growth potential to high net worth individuals- angels - who may wish to invest in them. The programme has recorded over £9 million worth of investment since 2009. In turn, this has leveraged a further £21 million investment for the companies. Through active involvement in the UK Halo Business Angel Network, Northern Ireland companies have participated in several Pitch@Palace events, with an audience of some of the UK’s highest net worth angels.

At the North West Regional Science Park, a dedicated HALO Business Angel Network has been established (the Acorn Angels), drawn entirely from Derry/Donegal-based entrepreneurs and investors.

Halo is open to all NI companies except those operating in property or straight retail. Its first successful exit, Farmwizard, was bought by the Duke of Westminster’s Wheatsheaf Investments.

Tomorrow… The Generation Innovation Night of Ambition event and future plans