Millions of euro were up for grabs last night by a group of 11 startup companies that emerged from the National Digital Research Centre's accelerator programme. They made their pitches to a group of international investors.
Among them was Shelley Bays of the Kerietsu Forum. The Kerietsu Forum has bases in 37 locations across the globe. Since its foundation in 2000, it has invested over $600m in a range of projects.
Shelley Bays said the projects presented to them last night were of great variety and developed to a very high standard. "They ranged from the hi-tech "I can make your life easier" type of projects in areas like mentoring and tutoring to clean tech and wind power projects," she explained.
Ms Bays said the main thing they look for when making investment decisions is the team structure. "Most people think we look at the project first, but it's the team we look for primarily," she said. "We also look for the size of the market they are pitching at and if there's a real opportunity to be had. We look for the development trajectory and we ask if the milestones are realistic. We also take the competition into account."
She explained that the most successful pitches usually come from individuals who display the right blend of confidence and humility. "Some people make the mistake of arrogance. A lot of people think it's easy and it's not," she said.
On making investment decisions, Shelly Bays said the prudent investor goes away and thinks about a project before committing. "Some investors have a gut feeling and they write a cheque straight away. We put forward this idea of a more studied approach. We think it's best to evaluate the situation and talk to like minded investors before making decisions," she said.
MORNING BRIEFS - Up to €65m is to be made available by the Department of Enterprise for co-investment in seed funds. The Minister has issued a call to fund managers to signal their interest in establishing funds for investment in high potential start ups.
*** Euro zone finance ministers are gathering in Luxembourg today to try to hammer out a deal on Greek debt but the Greek finance minister is not optimistic of a positive outcome today. Athens is facing default in under two weeks unless a deal is struck very quickly. According to a report on Bloomberg, Ireland is among an ever growing group of countries that are making contingency plans for a Greek exit from the euro.
*** The US Federal Reserve has given a broad hint that it is about to start increasing interest rates again. At the end of the bank's two day policy meeting last night, Fed chair Janet Yellen said most policy makers were expecting a rate hike this year, which she said would be gradual once they started. Rates have been close to zero now since 2008, but firm indications are now emerging that they will opt for a rate increase in September. That would make them the first major central bank to start increasing rates after a succession of rate cuts right across the globe since the onset of the global financial crisis.
*** It was once perhaps the preserve of business people getting into the city, but more and more leisure travellers are now opting to fly into London City Airport when visiting the English capital. CityJet - which flies daily between Dublin and London City - reported its busiest month ever on the route in May. It carried 23,000 passengers - a 50% increase on the figure recorded in May of last year.
*** The US Treasury Department has said a redesigned $10 note, that is due to go into circulation in 2020, will feature a woman. They have not identified who that woman will be yet but it will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. Former US political leaders - all white men - currently headline US notes. Women have featured on coins in the US but they were in limited circulation.