Business ‘Angels’ line up new software firm

A major Longford based business investment programme is reportedly on the brink of attracting a new software company to the county.

A major Longford based business investment programme is reportedly on the brink of attracting a new software company to the county.

Investors behind the Longford Business Angel Network believe they are close to making a telling announcement as it looks to entice new and potentially highly successful business start-ups to the county.

Geraldine Stewart, one of the members of the Angel Network that last year put together €1m to provide start-up capital and mentoring services to new businesses, said the past few months couldn’t have gone much better for the organisation.

“The network was originally part of the Longford Business Forum,” she stated following an event which was fronted by the Forum and local firm Stephens Cooke and Associates.

“Since it started out last year, it has reviewed a large number of businesses at various stages of development. Besides investment, a high degree of mentoring has been going on, with a view to taking various projects to the next level.”

One such project is the as of yet unnamed “software related” enterprise Ms Stewart and other Angel members hope will centre their headquarters in Longford.

“It (company) is part of Enterprise Ireland’s high potential start ups,” she said, maintaining it was simply too early to tell as to how many jobs could follow in the coming weeks.

“At the minute it is at proof of concept stage, but that is only part of the work that has gone on. Not all the companies you see are investor ready. It does take a while for start ups to get themselves in that position,” she added.

The Carrickedmond business coach will assume the mantle of the Angel Network’s main co-ordinator in the coming year and she outlined ambitious plans for the future of the Angel Network.

“We (Angels) will be reviewing our own syndicate and seeing what we have learned as well as looking at other syndicates in order for us to build an even stronger group next year,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ms Stewart was speaking in the aftermath of last Thursday’s pre-budget seminar, dubbed ‘Recession Proof Your Business’.

One of the event’s keynote speakers James Morgan, a business consultant with Stephens Cooke and Associates, also revealed his own hopes of attracting further enterprise to the county over the coming months.

“A company from Italy and through the help of Connect Ireland (government linked scheme) are looking at properties in Longford to set up in,” he explained.

As for the two-hour workshop that also included speeches from decorated Olympic performance consultant, Gerry Duffy, who gave an inspirational tallk.

“The event went very well I must say,” said Mr Morgan.

“A large part of being successful is about selling your business and treating your staff properly which would have to be done anyway even if there was no recession. It’s like what JR Ewing said: ‘You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar’.”