Business angels are generally more familiar with investing in high-growth startups, but a recent event at Halo, the NI business angel network, resulted in a £28,000 “investment” into the NI Hospice.
In a UK first, the charity did a full pitch alongside more conventional businesses to more than 50 angels at a Halo meeting at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners. Five anonymous angels “invested” £5,000 each, while £3,000 was raised from a table ballot on the night.
The funding will now help towards fitting out three rooms at the new NI Hospice on Somerton Road in Belfast.
“This is a testament to the angel investment community in Northern Ireland,” said Halo programme director Alan Watts.
“This is not about the traditional return on investment they seek out. Rather, this is putting the fruits of their own investments to good use for the whole community.”
Heather Weir, NI Hospice CEO, said, “The Halo team put us through their normal rigorous training programme to help us get the pitch just right for such a discerning audience. It was very nerve-wracking to pitch in this way – I now know how the pitching companies feel. But it was so worth it, thanks to the generosity of the NI angel audience.”
The new hospice, the first purpose-built dementia friendly facility in the UK will open in Spring 2016.