Angel jpg

Irish American tech group spreads wings with angel investment

Angel jpg

Angel jpg


MAD MAN: New York Digital Irish founder, Feargall Kenny, outside the Madison Avenue offices of his recruitment company Glenborn.

By Mairtin O'Muilleoir
letters@irishecho.com

LikeCharity, a Dublin company seeking investment in the U.S., has won the support of an Irish American technology network which has just made its first “angel” investment.

Set up originally as a meeting place for Irish Americans working in the tech sector, the New York Digital Irish has now spun-off an investment group dubbed the Irish Diaspora Angels.

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And their debut investment has gone to Dublin-based start-up LikeCharity, which delivers marketing campaigns for not-for-profits.

Network founder Feargall Kenny, whose Glenborn e-commerce recruitment company is based on Madison Avenue, says the investment group was a logical next step for the Digital Irish.

“We have about a thousand members in the New York Digital Irish,” says Kenny, “and every two months we bring four start-ups from Ireland, north and south, to present to a Big Apple audience.

“To date, we’ve had about seventy companies through and we’ve managed to make thousands of introductions which hopefully have helped them move to the next stage.

"But since we were always being asked about funding, we thought it was time to bring together those in the Digital Irish who wanted to go a little further and invest in the start-ups coming before us. We teamed up with serial entrepreneur, angel investor and fellow Irishman David Beatty, and thus was born Irish Diaspora Angels.”

Adds Dubliner Kenny, who came here 21 years ago and stayed courtesy of the Morrison Visa program: “We’ve created an affinity group of Irish American and Irish expat accredited investors who are willing to make angel investments in great opportunities which have already been vetted in Ireland.

“If our angel investors lose their money — and they will work hard to ensure these companies succeed — they still know that they have helped create a bunch of jobs in Irish firms and made introductions here which could prove crucial for these exciting young companies.”

LikeCharity founder Tadhg O’Toole has given the heaven-sent investment the thumbs-up: "LikeCharity is delighted to have secured investment from the Irish Diaspora Angels," he said.

"In addition to investment, the introductions and insights into the U.S. market are invaluable to us right now."

You can find out more online about the New York Digital Irish at http://www.ny.digital.irish and the Irish Diaspora Angels at
https://irishdiasporaangels.proseeder.com/site/displayPage.do?siteId=1372475894708&pageId=3102.