Apr 20 2012 Posted: 09:28 IST

The second event in the NUI Galway Executive MBA Masterclass was recently held at the J.E. Cairnes Business School.  Chaired by Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Adjunct Professor and Chair of Aer Arann, the event provided insight into business finance and investment options across the business life cycle from early stage to mature levels of growth.

The panellists were: 
• Danuta Gray, Chairman, Telefónica O2 Ireland
• Ted Webb, Managing Director, IBI Corporate Finance
• Martin Kelleher, Partner, Mason, Hayes + Curran
• Gerry Mackey, Director, Halo Business Angel Partnership, Westbic

Speaking about the challenges for early stage start-ups, Gerry Mackey from Halo Business Angel Partnership said “angel investment is particularly suited to high rish high potential start-ups.  Angel investing is private equity investment where investors contribute to the management of the business.  Angel investment is the credit union equivalent of the venture capital market”.  Many very successful global brands started from angel investment partnerships including Starbucks, Amazon and HP.

Danuta Gray, Irish Business Person of the Year 2010 and Chair of Telefónica O2 Ireland talked about growing a very successful publicly quoted company.  Danuta discussed the challenges and opportunities of bringing O2 from a start-up to demerger to acquisition by Telefónica.  She referred to the critical role that organisational culture plays in mergers and acquisitions and highlighted the need for cultures to be compatible. 

Ted Webb, IBI Corporate Finance has extensive experience in venture capital and talked about the opportunities and growth in the biotech, medical devices, IT, healthcare and food sectors nationally and internationally.  Commenting on the key challenges of venture capital, Ted said “getting the right level of investment for the right level of equity is critical”.  He talked about the importance of the management and business structure in attracting venture capital investment. 

The event was attended by the Executive MBA class, MBA alumni, and the MBA Association of Ireland management team as well as others involved in business in the locality and region.