Dragon’s Den - meet Facebook!

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Derry-based Technology Company Seedups launch their full service on February 1.

Developed as a crowdfunding platform for start-ups to match with a growing network of investors, the company have already hit a number of milestones since their beta launch. Founder Michael Faulkner explained the concept of the business as “networking new entrepreneurs with angel type investors who are looking for the best new start-ups in which to invest.”. The business model has beendescribed by an existing Seedups investor as ‘Dragons Den meets Facebook’.

Seedups had its soft launch in November last year and in little over two months has attracted over 200 entrepreneurs from Ireland and the UK raising funds for new start-up ventures. Industry interest has come from the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, India and even further afield.

The company is in active talks with a range of international partners and will be attending the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin Texas as part of a delegation from Ireland. While the Northern Irish economy may lag behind the rest of the UK, a strong entrepreneurial spirit exists, with the number of startups in Northern Ireland raising by 30% year on year over 2009-10. This is well ahead of the national average, which experienced 13% growth for the same period.

Despite these promising statistics, local companies are experiencing global problems. Many economies are finding support from traditional funding streams have slowed: “banks are less willing to entertain risky projects such as start-ups and as such, those with the business ideas, and have a go attitude to setting up are being hampered with the adverse funding environment” said Mr. Faulkner.

The growing pool of investors on Seedups, which stands at 55 providing 3.6 million in seed capital, can see the benefit in seeding start up investments both from a social and investment perspective. Seedups are now calling on technology based start-ups raising £25,000 up to €250,000 in start-up or expansion capital to get set up with the service and start interacting with Investors on the platform.