Derry2.0 - Praying for the help of angels?

If you’re looking to raise money for your business, then angel investment is something you need to consider. The Chamber of Commerce are partnering with Halo, the NI Business Angel Network, to run one of their highly-successful investor evenings in Derry on 24th May to allow some of our best companies to pitch for finance.

by Mark Nagurski

The first step is a briefing session on 14th February at the Chamber Offices designed to help any interested companies to find out how angel investing works and give details of the forthcoming opportunities in the city. In a rapid fire one hour session you will learn:

How companies can win angel finance for growth

Why business people get involved and what they gain from it

Angel investing as an asset class and how to make money

How the new Seed EIS tax scheme changes the game

How to be invited to the Halo investment forum in Derry

The workshop runs 2pm-3pm on the 14th and you can book your place Via the Chamber Website Chambery or via

Culture Tech Fund Tips

Digital Derry’s grant fund for projects combining digital technology with arts and culture is now open. The application can be downloaded from culturetechfund and the closing date for applications is Feb 17th.

Anyone with a project that meets the basic criteria is free to apply but it is a competitive fund and applications are already pouring in. So how can you raise your chances of getting funded?

Tip #1: Be Innovative

One of the reasons we set up the culture tech fund was to help support some slightly more ‘experimental’ projects – big ideas that might not get funded elsewhere until they’re a little more developed.

In other words, we’re looking for innovative projects that offer something a little different. In fact, it’ll be the main assessment criteria.

At the launch we outlined some interesting projects from other parts of the world that might just inspire – you can view them on the website. You’ll also find a whole host of new ideas to inspire your own projects by trawling through sites like, and Culture Hack Scotland. In short, be experimental and be innovative.

Tip #2: Be Clear

Your application needs to be clear about exactly what you want to do. We’re expecting dozens of applications and so don’t have the time to come back for clarification. The very first paragraph should explain it simply but with enough detail to show us how you’re going to go about it.

Tip #3: Think Long Term

Digital Derry’s role is to help create new digital businesses in the city. While this fund does not require you to set up a new business we do want to make sure that funding we provide helps create sustainable new projects. For the most part, £5000 isn’t enough to keep something running for a whole year, let alone permanently. So, you need to consider how you’re going to go about making your project sustainable.

The first solution should be finding a way for your project to generate revenues. Simply put, we’re not as keen on projects that will rely on other kinds of public funding to survive.

You should also give a fair bit of thought about how you can grow the project. It’s fair enough to say that you want to use Derry to test your idea but we’ll also want to see how you might grow it beyond the city or replicate it in other places.

Bonus Tip: Send Us Your Idea

If you want to get a quick bit of feedback on whether your idea stands a chance, please feel free to email with a few lines about the project and we’ll happily advise.

Mark Nagurski is Derry’s Digital Champion, based at the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. You can contact him by email to or by visiting DigitalDerry