New Frontiers Masterclass: The Ins and Outs of Early Stage Investment

KTI - Innovation Showcase


The vast majority of start-ups need to secure equity investment in order to support their early development and growth. That funding can come from a variety of sources including angels, Competitive Start Fund, HPSU and State-backed seed funds. A deal struck with any one source can have wide-ranging implications for other founders, investors and the company itself. This event was intended to help early stage founders develop an understanding of the typical structure and terms of early stage investment rounds, including CSF, HPSU and seed funds. A range of speakers – a legal adviser, a founder, a seed fund manager and a CFO – provided their perspectives and tips for start-up entrepreneurs.



L-R - Maire Cunningham, Beauchamps Solicitors, Tony Staunton, Propertygate, Dominic Mullan, IADT, Tom Shinkwin, Enterprise Equity, Gerry Jones, WholeWorldBand and Bernadette O’Reilly, DIT Hothouse 

Máire Cunningham, Partner, Beauchamps Solicitors

Máire is a partner in the Corporate and Commercial Department of Beauchamps Solicitors and has extensive experience in all areas of corporate law with a particular focus on private equity and venture capital, acting for Enterprise Ireland, venture capital funds and non-institutional investors as well as investee companies. Máire works with a number of start up and early stage companies across all sectors including tech, life sciences and agribusiness. She is also a member of the Business Law Committee of the Law Society of Ireland.

Tom Shinkwin, Partner, Enterprise Equity VC

As a partner in Enterprise Equity VC (which manages the AIB Seed Capital Fund), Tom works closely with the Boards of a number of investee companies in the software and mobile communications areas including Alpha Wireless, Polecat, Phorest, Movidius, Converser and Cloudium.

Tony Staunton, Founder & CEO, Propertygate

A former participant in the DIT Hothouse / IADT New Frontiers Programme, Tony is the CEO of Propertygate, a web-based property management portal. Since completing New Frontiers, the company has raised a total of €450k through Competitive Start Fund and HPSU, with match funding from a number of private investors.

Gerry Jones, CFO, WholeWorldBand

Gerry is the CFO of WholeWorldBand and raised in excess of €5m in investment from sources including angels, Enterprise Ireland, Balderton Capital and IIU. Gerry is also the Chairman of the Board of Openmind Networks and a partner in Executive Venture Partners.


Masterclass Attendees and New Frontiers Participants 


L-R - Bart Lehane, Killbiller, Shane Lynn, Killbiller and David Craig, Dublin Design Studio