Since its founding in 2000, the IrishAngels Network has grown to include more than 350 members, including Notre Dame alumni, faculty, parents and friends who devoted countless volunteer hours to the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. The network has been an invaluable asset for Gigot, but increasingly, also a source of confusion: By strict definition, an “angel” is someone who provides capital for a business startup, usually in exchange for ownership equity. It’s a fairly narrow definition confined to financial investment, and not all of the IrishAngels participated by investing money.
To clarify mission, the Gigot Center recently reformulated IrishAngels into two groups:
- IrishAngels Investing Organization, which is devoted specifically to investment opportunities in support of new ND ventures with the goals of generating above-average return and flourishing as a professional angel-investing group. Headquartered in Chicago, it will seek early-round investing opportunities in ND-affiliated companies within specified sectors. Gale Bowman (MARK ’05), has been named managing director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Irish Entrepreneurs Network (IEN) takes over the membership and efforts of what previously was the IrishAngels. IEN continues to be managed by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship and supports the educational mission of Notre Dame in entrepreneurial curriculum, business plan judging and social entrepreneurship.