HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network), the all-island organisation responsible for the promotion of business angel investment, and a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, today announces a €300,000 investment in Kilkenny-based ND Sports Performance and its cloud-based hamstring assessment system products for hamstring injury prevention and improving athlete performance. The funding, which will lead to the creation of up to 10 new jobs, was led by HBAN’s South East Business Angel Network (SEBAN), with support from Enterprise Ireland.

The new roles will be in research and development, customer support, sales and marketing as the company targets further expansion in Ireland and into international markets including the UK, Europe and the US.

Some of the top teams and universities in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US are currently using the HamstringSolo devices. These include European rugby champions Saracens RFC, Leicester Tigers, and a number of English premier league clubs including West Bromwich Albion, as well as a host of All-Ireland champion GAA teams, the recent League and FAI cup winners Cork City FC. ND Sports Performance is the official hamstring assessment system suppliers to the English Institute of Sport (EIS), the largest sporting organisation in the UK, on an exclusive basis. The EIS have trialed competitor products but chose the HamstringSolo range.

In 2012, a hamstring injury prevented Noel Doherty from winning a third Intermediate Hurling All-Ireland with Kilkenny. Using his background in design and engineering, Noel developed the HamstringSolo Pro exercise aid which enables athletes to train effectively by safely performing a range of high-tension exercises that improve hamstring performance and resilience.

Sensors on the HamstringSolo Elite device collate data that is stored on a cloud-based platform. A multi-functional app provides instantaneous, user-friendly and readily exportable feedback which allows medical staff to manage rehab, evaluate training effectiveness, monitor fatigue, set goals and identify athletes at risk of injury. The device also collects information over multiple sessions to build player/athlete profiles.

Speaking about today’s announcement, founder Noel Doherty said, “The HBAN-backed SEBAN investment will enable us to grow the business and capitalise on the interest in the HamstringSolo Pro and Elite products in export markets like the UK and the US. Not only will the funding allow us to employ more people, but we also get the benefit of our investors’ experience and knowledge.

“Hamstrings are one of the most frequently injured muscle groups in all levels of sport, from amateur to professional. These injuries can be extremely costly to clubs and organisations, not just financially but also in terms of lost game and training time. Previous hamstring injury increases vulnerability to future injury, consequently reducing long-term career potential. Historically, hamstring resilience and rehabilitation was limited by a lack of practical assessment and monitoring tools, however the HamstringSolo range ensures that this is no longer the case.”

Aidan Shine, HBAN Coordinator for South East Region, a joint initiative of InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, said, “The number of regionally based angel investors has surged in the last number of years and we’ve seen a significant increase in the level of investment in regional start-ups. HBAN’s South East Syndicate recently announced plans to invest €10 million in start-ups from the region over the next three years. HamstringSolo is a great example of the type of company that HBAN identified as a high potential start-ups that went on to successfully present to HBAN angels.”

HBAN’s South East Syndicate is currently on the look-out for more business angels to invest in high-potential start-ups like HamstringSolo. HBAN will hold its National Conference, Quality deal flow and leveraging the HBAN network, on Thursday 8th February in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. The event is Ireland’s only angel investment-focused national conference and is targeted at new angels who are looking for structured and quality deal flow. The event will also be of interest to those looking to invest and create de-risked portfolios with likeminded investors through syndicates. For more information, visit www.hban.org/conference.

The conference is open to non-HBAN members who want to see how the HBAN network works, connect with HBAN angels and listen to pitches from high-potential start-ups. Tickets for the conference are priced at €50 (free for members of HBAN) and are available now.

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