Alan Watts is the Director of Halo, the Northern Ireland Business Angel Network where he draws upon his previous experience both as entrepreneur and as a business angel.
Winning a scholarship, he graduated from Queens University as an engineer with first class honours. With a fellow engineer he started a NI company funded by angel investing developing automatic test equipment.
Alan led the successful re-branding of the company as Yelo Ltd leading to 5 years of solidly rising sales and its acquisition by a Canadian PLC.
After a period as General Manager of Mindready NI Ltd, he worked in a start-up venture and was a business angel before moving to the NI Science Park as Director of Halo in 2009. Halo has grown to over 100 angels who have invested over £3m in NI start-up companies since he took over. In 2010 Halo was named British Business Angels Association Angel Network of the Year and facilitated its own fund to co-invest with the angels.
Alan recently completed his term as an elected Vice President and Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology – the largest professional engineering organisation in Europe. As a business this organisation has a turnover of £50m pa and employs 400 staff.
In his spare time Alan is an experienced windsurfer in the pursuit of which he is systematically trying to break every bone in his body.