EBAF2014

The European governments have recognized the importance of angel investment to support start-up and early stage businesses in the Europe, and notably through the up-to 75 % tax breaks as a major incentive to individuals to back small businesses. However, it is also vital that the angel –backed ventures are able to reach their full growth potential and become the global businesses of the future, generating employment and wealth into the European economy.

European Angel Investment Forum is delighted to be working with EBAN, TBAA – Business Angels Association of Turkey, Forbes l Para Conferences and Borsa IstanbulStock Exchange of Istanbul, our hosts for the notably the event will be focusing on the importance of creating a connected pathway to growth and exit for businesses that have been nurtured by angel investors.

Many highly experienced angel investors have developed extensive portfolios including some very promising highly disruptive businesses that they have taken through several rounds of funding. However many of these businesses  have reached an important stage of development  where the angels need to seek next level of growth and potential exit liquidity  to enable  the angel investors to go on to make further investments in early stage business.

Currently, the opportunities to find suitable sources of growth or exit for angel–backed businesses have been very limited.  Exits through a trade sale remain very difficult to achieve with corporates being reluctant to make investments in the current economic climate.

At the same time, the route to IPO and public markets for angel –backed businesses has to date been largely regarded by the angel investment community as inaccessible and too onerous and difficult to contemplate.

The European Business Angels Investment Forum is therefore brought these key parts of the equity market together to debate the benefits and challenges for the angel investment community in achieving successful growth for their businesses and to discuss what more can be done to connect the early stage market ecosystem.  Notably we have also discussed whether there is a need for further regulatory and fiscal changes, as well as how to create better understanding and confidence for angel investors in approaching the public markets.

stepyan yauSouth East Asia – I am truly impressed with this European Business Angels Investment Forum, that this 2 day event was so meticulously planned out from the coverage of issues and challenges facing angel investors and startup companies to-date. Discussion topics and scopes that have been covered were well balanced given the problem of time constraint, as well as not to mention the in-depth knowledge and experiences that all the panel speakers were there to share with the audience which I find absolutely impeccable. The event was blended with the awarding ceremony to address those groups from various countries who have contributed success in the areas of choice in angel investing was also very entertaining which gave a perfect close to the conference event in a high note. Last but not least, the angel investor pitch session attended by some very enterprising young people at the  IstanbulTechnical University shed some reflections of these young and innovative minds in Turkey and as well as other participating countries from the Balkans that, the future of startups is possibly in no better place other than this region in particular with those entrepreneurs that are bursting with energy and strong desire to succeed in business.

Stephen Yau, Partner & CEO @PutiCapital Advisors, Hong Kong

jaberMiddle East – It was my utmost pleasure to meet most of the European angel investment community in the Amazing Istanbul and participate in a world class conference. I’m honoured to be part of such an amazing group that is doing an amazing job and I’m sure we will have many more successes to come. Thanks for the amazing organisation and congratulations!

Dr Abdul Malik Al Jabaar, President of MBAN – MENA Business Angels Network & Founder of Arabreneur, Amman, Jordan

bofingerSouth East Europe – Great, excellent, superb … these all did not seem to come close to express it appropriately. Then the word came to me – EXTRATERRESTRIAL ! Yes that is it – beyond possible human achievement, just like from another planet. Indeed, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed the professionalism of the Forum as well as the feeling of being surrounded by the most interesting and wonderful people.Congratulations!

Andreas Baresel-Bofinger, South-East European Research Centre (SEERC), Thessaloniki, Greece

23 modwenna kEurope – What is clear though is that the magic does not come from government intervention to try and force markets to evolve, by creating business support schemes.  Market failure in angel investing is solved by letting inspired individuals start and shape the market with their friends and acquaintances.  And the best way government can help is to provide tax incentives to make it financially worthwhile to invest in the highest risk opportunities.It was a very beneficial forum! Congragulations!

Modwenna Rees-Mogg, Co-Founder of Angel Institute, London, UK

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