December 22, 2017
EBAN 2017 Year Review
As the year 2017 draws to a close, the time has come to look back on EBAN’s progress for the last 12 months and gain from it the inspiration to continue our work in 2018.
EBAN Space continued to flourish as we renewed our cooperation with the European Space Agency, and collaborated with important space tech events like NewSpace Europe in our quest to bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs in the space industry.
With the Munich Winter Summit the focus was on solving our society’s most challenging problems, be it humanitarian crises, climate change, gender inequality or sustainability. EBAN Munich distinguished itself in many ways – by featuring a slew of top-tier speakers, each of whom brought invaluable expertise and insights to the conference, by having an unprecedented number of women attend – making up more than 40% of the entire audience, and by focusing on topics vital not just to the investment community but to the world at large.
EBAN also continued to grow and nurture its existing Communities in 2017 – with EBAN Impact getting special focus at the Winter Summit, as well as continuing to offer insightful webinars.
2017 was a year of new initiatives, as EBAN continued to expand its reach and open up more verticals – be it the launch of EBAN Scaleup of the Month, designed to give more visibility to the best-of-the-best companies from EBAN members and members’ members. Or be it EBAN reaffirming its focus on helping Business Angel Networks grow by creating the EBAN BAN Manager Community, which is already offering workshops and webinars in order to help BANs across the world take their organizations to the next level.
Keeping up its efforts to provide valuable insights on angel investing in Europe, EBAN again released its three annual publications – the Statistics Compendium, the Compendium of Co-investment Funds with Business Angels, and the Compendium of Fiscal Incentives. In 2017, EBAN also participated in the “European Commission Study on Understanding the Nature and Impact of the business angels in Funding Research and Innovation”, which provided additional data for our European early stage market statistics.
EBAN has been fortunate to celebrate many successes during the past year, not the least of which were our flagship events. Our EBAN Malaga Annual Congress truly surpassed all expectations with a record-breaking investment of 1.15 million euros in three startups from EBAN Member Marbella Tech Angels founder Andreas Mihalovits. The connections made between entrepreneurs and investors at EBAN Malaga were definitely long-lasting – with another startup that pitched there recently receiving investment from a group of angels including EBAN members. The startup, Relendo, was supported by the International Association of Science Parks, with which EBAN also announced a partnership at the Congress.
At EBAN Malaga, we also announced our collaboration with InnoEnergy, the result of which was the creation of the new EBAN Energy Community, which aims to establish more successful sustainable energy innovations.
The EBAN CEE Community had a successful year as well as they announced their first cross-border investment in Slovenian startup Datafy, and the recent plans to launch the “Made in CEE” program, which will follow in the great footsteps of the Bucharest Stock Exchanges’ Made in Romania, and take the initiative to the regional level.
Progressing from E-Xcelerator activities, EBAN’s support of the FinTech and InsurTech sectors remained strong with a FinTech/InsurTech session hosted together with InsurTech.vc Managing Partner Mehrdad Piroozram and BANC at 4YFN in Barcelona, as well as a cooperation with the EXECinsurtech conference in Cologne.
In addition to Slush and 4YFN, we collaborated and partnered with numerous flagship events throughout 2017, spanning different countries and continents – including the World Business Angels Investment Forum in Turkey, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in South Africa, the NACO Canada and ACA Summits in Canada and the US respectively, GITEX Dubai and many more.
In terms of building more new partnerships, EBAN was proud to have initiated a cooperation with the London Stock Exchange’s ELITE and ELITE Club Deal to bring angels, scaleups and stock exchanges closer together. We were equally thrilled to keep being involved in the second edition of Rising Tide Europe – which is now in full swing! – and, more recently, to announce Rising Tide Africa in collaboration with the ARM Group, ABAN and Go Beyond. Last but not least, we also continued our close collaboration with long-term partners Gust – it has truly been a pleasure to work with all of these great orgaizations.
EBAN’s sister organizations – the African (ABAN) and MENA (MBAN) Business Angel Networks – also continued to thrive in their respective regions. ABAN is working tirelessly to increase the number of angel groups across the African continent and is at the heights of success, organizing superb masterclasses and, of course, their flagship African Angel Investor Summit. And MBAN is doing the same for the MENA region, our partnership with them grows ever stronger what with their participation in the Next Society project, for which they have already organized a successful Elevator Roadshow in Jordan.
The year 2017 brought the end of two large-scale EU Projects EBAN was happy to have been involved in for more than two years – InvestHorizon and ePlus. The impact these projects had on the development of the early stage ecosystem was phenomenal, and EBAN would like to thank all of the partners involved for their dedication. But the end of one era also brought new beginnings, and we were thrilled to become a part of the Next Society project which kicked off this year and will work to build a stronger entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem in the MENA regions by connecting them with European stakeholders. EBAN also became a partner of the Lean IN EU WBAs project, which aims to create a community of European Women Business Angels, as well as boost female entrepreneurship – a worthy cause indeed. This year, we participated again in the Eureka Investment Readiness programme E!nnovest, which promotes the most promising Eureka SMEs and facilitates investment matching with international investors.
Among all of our activities, partners, and projects, the most rewarding part of 2017 has been watching our various EBAN members grow and prosper across Europe and beyond. We wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons and look forward to creating even more positive change throughout the world in 2018.