Exploring the Sessions Powered by Spread2Inno at the EBAN Congress 2023

The EBAN Annual Congress 2023 featured a series of insightful sessions powered by Spread2Inno, a project funded by the European Union that aims to spread the global potential of developing innovation ecosystems to strengthen innovation in regional and local businesses. Esteemed experts and industry leaders gathered during the congress to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences, delivering invaluable insights into the realms of entrepreneurship and early-stage investments. In this article, we delve into three remarkable sessions held during the event, capturing their essence and presenting the key takeaways that emerged.

Session 1: Eileen Modral – Presenting your risks as an opportunity to Early stage investors (Powered by Spread2Inno)

Eileen Modral, a renowned expert in early-stage investments, provided valuable insights on presenting risks as opportunities to early-stage investors. Modral emphasized the importance of validating the product or service by actively engaging with clients and sales channels. By seeking client feedback and actively mitigating risks, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights, refine their offerings, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Another key takeaway from the session was the notion that investors should bring more than just financial support to the table. Modral stressed that valuation alone should not be the sole determining factor for entrepreneurs when considering investors. Instead, entrepreneurs should conduct due diligence to ensure compatibility and alignment of visions with potential investors. By selecting investors who share their values and goals, entrepreneurs can benefit from a more holistic and mutually beneficial relationship.

Furthermore, Modral highlighted the significance of pitching the entire business rather than solely focusing on the product. By simplifying the presentation while maintaining genuine conviction and enthusiasm about the product, entrepreneurs can effectively address investor scepticism and convey the broader potential and value of their business. This approach helps investors to see the comprehensive vision and potential growth opportunities beyond just the product itself.

The session led by Eileen Modral provided attendees with actionable strategies and valuable insights into approaching early-stage investors. The emphasis on validating the product, seeking compatible investors, and pitching the entire business offered entrepreneurs practical guidance to navigate the challenging landscape of early-stage investments with confidence and maximize their chances of success.

Session 2: How to Enable a Thriving Startup and Investment Ecosystem (Powered by Spread2Inno)

During this session, keynote speakers such as Michael Dritsas from Elevate Greece, Annukka Mickelsson from FiBAN, Angelos Manglis from Atlantis Consulting SA, Roy Zwebner from Innovation BaseCamp, Ami Dagan from Random Forest VC, Lorenzo Scatena from Fondazione E. Amaldi, Nikolaos Tsoniotis from Ideas Forward, Alfredo Coppola from the US Market Access Center, Sam Gardner from the University of York City College, and Marta Huidobro from AEBAN, provided valuable insights into startup and investment ecosystem in different countries. 

The discussion covered various topics, starting with Annukka Mickelsson highlighting how Finland has a robust and collaborative ecosystem but still needs more training for startups on approaching business angels. 

Nikolaos Tsoniotis shed light on Greece’s ecosystem 

“Greece faces a big challenge in getting exposure and support from the corporate world for pilots and proof of concepts.”

Ami Dagan shared insights from Israel’s innovation hub, emphasizing how it became successful thanks to the involvement of investors and the government in creating a conducive environment for startups. He suggested that the EU should learn from the Israel model and foster more cooperation among stakeholders. Roy Zwebner stressed the importance of collectivity and physical proximity for creating a vibrant ecosystem. He shared how Israel has a culture of learning from failure and celebrating success. He also advised startups to be honest and transparent with their investors. 

Marta Huidobro discussed Spain’s recent developments, where the government has launched a startup nation strategy and a startup law to overcome the barriers and challenges entrepreneurs face. She also stressed the ecosystem’s need for more female founders and investors.

The session also delved into investment insights, offering valuable perspectives on supporting young talent, university-industry collaboration, and international market access. Lorenzo Scatena shared his VC fund’s focus on supporting young and inexperienced students with innovative ideas, while Elli highlighted the role of universities in technology transfer and fostering talent. 

Alfredo Coppola shared his experience helping startups access the US market through his organization, US Market Access Center

“The main challenge is not money, but mindset!”

He also mentioned his Innovation Academy initiative, which aims to ignite young minds and stimulate both ends of the ecosystem. 

Overall, the session provided a wealth of knowledge and actionable strategies for cultivating thriving startup and investment ecosystems. It underscored the significance of collaboration, transparency, and continuous learning in creating sustainable environments for startups to thrive. 

Session 3: Entrepreneur Workshop – Scaling up your startup (Powered by Spread2Inno) 

During the Entrepreneur Workshop, Julian Costley, Professional chairman/NED and angel investor, emphasized the need for excitement, instability, and disruption in the entrepreneurial journey. He shared his top 10 factors for growth and success in building a startup.

Julian’s insights covered a range of crucial aspects, such as the importance of achieving impactful success and having clarity of purpose, where the brand represents the combination of personality and promise. 

He highlighted the significance of gaining insight into customer lifetime value and acquisition costs to navigate the market effectively. He encouraged entrepreneurs to seek to define moments and engage investors by sharing an exciting journey. Controlling risk, nurturing shareholder value, exhibiting strong leadership skills, planning for an early exit, and seeking mentorship were among the valuable advice he mentioned. Julian also emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and fostering personal growth and development.

His practical and thought-provoking tips gave attendees valuable guidance and a fresh perspective on scaling up their startups. The session left participants inspired and equipped with actionable strategies to drive growth and success in their entrepreneurial endeavours.

The sessions powered by Spread2Inno at the EBAN Annual Congress 2023 delivered valuable insights and practical guidance for entrepreneurs and investors. From presenting risks as opportunities to fostering a thriving startup ecosystem and scaling up a business, these sessions covered essential aspects of entrepreneurship. For more such insights, join us this October for #EAIS23https://lnkd.in/dfRpwmv! 

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