HIBAS: The Hellenic International Business Angel Sum-Up!

Last week, we flew across Europe to Athens, Greece for the exclusive Hellenic International Business Angels Summit, where angel investors from all over the world gathered to drive change. HIBAS was all about quality content, quality people, and quality time. We focused on the latest trends in angel investing from Europe, the Americas, and Africa as well as the booming Greek ecosystem, cross border investment, impact investing, and the role of women angels. 200 distinguished guests with decades of investing experience came from 36 different countries to connect meaningfully during two days of conference sessions, convivial dinners, and a tour of Athens. The event was co-organised by EBAN and two of our Greek members, HeBAN and  Enterprise Greece

To Summ-it Up

The Summit brought together global investors and startups from 50+ organisations from all over Europe and beyond. HIBAS featured innovative panels and workshops and fostered awareness of the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem through pitches by 20 top local startups. It created opportunities to network, promoted Environmental, Social and corporate Governance criteria for startups, and heavily emphasised the importance of women in angel investing and in entrepreneurship. Overall, it was a great excuse for all of us to get together, connect and discover Athens!

The Themes

The wonderful speeches from our angel investor speakers left us, well, speechless. Simone Brummelhuis (Europe’s Female Business Angel of the year 2021), Marcia Dawood (Chair of the ACA), and our own Selma Prodanovic (Vice President of EBAN) really shone a light on female angels, serving as real role models for the women of tomorrow. Selma reminded everyone in the audience that mixed teams make MORE money than male-led teams, so it just doesn’t make sense not to invest in women. Adding to that, Dimitris Tsingos, President of HEBAN, claimed that in his experience women-led companies make more money. He added that he is more likely to invest in women since they also make better leaders, especially in times of crisis. This aligns with EBAN’s goals to make the investment field more balanced and accessible to women. That’s why we are shooting for our audience to be 50% women in our next event, EAIS,  happening in Brussels this October. Are you coming? 

The event also focused on the fundamental role Business Angels play in the innovation ecosystem from startup to scaleup, the sustainable transition with Impact Investments and how angels can accelerate positive change. As always, cross-border angel investments played an important role: building a portfolio with the world’s best startups and co-Investing with VCs and governments to align interests for more win-win investments were all addressed at HIBAS. 

Why Greece?

One of the aims of this event was to shine a light onto the Greek startup ecosystem, which is rapidly picking up speed and has thrived over the past few years. Greece is already proving they’re worthy contributors in the innovative field with Viva and PeopleCert, their first unicorns that took flight this year – and with predictions that 10 more will follow in the next few years. Indeed, they stand out even more with hundreds of serious new startups every year and many scaleups, at least a couple of which will be decacorns! It is also projected that deeptech is going to be a major topic among Greek entrepreneurs in 5-10 years. An example of Greek innovation was presented by Kostas Fragogiannis (Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), who introduced us to  Astypalaia, a remote island turned into a smart city with autonomous driving public transport and more. 

But why invest in Greece? To summ-it up, you can set up a team with a very narrow culture and language gap from western Europe and northern America but at a fraction of the cost compared to other European countries. The dream team is accessible, communicative and so much cheaper than what we’re used to! 

Exploring Athens

On top of discovering the Greek startup ecosystem, we decided to also explore Athens: On Saturday morning we had the opportunity to connect while walking around the ancient Agora of Athens. We learnt about the history of this very special place, made connections in a more informal way, explored Athens, and we had one last traditional Greek meal at Monastiraki! 

We already miss it…but if you missed out, don’t worry: the EBAN Annual Congress will take place in  Athens on the 24th-26th of April 2023! You can already pre-register for this upcoming experienceSee you there!

Pictures, Videos, and More! 

Lastly, we would like to once again thank our amazing members HeBAN and Enterprise Greece for making this happen! You can re-watch the full HIBAS event here: Day 1 and Day 2. Read the full press release by our members Enterprise Greece here. To see pictures of this wonderful event you can visit our Flickr!

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