World Business Angels Investment Forum brotght together the best European SME, public and corporate early stage market players currently working in collaboration to ease the access to finance for SMEs and Entrepreneurs on the 23rd and 24th of February 2016 in Istanbul. The forum also introduced new collaborations between SME’s, entrepreneurs and public organisations to address equity gap challenges and solutions.
The World Business Angels Investment Forum aimedto keep the momentum going and worked together to develop new financial instruments to bring more access to finance for innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME’s across the world.
Governments have recognised the importance of angel investment to support start-up and early stage businesses 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 world economy. 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 World Business Angels Investment Forum 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 will also be discussing 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.