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Tag Archive Angel investor

How To Find Angel Investors

You know your business concept has all the elements to become a very successful. You just need the money to get things rolling and you are well on your way to becoming an entrepreneurial sensation. But then again, money is hard to come by these days. Even with the recent recovery of the US economy and things looking good in the small business sector, many banks and financing institutions are still wary of approving loans for small business start-ups. If you have exhausted all your options and still come up with nothing, then maybe it’s high time that you learn how to find angel investors.

How To Find Angel Investors

Angel investors, also known as business angels, are people who are willing to shell out the much-needed funds to get a business concept into reality. In almost all cases, a business angel is someone who is wealthy and established individual who has shown great interest in the industry you are wishing to enter. Since an angel investor is willing to risk much money on a business grant concept that has yet to materialize, they require so much from the entrepreneur as well, like convertible debt or ownership equity, in exchange for the funds.

Another thing that must be put into consideration is that angel investors would want a significant portion of control once the company gets off the ground. This is a fact when it comes to angel investing. If you are a business owner who does not want to share the steering wheel of the enterprise, then you better look somewhere else for the funds you need. However, if you welcome the opportunity to learn from an experienced business figure and allow him or her to take the reins from time to time, then angel investing is probably just for you.

If you are decided to have an angel investor fund your enterprise, then here is a short guide on how to find angel investors:

Always start within your area., 150-mile radius to be precise. Call your attorney. Lawyers know who has money. Get in touch with local business clubs and ask the officials to point you in the right direction. Contact your local SBA office and see if the people there know anything of significance. Business colleges and universities are also great spots. You can get a lot of information from teachers and school officials.

Bear in mind that angel investors are not people who would readily and immediately send you checks for your start-up. It is best that you seek out angel investors that are interested or involved in the industry that you desire to join and provide them with a very sound and workable business plan as well as realistic projections to keep expectations from going over the brim.

How To Find Angel Investors

Investing with AngelLab

I had the pleasure of meeting Maria Dramalioti-Taylor, Managing Partner AngelLab, the last time Angelsbootcamp was in London.  We recently sat down and discuss parenthood, female angels and investment philosophies.

Investing with AngelLab

You’ve worked for Andersen and Ernst & Young, been a CEO of a startup, launched Incite Ventures, a syndicate for women tech entrepreneurs, been a partner at x.Million Capital Ventures, and you are currently a managing partner at AngelLab – which you also founded, an Entrepreneur In Residence at INSEAD and Professor of Finance at HULT Business School which you said you do it “just for the fun of it!”. You are also on the board of Charities such as Reload Greece. What drives you?

The same thing that drives every working person on the planet: doing something useful with one’s time and the abilities that we have been given. I am fortunate to have a job that is also my hobby, something I would do in any case in my spare time. Not many people are as lucky as that.

What challenges did you face as a woman in business?

I never saw myself as a “woman in business”. I consider myself “a working person” with no specific gender classification. As such, I face the same challenges that most people do when they work and try to build their businesses and careers. If, at any point during my professional life, some people saw the gender before the person, then probably I was too busy working to notice it. If there were the occasional flippant gender-specific comment, I probably laughed and returned the … “favour” at the first available opportunity. Having a sharp tongue helped, I guess…

Why aren’t there more female angels?

For the same reason that there are not more working women or more female VCs or more female senior executives: women opt out at some point to cater, full-time, for their families. No matter what anyone says, there is always a risk associated with being a part-time mother, wife, housekeeper. When things go wrong, you always question whether, were you able to devote all your time to your work, you would have prevented “it”, whatever this “it” might be. By continuing to work, most women take a risk: so long as we do it being fully aware of the potential negative consequences (perceived or real ones), that’s fine. A partial “guilt complex” is part and parcel of the choices we make. One learns to deal with it.

You were the founder of Incito Ventures for FinanceSE, an angel syndicate for female-led tech startups. Do we need special funds for women owned startups?

No, we don’t. Capable women entrepreneurs will always find their way to capital. Such as Brynne Herbert of Moveguides, AngelLab’s first ever investment or Fiona Strens, CEO of Crowdvision and so many others. The aim of Incito was to create a “go to” place for investors who wish to invest in this specific talent pool. My belief is that generation X and the millennials are gender agnostic in their ambitions and this particular talent pool (female tech entrepreneurs) will become deeper over the next decade or so.

What advice would you offer a woman interested in becoming an Angel?

Learn from the best out there. Diversify the portfolio like mad. Take it seriously, even if you consider it a hobby. BTW, this is also the advice I would give to anyone – man or woman – who wants to become an angel.

Did you have a mentor?

I had many people who influenced my way of thinking. I always chose to work with fiercely intelligent people and independent thinkers with sharp judgments. I am usually the least intelligent and experienced in the room but I catch up quickly. There were two people who were pivotal in my development, both were from the PE and VC sectors, both managing funds in hundreds of millions. One is here in the UK and the other is in the US.

What is your investment philosophy?

I back talented people who show an acutely painful problem and build well-engineered products to solve it. It’s as simple as that. There is no substitute for talent. I like to go for the outliers which means mostly binary scenarios ( massive wins or capital loss) but I make sure I have colleagues who balance this view with more moderate attitudes. I seek to manage my deal flow universe to improve the ‘signal to noise’ ratio and I want to diversify the portfolio at the ideal level. Some people confuse “ high diversification” with “spray and pray”. It is not the same thing at all. I call my strategy “highly curated diversification”.

Your previous firm was investing across Europe and into Russia. What are the challenges of cross border investing?

This is not about cross-order risk. It is about country-specific risk. In addition to all the usual startup venture risks, one has to deal with country-specific risks in terms of legal structure, operations, cultures. The odds are stacked against you. The bet therefore needs to be significantly better than what you would find in your local market to make it worth-while taking the extra risk.

When investing, what do you look for in an entrepreneur?

Talent. Raw, deep, unquestionable technical talent. If I can find this together with humility and ability to converse in ‘human language’ and explain technical matters plainly, then I know I have found someone I want to back.

What do you do for fun?

The usual things that most working mothers do for … “fun”: tidying up our house, helping with homework, taking my son to rugby matches and Saturday Greek school (OK, my husband does most of the latter two but I can still claim responsibility for supervising the activity…). I also fence the foil and can’t wait until my son starts fencing so that we have proper bouts.

Turkish Dragon Baybars Altuntas

EBAN Congress 2015 – Baybars Altuntas of Turkey has been awarded second time as Europe’s best individual in globally engaging the early stage investment market within the entrepreneurial ecosystem at a gathering of more than 200 high net worth individuals from across Europe and the US in Eindhoven this week.

Baybars Altuntas was one of the 150 entrepreneurs invited by President Obama for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in 2010. Altuntas was the only entrepreneur given by personal audience by President Obama before the summit at the White House.He is a very succesful entrepreneur and angel investor who set-up his 50 million dollar valued company, Deulcom International, from scratch while he was a university student. He is also one of the dragons of the Dragons’ Den, a worldwide known TV show on entrepreneurship. His best-seller book  ‘Off the Bus! Into a Supercar’ has been translated into many languages. He is an idol of university students willing to be succesful entrepreneurs in the future.

Baybars Altuntas – President TBAA – Business Angels Association – Turkey

Recently, we sat down with the Turkish Dragon for his take on angel investing, the startup ecosystem and crowdfunding. He was recognized  by EBAN – The European Trade Association of Business Angels – as 2013’s Best Individual in Europe Globally Engaging with Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

Turkish Dragon Baybars Altuntas

Baybars Altuntas is a global entrepreneur, best-selling author, angel investor, columnist, star of the Turkish version of the television show Dragons’ Den, President of the Business Angels Association of Turkey, President of Deulcom International, Vice President of the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players (EBAN), and the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Ambassador to Turkey & the Balkan countries. He was recognized again by EBAN in 2014 as the Best Individual in Europe Globally Engaging with Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

Mr. Altuntas is also the founder of Deulcom lnternational, the first vocational training school of Turkey and named by the Economist – Turkey as one of the top 100 franchise companies of Turkey. Deulcom lnternational became one of the fastest growing trademarks in Turkey and was recognized in 1997 by Eurowards as the third-fastest growing brand in Turkey only five years after he had founded the company. Founder of UFRAD – Turkish Franchise Association. Introduced lATA Educational System to Turkey. Elected as the Best Businessman – 2010. Was one of the 150 entrepreneurs invited by US President Barack Obama to the White House Presidential Summit in Washington DC. He was the only participant who was given a personal audience by the US President before his summit. After the US President’s speech, CNN International interviewed Baybars Altuntas live at its Washington studios the only delegate interviewed.

One of the dragons of Dragons’ Den – Turkey, entrepreneurship TV show. His book ‘My way to Dragons’ Den’ has still been the best-seller in Turkey. His company Links Angel BAN is acting as a business angel platform supporting start-up businesses in Turkey. President of TBAA – Business Angels Association of Turkey. Board member of EBAN – The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and Early Stage Market Players. Board member of WBAA – World Business Angels Association.

How did you get into angel investing?

I was invited to become involved Dragon’s Den (European version of Shark’s Tank). Through  that process I realized I was an Angel investor.  As a result of being on the show, I became a celebrity in Turkey and the go to guy for Angel investing.  I receive 50 or more business plans a day.  To handle the opportunities, I created Links Angel BAN with funding from 30 Turkish investors.  Our primary investment focus is IT and mobile.  I am now president of TBAA – Business Angels Association of Turkey and Vice President of EBAN. I am also the Coordinator of European Business Angels Week.

Turkey start up scene

Turkey passed a law recognizing accredited angels and providing tax credits and incentives.  This created about 250 accredited angels and 10 new angel networks.  To learn more – The Opportunities Behind Angel Investments in Turkey.

Most of the startup activity is centered around IT, Mobile and eCommerce.

Of course, we have not begun to see any significant exits. In Turkey, we have created liquidating events up to 1 million USD with Istanbul Stock Exchange Market.  This is result of the work done by EBAN in creating the Startup Investors’ Manifesto (in particular the 4th section) and will be introduced on December 15th at the 1st European Business Angels Investment Forum in Istanbul.

What is Crowds’ Den?

Crowds’ Den is a live event to support startups. I created this idea and World Entrepreneurship Forum took this into their upcoming agenda in Lyon. It is an event where startups will be funded online by crowdfunding technique.

I am excited that we will be announcing Crowds Den at the World Entrepreneur Forum –  Entrepreneurship 3.0: Unlimited Opportunities.  The Forum’s 7th edition will take place in Lyon, France, on October 19th-22nd, 2014 and will revolve around Entrepreneurship 3.0: Unlimited Opportunities.  I am not just the creator of the idea and format but also I have been one of the panelists of the event.

What do you think of Crowdfunding for early stage capital?

We all know that the first thing angels want to see is a demo/product.  Producing the demo has a cost, and not all entrepreneurs have the finances to fund the demo.  I believe crowdfunding will fill this gap providing up to 25K to help businesses through the initial development stage.

What do you wish you knew when you started as an Angel.

In the beginning, I tried to understand if the business model and plan were compelling.  But it turns out that was really was all about the entrepreneur.  Angels invest in the founder’s ability to attract a team that can execute the business model.

What do you look for in a startup?

When I meet a new company, I want to see the demo first. If there is no demo, then you better be able convince me you have a viable business model.  The business model is more important than the business plan. Anyone can write a plan, but we really want to know how we are going to make money.

What is the worst thing someone can do when they are pitching you?

Entrepreneurs forget angels are human beings.  They try to tell us our job. They try to dominate the conversation, correct assumptions and such.  This shows me they are not open to suggestions and we won’t be able to work together to create value.

Do you only invest in Turkey?

Cross border investing is challenging, We can’t do it alone, so we participate with local business angel networks and syndications.

To learn more –

His blog for global angel investors: http://www.baybarsaltuntasnotes.com

His blog for Turkish entrepreneurs: http://www.baybarsaltuntastips.com

Turkish Dragon Baybars Altuntas


Our interview with Baybars Altuntas – President TBAA – Business Angels Association – Turkey & Vice President of EBAN is part of an ongoing series by Angelsbootcamp focusing on Angel investment and the Start Up ecosystem.  Angelsbootcamp is a Startupbootcamp initiative to train Angels across Europe and beyond…

 

Pitch Coaching with Beth Susanne

We met Beth Susanne back in March at Angelbootcamp. Part of Angelbootcamp is a live pitch session on Day 2.  20 or so startups compete for 3 slots to pitch to the Angels. She was there to coach the startups in the fine art of the pitch.

Beth Susanne was recently back in Berlin and we had a chance to sit down and get some tips on what makes a good pitch.

Pitch Coaching with Beth Susanne

How to pitch successfully, attract the right partners and find clients

A good pitch gets you fast and powerful results. As a coach I stretch and focus you quickly to make sure that your idea, product or technology receives the money, partners and attention it deserves.

Working together will guarantee that every future business conversation you have will be more focused and more productive. You will know clearly what to focus on and what your ‘audience’ needs to hear.

You will save yourself years of wasted conversations and get your idea successfully out into the world quicker than you thought possible.

Why do entrepreneurs need pitch coaching?

To understand what the investors/partners/clients need to hear and see, to grab their attention with what is special about their technology/product/service.

What is the biggest challenge entrepreneurs face when pitching?

To stand out from the crowd to inspire a few very high net-worth individuals to meet with you, to decide if they want to enter into a long-term relationship

What are the key elements that should be conveyed in a pitch?

  1. Describe the Problem/Opportunity in a compelling way
  2. Your Solution, and why it’s unique
  3. How big is your market?/Validation?
  4. Traction?
  5. Your team, and why you’re the right ones to do this
  6. Your ask?? Money? How much? Partners…who?

How long should your pitch be?

Depends on the event or setting. Generally 1 to 5 minutes.

What happens when you get a question out of left field that you aren’t prepared for?

Say, “That’s a good question, I’ll find out and will get back to you with the answer.”

 Are buzzwords good or bad?

Usually not a good idea. Use plain, simple English that everyone can understand, whether they’re in your field or not.

How do you convert tech speak into English?

With help from a pitch coach to ask what are you trying to communicate. Have someone ask them the “dumb” questions: What are you solving? Why does that matter? What’s the one thought you want to communicate with this slide?

What was the best pitch you ever heard and why?

Impossible to identify only one pitch as the “best”…I’ve coached more that 600 startups in the last two years alone.

What should you never say?

Several things should never be said:

Never say: “No one else does what we do.”

“We’re the only ones.”

“We’re going to disrupt the market.”

“We’re unique.”

The VCs and Angels have been exposed to so many startups, so chances are, that they’ve seen something like you, or think they’ve heard of something similar, and will be turned off to you if you make statements like these.

Where can we learn more about you?

I am an international pitch and business strategy coach for technology start-ups interested in U.S. market entry and global expansion.

I help start-ups and companies to have their value appreciated in the world. By making sure that every conversation about your business counts. So that you don’t waste your time, your money or your life. Want to know more? www.bethsusanne.com

And get ready to be funded and be launched.

Pitching to Investors

Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and sat through more pitch sessions than I care to mention. As an investor, I want to know if I can make money from this investment – Is there a differentiated product solving an unmet need in sizable, growing market? Is there a defensible position? Does the business model make sense? Can this team execute?

Sitting through pitches, there often comes an ugh moment. A moment when the entrepreneur says something in the pitch that just makes everyone in the room groan. This is the time when we start checking our emails on phones.

Pitching to Investors – 5 Things You Should Never Say To An Angel

Here are a few things you should never say during a pitch –

We have no competition.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this one. And I can’t speak for all investors, but when I hear this I think there are 3 possible scenarios – You are so f@#king brilliant that no one has ever thought of this idea, there’s a reason there’s no competition, or you just don’t understand the competitive landscape.

We give it away to gain market share.

A customer is not a customer unless they pay for it. . Sometimes, this is conveyed as “User experience is more important than monetization, right now.” Ultimately, user experience isn’t going to pay the bills, paying customers are!

The numbers will take care of themselves.

If you don’t understand the numbers, you don’t understand business. The numbers speak to break even, capital needs, pricing, margins and ultimately profitability

We just need to capture 2% of the market

This suggests you haven’t clearly defined an unmet need in a market place. If you understand what your customer needs, then it’s not about percentage of some perceived market.

Everyone needs our product.

No, they don’t. there are likely many viable options in the market depending on each individual needs. Some clients will forgo quality for savings, some are early adopters, some don’t have the capital, etc. I want to know about your target demographic and why this product uniquely solves a problem they have.

In conclusion –

Ultimately your job is to convince us how we are all going to make money with this business.  To do so, you need to explain who is your customer, what they want, why your product solves this need when others can’t, why your team can deliver on this promise and what this means as a market opportunity.  Then, you’ve caught our attention.

Pitching to Investors

 

Fintech is HOT!

In our continuing Women in Business series, we chatted with Susanne Chishti CEO & Founder of FINTECH Circle.

Fintech is HOT!

Women in Fintech with Susanne Chishti

Susanne is a Senior Capital Markets Manager, Entrepreneur and Investor with strong financial services expertise aware of new trends across the Financial Services Technology (FinTech) sector, B2C and B2B growth opportunities and regulatory requirements. More than 14 years experience across Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong.

Experienced leader and Non-Executive Director for FinTech Start-ups with positive “can do” attitude and enthusiasm to solve complex capital markets challenges. Focus on corporate strategy, finance and the successful launch of innovative products and services while providing access to senior leaders in the City/Canary Wharf for investment (angel investors) and business advise (Non-Executive Directors).

“In front of our eyes a new industry is being built which will revolutionize how we bank, pay, invest and trade with other consumers and businesses worldwide. You have the choice of sitting on the sidelines and watch how FINTECH will change your personal and professional life. But you can also get ahead of the game by becoming involved, building up your expertise and potentially invest into the next Apples, Paypals and Googles which are being founded in the UK today.” Susanne Chishti

What is Fintech Circle?

FINTECH Circle is Europe’s 1st angel network focused on fintech investments, thus all our investors have strong finance/tech backgrounds and we only invest in fintech companies. Our focus is seed/early stage investments for funding rounds of between £100K to £500K.

FINTECH firms can apply online for funding and FINTECH angels can contact us on info@fintechcircle.com  We also run the leading fintech network on Linked In with more than 4,000 global members consisting of investors, entrepreneurs, fintech thought leaders and innovators. You can join our FINTECH Circle group online and follow us onTwitter.

What is Fintech Circle’s investment philosophy?

We define FINTECH widely and are interested in fintech solutions across retail banking, corporate and investment banking, asset management, transaction banking, private wealth management, insurance, finance regulation, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We are interested in “disruptive” fintech firms who have come up with new business & revenue models with the intention to take away market share from existing players and also “traditional” fintech firms whose goal it is to sell their services and solutions into established players.

What investments has it made?

FINTECH Circle angel investors have made several investments including AlgoDynamix (Algorithmic big data risk analytics company empowers asset managers to preserve capital nominated by the UK Business Angels Association as “Best Disruptive Investment of the Year” http://www.algodynamix.com/), Fourex (Money Exchange Specialists & Winner of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group Competition: Pitch to Rich), Divido (Online instalment payments Firmhttp://divido.co/) and HubExchange (Private Online Exchange for the New Economy; www.thehub.exchange)

What are your investment deal-breakers?

FINTECH Circle uses a multi-stage selection process. Stage 1 is the submission of the fintech firm’s executive summary, investor presentation and 3 min founders video to provide an elevator pitch and the completion of our application form online. We review all submitted documentation against our criteria including the strength of the team, product/services, market size, traction achieved, route to market strategy, valuation etc. The top 10 companies who passed stage 1 are then invited to Stage 2, our FINTECH Circle Selection Day. During this day they present in person to our Selection Panel made up of experts across fintech. The top 6 companies who pass the Selection Day and are then invited to a FINTECH Circle Coaching Day where we help them with practice pitch training to get ready for the actual Angel Network Evening where they will present to FINTECH Circle Angel Investors.

One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?

First, for your angel investments focus on those areas where you personally have strong expertise in so that you can judge better which firms/opportunities have strong potential and also you will be able to provide your knowledge/guidance and contacts to your invested companies providing “smart money” to them. Secondly, don’t invest on your own but join an angel network which matches your interest so that you can discuss opportunities with like-minded investors and co-invest alongside others. Thirdly, the saying to “never put all your eggs in one basket” is so important, diversification is crucial. Thus start out slowly by observing other deals/investors and then when you start investing, try to allocate your available funds across at least 10–20 investments over 5 years. Finally angel investments should be fun and a great opportunity for you to really help the best entrepreneurs building up successful businesses globally!

One piece of advice to an entrepreneur looking for capital?

Be prepared and show your passion/expertise how you will solve a big problem in the market. Be clear on your strategy, show traction and have all your paperwork ready before approaching investors.

What challenges did you face as a woman in business?

Unfortunately both the finance and tech sectors totally lack diversity. As women we face numerous challenges such as not having enough female role models in senior positions, always being the minority in meetings, events and conferences being overlooked for promotions or bonuses when we have children, lack of female politicians and lack female investors and entrepreneurs.

Why aren’t there more female angels?

I have met many outstanding female investors running large investment portfolios at leading asset managers. Women tend to be very good investors. In the UK we have seen the number or angel investors slowly increase but it’s still a very small number which we can hopefully increase going forward.

Do we need special funds for women owned startups?

Yes, the more funds female entrepreneurs have access to, the better.

What do you do for fun?

Spending quality time with my family and friends, yoga, skiing in Austria and reading.

Angel Investment Track How to Web 2014

Heading off to Bucharest in November to moderate the Angel Investment Track at the How to Web Conference.

The How to Web’s Angel Investment track is co-curated by Angelsbootcamp. Its Program Director, Mike Doherty, will moderate a panel talk with George Lemnaru and Malin Stefanescu, sharing his expertise gathered from working with angel investors from all over Europe.

Learning together how to better support early-stage startups

Angel Investment Track How to Web 2014

Angel investors are the people with financial resources that can boost a startup in return for a small equity. But often so do the accelerators. So that’s why it’s essential to get together and discuss key issues such as:

  • how the scouting process for investment opportunities works

  • how to approach the due-diligence process

  • how to make sure your investment is well managed

  • types of investments in early-stage startups

  • angel investors working with each other and with accelerators and more.

Angel Investors are well aware of high risk. They know that 9 out of 10 business ideas often fail, so they scout all the time, are present at events like How to Web Startup Spotlight, around accelerators and dedicated events like tech angels meetings, they are open to direct contact and always keep track of recommendations.


How to Web aims to support Eastern Europe’s grounbreaking tech experts into becoming web trendsetters.

How To Web realized the great technical potential that Eastern Europe holds, a lot of it being used in the present in the outsourcing industry. Therefore we decided to value this great potential and to inspire and support local startups into developing the next world-changing, innovative web products.

Our main event is the How to Web Conference, organized once a year in Bucharest, Romania. The How to Web conference reunites hundreds of entrepreneurs and tech professionals with great speakers and investors from Europe and beyond. Our main concern is bringing people whose experience is relevant to the EE scene, people who can bring true value to the local ecosystem.

Rainmaking Loft welcomes Angelsbootcamp

We are pretty excited to be heading off to London in two weeks for the next installment of Angelsbootcamp. In London, our host is the Rainmaking Loft.

Startupbootcamp Berlin has announced its third Angelsbootcamp September 29 & 30 at The Rainmaking Loft, London. Participants will join angels from around the world for an intense two days of interactive investing sessions run by seasoned veterans and industry insiders. The event culminates with hands-on start-up pitch sessions and applied evaluation discussions.

There are about 300,000 active business angels in Europe, but an estimated three million people with the means to be angels” says Angelsbootcamp founder Alex Farcet. “Crowdfunding platforms are taking off and activating a new generation of investors.

Investing in tech startups, and making it work over the long term, takes knowledge and experience. Our objective with Angelsbootcamp is to encourage would-be angel investors with a two-day crash course on the fundamentals of angel investment so that European tech startups can tap into a new class of skilled investors.

Angelsbootcamp participants learn through shared stories of success and failure. Battle scars will be revealed in a judgment-free and supportive environment. Connections will be made with other angels, many of which will continue to network and syndicate far after the event has completed.

Rainmaking Loft welcomes Angelsbootcamp

 

Recently, we had the opportunity to catch up with Oli Johnson, Co-Founder of and .

Many co-working spaces are springing up across Europe, what makes the Rainmaking Loft different? 

The founding principle of Rainmaking Loft was to provide our members with a collaborative and inspiring working environment as well as a diverse and welcoming community. 

There’s plenty of serviced office providers making healthy profits siloing companies in private offices or cubicles. This makes sense for some companies, however we had seen first hand how putting startups into the same space can have an incredibly positive effect. The startups in the Lofts are solving very different problems, however, they need to navigate a lot of the same hurdles. Things like, VAT, accounting, legals, payment solutions etc. By working in close proximity to each other, the startups can, for the cost of a latte, sort out complex issues in hours rather than days.

Having an open environment isn’t enough though. The personalities of the teams that occupy the space matters a lot as well. We have been very selective from the outset. For example, we only take on teams (as individuals are often not as forthcoming and open), that we like (as bad apples can easily spoil the pie) and that are working on inspiring things (as this elevates the standard for everyone in the Loft).

As for the community, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to create a space that our members want to not only work in, but socialize and have fun in as well. We invite our members to Wednesday breakfasts, Thursday movies and Friday beers. We organize various competitive events like The People’s Ping Pong Tournament, Mario Kart Races and more. We also have many learning events and networking opportunities and Loft Connections is an internal event designed to get members to help each others. Importantly, we celebrate each others’ milestones!

Lately we have been working on setting up a few clubs as well (we already have a techies club and a run club). 

What makes London an unique startup hub?

Europe has a few technology clusters, with more popping up at an increasing pace. Two of the bigger ones are London and Berlin. Ultimately we wanted to have a presence in both these cities and London seemed like a great starting point. And it has more than met expectations!

A lot of things contribute. Language, market size, government support, access to funding, transportation links etc. etc. The people that make up the London tech scene are the main reason for its success. They truly are a hodgepodge of creative, development and business talent.

Finally, London is best in class in many industries – retail and finance, just to name a couple – and is therefore in a perfect position to bring technological advancements into those sectors. 

The Rainmaking Loft is situated in two of Europe’s hottest startup sectors – Berlin and London. Can we expect more cities? 

Well, we’re opening Copenhagen soon. Beyond that, we’re keeping our options open. We have had interest from ranging San Francisco to Singapore. From Reykjavik to Cape Town. At the moment we have our hands full with London and Berlin and opening Copenhagen, but I wouldn’t rule out other cities in the future. Personally, I relish the chance to build bridges between startups and entrepreneurs in different corners of the world. 

Tell us about the startups. What stage and industries do you like to work with?

There isn’t a single dominant sector at the Loft. Most of the teams are internet/mobile startups and early stage. The teams hail from all corners of the world. Last time we checked there were 35 different nationalities in the Loft – which was very evident during the World Cup and the friendly rivalries that took place during those 4 weeks.

Can you tell us about Tesco and why you chose them as partner? 

Tesco has been a fantastic supporter of Rainmaking Loft from the beginning. We knew we wanted a partner that shared our vision about collaboration and community and our excitement for the opportunities in tech. Tesco certainly does that!

The Tesco support directly translates into lower prices (and more freebies) for our members, helping them at a crucial point in their lives. Funnily enough, Tesco opened a store in the same building a few months after we moved in, so some of their subsidies probably recycle into Tesco groceries. I hear plans for opening that store had been around well before we moved in though!

Finally, Tesco has shown great interest in meeting with our members, learning about what they’re working on and exploring avenues of collaboration as well. 

Tell us about the Arcade Gaming Themed Meeting Rooms. 

They’re absolutely essential! We brainstormed a few different themes and settled on this one. For me, the theme highlights the geek within all of us.

Our vision is that all Rainmaking Lofts should be built on the same principles of community and collaboration. That said, a Rainmaking Loft in one city can (and should) look and feel very different from a Rainmaking Loft in another city. Berlin Loft has meeting rooms named after Berlin nightclubs, for example.

Where can we learn more? 

Our website (www.rainmakingloft.com) and our Facebook (RainmakingLoft) and Twitter (@RainmakingLoft) pages are good places to start.

Rainmaking Loft welcomes Angelsbootcamp

  • Angelsbootcamp Goes to London
  • Angelsbootcamp London Announces Speakers
  • Understanding Early Stage Funding

Angelsbootcamp London Sept 2014

Motivating and educating 1,000 new angel investors in Europe by 2015

Angelsbootcamp London Sept 2014

Berlin, Germany – July 11, 2014 – Startupbootcamp Berlin has announced its third Angelsbootcamp September 29 & 30 at The Rainmaking Loft, London. Participants will join angels from around the world for an intense two days of interactive investing sessions run by seasoned veterans and industry insiders. The event culminates with hands-on start-up pitch sessions and applied evaluation discussions.

There are about 300,000 active business angels in Europe, but an estimated three million people with the means to be angels” says Angelsbootcamp founder Alex Farcet. “Crowdfunding platforms are taking off and activating a new generation of investors.

Investing in tech startups, and making it work over the long term, takes knowledge and experience. Our objective with Angelsbootcamp is to encourage would-be angel investors with a two-day crash course on the fundamentals of angel investment so that European tech startups can tap into a new class of skilled investors.

Angelsbootcamp participants learn through shared stories of success and failure. Battle scars will be revealed in a judgment-free and supportive environment. Connections will be made with other angels, many of which will continue to network and syndicate far after the event has completed.

Startupbootcamp Berlin is pleased to announce that joining the third Angelsbootcamp are partners EIT ICT Labs, Imperial College, Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and media.net.

“We are pleased that the next “Angelsbootcamp” takes place in London as a part of the “Investors Dinner goes Europe” said Agnes von Matuschka, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Technical University Berlin.

The event coincides with the “Investors’ Dinner goes Europe” – an exclusive dinner where venture capitalists, investors and promising seed-stage startups from the digital media and technology sectors meet and team up. At this highly exclusive event European Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms meet with innovative and promising SEED/EARLY-stage start-ups from the ICT sector. EIT ICT Labs and Imperial College are proud to invite 15 start-ups and 30 investors to join an exclusive two-day event in London on Sept 29-30.

‘We are pleased that the next Angels Bootcamp is taking place in London’, says Dennis Moynihan, Director of the London Node of EIT ICT Labs. ‘The city is a huge financial centre and has an extraordinary number of individuals wanting to become Angel Investors – we’d love to help them’

The international matchmaking event including the Angelsbootcamp has been successfully organized in Berlin for European technology start-ups and investors by TU Berlin in partnership with “media.net Berlin-Brandenburg” and “Startupbootcamp”.

For media enquiries, interview requests:

Mike Doherty

mike@angelsbootcamp.org

+049 170 319 2068

More information:

http://www.angelsbootcamp.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngelsbootcampGlobal

Twitter: @angelsbootcamp

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+AngelsbootcampOrgBerlin/posts

About Startupbootcamp

Founded in 2010, Startupbootcamp is Europe’s leading startup accelerator with a mentor and alumni network from 30+ countries across the globe. The program offers startups access to world class industry expertise during an intensive three month program. At the end of the program, startups pitch at Demo Day to more than 150 investors. Programs are currently active in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Eindhoven, Tel Aviv and Haifa (Israel) and Istanbul, with other cities and vertical programs to be announced soon.

About EIT ICT Labs

EIT ICT Labs is a pan-European education and research-based innovation organisation founded on excellence. The mission of EIT ICT Labs is to drive European leadership in ICT innovation for economic growth and quality of life.

EIT ICT Labs is a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. By linking education, research and business, EIT ICT Labs empowers ICT top talents for the future and brings ICT innovations to life. The ecosystem is characterised by an open and collaborative way of working with partners representing global companies, leading research centres, and top ranked universities in the field of ICT. Since 2010, EIT ICT Labs is consistently mobilising talents, ideas, technologies, investments as well as business across Europe and beyond.

About Centre for Entrepreneurship / TU Berlin
University of Technology combines expertise from research, education and startup support to create a startup one-stop shop: the Centre for Entrepreneurship. Here all stakeholders concerning entrepreneurship meet in a highly developed network including members of university, alumni founders, teachers, investors, business angels and more. The Centre for Entrepreneurship of TU Berlin is headed by Prof. Dr. Jan Kratzer, Department of „Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management“, and Agnes von Matuschka, Director of TU-start-up service. The German Ministry of Economics awarded TU Berlin with the distinct honor of the designation of “EXIST Founders University” www.entrepreneurship.tu-berlin.de

About Imperial College, London

Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

About Media.net

media.net berlinbrandenburg is the cross-sectoral business association of the creative industries in the capital region – ranging from music, film, TV and multimedia to advertising and design.

 

Investor’s Dinner Europe

3rd Investors’ Dinner goes Europe with Angelsbootcamp – Join angels from around the world for an intense 2 days of interactive investing sessions run by seasoned veterans and industry insiders.

Meet European start-ups at an exclusive matchmaking dinner and join the Angelsbootcamp.

At Angelsbootcamp, we deliver practical, actionable and relevant knowledge to the next generation of European angels – especially those aiming to become lead investors in the long run. Whether you are a first timer or an active angel, Angelsbootcamp is for investors who want to learn hands-on.

In cooperation with the German node of EIT-ICT Labs / TU Berlin, media.net created the hugely successful forerunner to this event, an international investment matchmaking dinner in Berlin called “Investors´ Dinner goes Europe.”

Investor’s Dinner Europe

At this highly exclusive event European Angel Investors and Venture Capital firms meet with innovative and promising SEED/EARLY-stage start-ups from the ICT sector. The “Investors Dinner goes Europe” moves to London on September 29th with the support and co-operation of the UK node of EIT ICT Labs, Imperial College, London.

At the exclusive Soho fine dining establishment of Kettner’s, located in Soho, Start-ups will be seated together with carefully selected Investors and will have the opportunity to pitch their idea and business plan. This is a unique opportunity to have meaningful conversations with up to 30 European investors (Angel Investors from Angelsbootcamp and international VCs such as Earlybird, Index, Balderton and Wellington). Each Start-up will have the opportunity to talk to the Investor guests during the course of the dinner.

Investors and strictly one representative per Start-up Company will be invited.

Please find all information regarding the application here.

Please find the review of the 2nd Investors’ Dinner goes Europe here.

Agenda:

  • 17.45 Registration
  • 18:00 Champagne reception
  • 18.30 Introduction to Investors
  • 18.45 Dinner
  • 21.15 Individual conversations and further opportunity for networking
  • Moderator: Oliver Beste (serial entrepreneur)

Partners:

Investor’s Dinner Europe

 

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