EBAN members and all early stage investors are crucial actors towards the change Europe aims to achieve. The geographical reach is a critical factor to boost the European early stage investing landscape, allowing members to share best practices and cross border investments among themselves. 

The 14th annual European Business Angel Congress held yesterday and today in Dublin Castle was hosted by HBAN, the all-island umbrella group responsible for stimulating angel investment. This was the first time the congress took place in Ireland bringing more than 350 elite business angels and investors from across Europe, US, the Middle East and South America to Dublin.  The congress was opened by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and featured a high-level line up of angel investors during the two days of sessions.

The Congress was also the stage for the launch of the Startup Investors Manifesto (www.startupinvestorsmanifesto.eu) which called up for the early stage investment community to support a series of actions and policies aimed at increasing European early stage investment to 15 billion Euros and creating 1,5 million new jobs by 2017.

The 9th annual EBAN awards ceremony took place in evening of the first day and recognised European business angel federations, networks and investors who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to driving business angel investment over the last year. The distinguished “winners” include:

– European early stage investor of the year – Jari Ovaskainen (Finland)
– Most successful business financed by early-stage investors – DecaWave (Ireland)
– Best individual in globally engaging the early-stage investment within the entrepreneurial ecosystem – Baybars Altuntas (Turkey)
– Best EBAN member – Business Angels Copenhagen (Denmark)
– Best EBAN newcomer – Estonian Business Angels Network (Estonia)
– Best European Business Angel Week Initiative – Startech Ventures (Greece)

In addition to the awarded candidates of the traditional EBAN Awards, five personalities were also recognised for their engagement with the angel investment community. Richard Pelly, former President of the European Investment Fund and initiator of the European Angel Fund,  Paulo Andrez (President Emeritus of EBAN), Michael Culligan (HBAN, Ireland), Francisco Banha (FNABA, Portugal) and Albert Colomer (Business Angels Network de Catalunya, Spain). 

Michael Culligan, national director, HBAN said, “It is a privilege to host the European Business Angel Congress and to highlight the important role of business angel investment as an asset class. We are continually working to accelerate business angel activity in Ireland and the speakers and attendees in Dublin Castle are sharing a wealth of knowledge and experience.

The EBAN Congress 2014 has been supported by EBAN’s partners BDO and Gust, and local HBAN’s partners Eversheds, Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland. The early stage investment community will meet again in November at EBAN’s Winter University in Helsinki, Finland (November 17-18; www.ebanhelsinki2014.com).

Font: EBAN (http://www.eban.org/media-release-summary-of-ebans-congress-awards/#.U3xLZsKKDcs)