It’s a simple equation: “More startups attract more business angels, but also more business angels attract more startups.” This is how Selma Prodanovic, co-founder of the Austrian Angel Investors Association (AAIA), describes the relationship between the players on the Austrian startup scene, as well as one of the main motivations for bringing the 13th EBAN (European Business Angels Network) Congress to Vienna on 13-14 May. The two-day event will be an opportunity “to showcase and position Vienna on an international level but also to build awareness within Austria.”
The EBAN Congress is an annual get-together of the European early-stage investment community. Prodanovic told inventures.eu that this year, the event will host presentations on the latest developments in the field, including initiatives by the World Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF), among others, as well as outline the relations to governments and VCs. Part of the Congress will be a capacity-building programme, and a lessons-learned session aiming to provide insight into the variety of issues on the startup investment markets in Europe. The event will also host the 8th EBAN Awards, which will name the Business Angel of the Year.
The core target of the two-day congress are “business angels, business angel network managers, seed fund managers, venture capitalists and other early stage investment market players,” Prodanovic said. The organisers do, however, hope to cooperate with all relevant players from the startup scene. They seem hopeful that the event will create awareness and perhaps even make a change, but they also remain realistic.
“I wish I could say this will change everything, but we are well aware that the EBAN Congress will be more like an ‘appetizer’ –” Prodanovic said, “just a first step towards developing a Vienna-interested international business angel community. A true impact in the future will result from continuous and consistent work in cooperation with the startup community and other relevant players.”