Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Investment Forum highlights the high tech hub of Turkey and the Balkan region

On Monday 7th September 2015, it was Istanbul’s turn to welcome the InvestHorizon coaching workshop and Investment Forum.
Together with Turkey Business Angels Association (TBAA) and with the support of Baybars Altuntaş, EBAN’s Vice President, EBAN welcomed at the Istanbul Technical University more than a hundred participants from Turkey but also from other Balkan hubs. Among them, a significant number of female entrepreneurs, high level investors and businessmen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In the spotlight: Sentiance

Sentiance is an Antwerp based technology company enabling businesses to tap into context aware personalisation and mobile profiling on the basis of sensor information gathered in smartphones and wearable devices.

I spoke with Vincent Jocquet, their VP Finance & Operations to understand their experience regarding financing their activities to date and what learnings are there for other entrepreneurs.

Sentiance has been operational since 2012 and realised pretty early on that they were going to need investment from external sources in order to get the company up and running. In 2012 they reached out to family and friends to try to drum up the initial funds required. This got the company through 2012 and in 2013 they once again went looking for funding. This time however, they looked beyond the FFFs*, to the business angel community. Sentiance needed funding in order to develop their market. However, they realised that they also required people that could connect them to potential clients. They were able to bring on board several angels with strong knowledge in the advertising market in order to try to help advance their market penetration. However, the angels pushed them to re-examine their model and they pivoted to a B2B2C model, allowing them to raise additional angel funding. A strong endorsement of their investors’ faith in the team was that the initial investors, re-invested following the pivot.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

In the spotlight: KonnectAgain

KonnectAgain are a Dublin and San Francisco based company who help universities keep in touch with their alumni, and help alumni make the most of their networks.

Jayne Ronayne, KonnectAgain’s CEO, spoke to me about their journey and their experience in securing funding so far. Jayne also has a couple of nuggets for entrepreneurs looking for funding at the moment.

KonnectAgain knew from day one that investment was going to be required. With a young team, financial resources were not in abundance in the team so funding was needed very early on. While friends and family gave great support (and Jayne was eager to point out are always welcome to do so again), they knew that to expand and grow their team and their idea, more money was needed.
Ignite100 in Newcastle brought the first £15,000 as a part of their accelerator programme for KonnectAgain. From there they went looking for investors who could offer advice, assistance and market knowledge. KonnectAgain decided on angel investment on the basis of these requirements and the level of funding required and so set about trying to identify the right investors. Their focus was those that they looked up to, and those that could really bring value to the company. Jayne’s focus was building a relationship with the people that she thought could really help and asking them directly if they would be interested in doing so. KonnectAgain brought together funding from a number of angels at seed-stage and this amount was matched by Enterprise Ireland*

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

invstr - the App for investors

Information is everything today. A UK app- invstr- democratizes access to financial news and market data with an easy-to-use app that provides in-depth financial news, crowdsourced market sentiment and on-demand, real-time data on stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities from major exchanges around the world for both financial professionals and independent investors everywhere. 

It features a unique crowdsourced game that predicts the prices of individual stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities – enabling investors to weigh the strength of market convictions immediately when making real-world investment decisions. The app has also been praised for providing casual investors and professional financiers on-demand access to financial data that previously required an expensive subscription terminal, such as in-depth financial news, live market data and professional research.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

COSME and Horizon 2020 – Learn which are the already adopted Financial Instruments for SMEs

There are several programmes and measures at EU level to facilitate SMEs’ access to finance. Here is a snapshot of the already adopted programmes. 
The COSME programme is expected to provide up to EUR 25 billion of financing in loans or equity investments over 2014-2020.
The InnovFin financial instruments are part of HORIZON2020, which provide funding that spans all across the innovation cycle, from lab to market.