Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Obrigado from Porto! InvestHorizon at EBAN 2016 Annual Congress

Obrigado from Porto!

The EBAN “Scale up for Europe” 2016 Annual Congress took place in lovely Porto, Portugal between 25-27 May and in the middle of the “Scale-up Porto” week, an initiative launched by the Municipality of Porto dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs to startup and scale up their companies. Throughout this week dedicated to entrepreneurship more than 1000 founders and investors attended the numerous workshops, conferences, meetings and pitching competitions that the Municipality, in partnership with EBAN (European Business Angel Network) among others, organized.

The iconic Palacio das Artes, venue of the EBAN Annual Congress “Demo Day”, opened its doors on the morning of 25 May to entrepreneurs and angels from 31 different countries. During this action packed first day of Congress more than 40 startups who applied to the workshops and competitions powered by InvestHorizon, ePlus Ecosystem and Future Internet Business learned from the best mentors coming from EBAN’s network how to effectively present themselves and their companies to potential investors.

Different investment readiness and related topics were treated throughout the morning training sessions which saw:

- Audra Shallal (Nordic Female BAN Board member, angel investor and serial entrepreneur) lead an insightful workshop on “How to craft a killer elevator pitch that will land your investment”.

- Michael O’Connor (CEO of CorkBIC) delivering a highly interactive coaching session on “communicating with investors and winning”.

- Daniel Tomov (Founder of Eleven accelerator and VC investor) offering his “Practical tips on Fundraising”.

The Dry Run Clinic also allowed all presenting companies to test their pitch and get feedback from a panel of seasoned investors amongst which: Paulo Andrez, Charles Sidman, Julian Costely, Michal Cieminski and Ivar Siimar.

“I never would have thought to get so much done in just one morning” commented one of the entrepreneurs after going through Audra’s workshop and the Dry Run Clinic. “This is not the first time I go to such startup events but FINALLY some quality training and not the usual academic talks by the experts. I got my ears pulled by the investors in the Dry Run but it was worth it because I was able to fine tune my presentation before going on stage to pitch in the afternoon. Obrigado to EBAN and to the Commission for the planning and execution!”

After a typical Portuguese lunch, the Global Investment Forum powered by InvestHorizon finally began in the afternoon at the Hard Club Porto. The entrepreneurs had the chance to pitch to an audience of 120 people among which more than 60 local and international investors! Competition was tough as a lot of very interesting projects were presented. The jury however awarded Clickly as the “One to Watch” and Knok Healthcare as the “Most Investable Company” winners, both companies with headquarters in Porto.

Media coverage was also present to document the “Demo Day” and a dedicated article can be found online on EU Startup’s blog page here: http://www.eu-startups.com/2016/05/knok-is-most-investable-startup-according-to-the-global-investment-forum/

The startup and scale up experience did not end here though. All entrepreneurs that participated to the “Demo Day” afterwards got complimentary access to the EBAN Scale Up for Europe 2016 Congress on the two following days. As more than 200 early stage investors were present on the 26 and 27 of May, it goes without saying that the entrepreneurs took full advantage of spending three days in Porto and network with investors and peers. EBAN also specially organized three entrepreneur focused training workshops:

- “If you can’t nail it, don’t scale it” by Julian Costley, angel investor and founder of billion Euro company E*Trade UK, who shared his view on what startups need to do to start and later scale their businesses.

- “Thinking like an astronaut” by Dan Toma, lean startup coach from Silicon Valley, who gave mind set changing tips to up your chances at making it as an entrepreneur. “Why you can’t afford to fail at preparing EU proposals” by Nikolaos Floratos, EU funding expert, who delivered advice to entrepreneurs on how to prepare excellent EU grant proposals