On 10 October, 90 startups and 9 expert coaches came together for an InvestHorizon Coaching Academy organized by EBAN in collaboration with EASME during the SME Instrument Innovator’s Summit in Brussels, Belgium. Around 600 attendees, including numerous VCs and angel investors, gathered at the EGG Brussels, where the event was opened by EBAN Vice President and FiBAN Founder Riku Asikainen. Mr. Asikainen’s keynote speech revolved around the 5 practical steps entrepreneurs need to take in order to conquer “the mountain”, which represents the goal every startup should have – becoming a scale-up.
Right after this hghly inspiring opening speech, the 80 participating startups were divided into 9 classrooms according to their sectors - health, energy, digital and ICT-focused - and underwent a rigorous coaching session entitled “Elevator Pitch Dry Run” with one of the following outstanding coaches, all of whom are experienced business angels:
• Riku Asikainen – Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Finnish Business Angels Network
• Berthold Baurek-Karlic - Managing Partner (CEO), Venionaire Capital
• Julian Costley – Chairman, LawyerFair
• Ian Sosso – Founder and Managing Partner, Monte Carlo Capital
• Cécile Sevrain – CFO, Tiime
• Audra Shallal – Board Member, Nordic Female Business Angel Network
• Jaakko Salminen – Chairman, Finnish Business Angels Network
• Cristina Vicini – Managing Director, Vicini Strategy
• Kim Neel Wyon – Senior Partner, Optiteam
The coaching session consisted of startups presenting their 3-minute pitch, followed by 7 minutes of constructive feedback from coaches as well as fellow entrepreneurs. The workshops lasted for two hours and were followed by an Investment Forum that lasted through the afternoon and the following day. Several startups taking part in the Coaching Academy had the chance to pitch at the Investment Forum as well, equipped with advice and a better understanding of pitching best practices.
EBAN would like to thank all of the coaches and participants, as well as EASME for its collaboration!