In 2015, for the first time in its seven-year history, the Austrian Business Angel Day took place in Velden, Carinthia, with another first –time integration of the Alps-Adriatic region. We were there and had the opportunity to hear and meet 30 startups who pitched in a most beautiful surrounding. The keynotes from Norbert Zimmermann / Berndorf, Herwig Springer / i5invest and Denes Ban / OurCrowd were addressing several topics connected with startups with very specific approaches.
Norbert Zimmermann allowed insights into an investor coming from the old economy, his personal track record with 9 investments generating a 3x return in 10 years. His somewhat surprising conlusion still is that big corporations are not the right habitat for startups.
Herwig Springer presented a figure driven approach from i5invest. He presented the well thought and elaborated valuation and validation process, followed by interesting statistical background information on the startup market. He explained the different valuation possibilities and presented an example for the impact of convertible notes as a mean of financing. Even though venture markets are developing positive, Europe still is far behind the US. At least one aspect showed Europe catching up: The median amount invested in venture-backed companies is twice as high in the US. Still median money raised in the last quarter of 2015 increased in Europe by 29% and decreased by 11% in the US.
Denes Ban from OurCrowd took the audience on a journey with a world without a stock market and the crowdinvestings potential to distrupt traditional finance. In contrast to the other key notes Denes` pointed to a specific possibility of investing into startups at later stages. Clearly not the solution to the early stage startups at this business angel day but an interesting option to look into for investors.
Unlike many other startup-events, the Business Angel Day 2015 in Velden allowed excellent networking possibilities the entire day until late in the evening at the awesome dinner location “Seespitz”, directly at waterfront. The organization by Build! Gründerzentrum Kärnten / AplusB was excellent and prove that taking this event outside Vienna is a real option also for the Event 2016.