The Engaged Investment conference hosted important faces, offered workshops and networking
Our annual Engaged Investments Conference brought many business angels and experts together. It was an amazing event and we were overwhelmed by the large number of our participants.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by a refreshing welcome drink and a relaxed atmosphere in the pleasant room of the Prague HubHub in the Ara Palace. From the two events met more than a hundred of investors. Our Engaged Investments Conference was on the first day of the prestigious Startup WorldCup & Summit.
The attendees were welcomed by the organizers - Jan Krahulík (DEPO Ventures) and Tomáš Cironis (SWCS). To warm up, investors could see pitches of the best Power HUB scale-ups. This fresh start was followed by ten-minute speeches from interesting people from the European startup ecosystem.
Investor education and support as a top priority
Janne Jormalainen - Entrepreneur, Business Angel, President of EBAN, talked about what the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) does for angel investors. Proof of their high priority for investor education is the launch of EBAN TV. At the end, he invited everyone to the European Angel Investment Summit, which will be online on October 28-29th. Janne's participation suited well, as DEPO Ventures manages the international network of DEPO Angels and all its members are also members of EBAN and can benefit from this cooperation.
Invest first, help and not be greedy
Angel investor Vít Horký supported his interesting speech with the facts from the results of his survey on angel investors. He appealed to investors not to be afraid to wait for anything and to invest in startups first. He compared it to the “Spray & Pray” technique. He confirmed the results of his survey that showed a startup invested by an angel investor at an early stage has more traction and is more professional overall. However, the investor should not help when he is not asked for help and Vit Horky confirmed it as a former startupist. His speech ended with advice that investors should not be "greedy" and shouldn't want too large a share in the beginning, which may then discourage larger investors in the future.
Matchmaking, mentoring, motivating
Then it was the turn of the Lithuanian angel investor Rita Sakus, who joined online. In a dynamic speech, she revealed what is behind the success of the angel network (LitBAN) of where she is president at. She credited it to syndications and co-investments among investors, which organically led to Word-of-Mouth. Therefore, she emphasized the importance of cooperation and called for all European micro-ecosystems and angel networks to work together, syndicate and co-invest.
Im taking away her 3M, which Rita also applies in her personal investing - matchmaking, mentoring and motivating. She appealed to investors and angel networks to actively connect investors with quality startups, investors to mentor and motivate startups to make the whole ecosystem work and produce successful global technology companies.
The afternoon part of the program was devoted to practical workshops. Visitors could choose from six-hour workshops led by experienced investors or experts. The workshops were based on level. Experts such as Pavla Říhová from EY and Tomáš Ditrych from Mavericks were answering difficult questions and helped solve problems in the field of law, taxes and due diligence for more experienced investors. On the other hand, the investor of the workshop Douglas Wong practically described how to start with angel investing and Petr Šíma's workshop indicated how syndicates are made.
The exciting finale of Startup Worldcup & Summit
And for those who did not want to be educated or have not found a place in fully occupied rooms, the program offered regional finals of the startup from the Startup World Cup & Summit. The startups pitched and then the presenters were answering the tricky questions of the jury experts. It was very exciting. The startups Readmio and Investown were among the favorites. However, in the end, the blockchain startup TATUM from Brno won. He also won the entire European final of this SWCS and will strive for a global award in Silicon Valley next year.
Networking. Finally. The best at the end
After the winner's announcement, the rest of the day was devoted to networking which ended with a dinner with investors. Networking is an important part of this conference. It gives room to create new contacts, build relationships, exchange experiences from which can come out new joint investments, business opportunities or other collaborations. It was a great honor to welcome investors such as Kimmo Irpole, who came from Finland, Paul Putz from Austria and Bill Reichert, who came from America, the founder of the Startup World Cup & Summit. However, even local investors were quite important, such as Karel Janeček, Ondřej Vlček and many others also showed up. Both organizers (DEPO Ventures, Air Ventures and UP21) were supported by the Czech startup ecosystem. Thanks to this, a comprehensive two-day program was created, which satisfied both investors and startups.