The Regional Introduction to Angel Investment Workshop that took place on February 25, 2014 in Belgrade, Hotel Metropol Palace, was organized by the USAID Regional Economic Growth (REG) Project in cooperation with partners from Serbia – Impact HUB Belgrade (Candidate), Serbian Venture Network, SEE ICT, Serbia ICT NET / Centre of Innovation Excellence, Vojvodina ICT Cluster, Nis NiCAT Cluster, Nis Center of Excellence and Innovation and StartLabs.
After a short introduction to the topic by USAID Serbia Mission Director – Ms. Susan Fritz and Filip Stojanovic, CoP of the REG Project, Mr. David gave a full introduction to the basic mechanics of Angel Investing.
The first part of the workshop was focused on business support organizations, where Mr Beatty talked about the angel investor networks and groups. The second part of the day targeted at potential angel investors and explained all the key points of the investing process, along with the risks associated with each step and tools to manage them and maximize the results. The final part was a practical case studies session when participants worked in groups to produce and defend their group results to the audience.
The closing part of the event was a business networking which provided opportunities for participants to establish and enhance their relationships.
Participants, Countries and Audience
From 93 pre-registered participants, 66 showed up. Additional 46 registered on the day. Among the more than 100 participants were angel investors, representatives of business support organizations/NGOs (accelerators, centers of innovation, excellence, incubation, entrepreneurship, clusters, associations), startups, private companies, donor support organizations/projects, investment funds, and government institutions from the region (Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania), and beyond (UK, USA, Austria).
Interest / Reactions
Reactions to the Workshop were tremendously positive. The lot of comments were that the organizers chose the right topic. Congratulations for tackling the angel investor and startup ecosystem were shared. Participants are already discussing the next steps and keen to work on further developing the sector in each country of the region. Everybody is hoping to come to the next regional events organized by the REG project on the topic. Participants are satisfied to see and work with experienced business people, like the keynote speaker David Beatty, and they understand the need to professionalize the angel investor and startup ecosystem in the region. Positive results from such events are important both for young entrepreneurs starting businesses in the region, and for established businesspeople looking to reinvest their money in sustainable and promising companies.