During Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), members of the Global Business Angels Network (GBAN) and GEN Invest community met in dozens of cities around the world to network, share best practices, and advance the interests of angel investors everywhere.
GEN Invest is the investment arm of GEN, the primary focus of which is to pave the way for new and aspiring investors in untapped ecosystems through investor training, advocacy efforts with legislators and policymakers at the national and local levels, and through regular programming with the GBAN community.
GBAN currently has 85 members representing 65 nations and economies. During GEW, members hosted angel education programs, networking sessions for startups and investors, and pitch competitions and showcases for founders to share their companies and meet potential investors.
Africa Early-Stage Investor Summit: ABAN and VC4A
GEW kicked off with the 9th edition of the Africa Early-Stage Investor Summit, hosted by the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) and VC4A, and investor meetups in 29 cities around the world.
The Summit welcomed more than 2,000 delegates from 75 countries, the largest gathering to date, with more than 600 early-stage angel and VC investors connecting at the annual summit to take stock of the industry’s progress and to chart the way forward.
ABAN is the leading early-stage investor capacity building network in Africa. The network has helped build over 30 angel networks across the continent by working to support legislation like the Nigerian Startup Act, delivering services to new and nascent groups, and providing investor training and education. In the past decade, countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Johannesburg, and Kenya have established themselves as hubs for startups and entrepreneurs across the continent with support from ABAN.
Demystifying Raising Capital From Angels: Angel Capital Association
The Angel Capital Association (ACA), the largest angel association in the United States, hosted their regular angel and startup workshops during GEW, including an entrepreneur-focused webinar which explained how angels determine their investment priorities. They also published the Angel Funders Report to increase awareness about angel investor activity and build a deeper understanding of the investing environment. The report provides context for seemingly disparate data points, identifies trends, and highlights innovative ways that angel networks at ACA are working together to fuel the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Computer Science of Sri Lanka Digital Investment Summit
The Computer Science of Sri Lanka Digital Investment Summit attracted dozens of Pakistani startups and investors to pitch to investors across various angel communities at GBAN and affiliated with GEN Pakistan.
The Rising Tide of Micro-Enterprises in the Caribbean
The Rising Tide of Micro Enterprises in the Caribbean was hosted by !nnovate Guyana, an initiative led by GEW Guyana lead Oslene Carrington. The event included a regional pitch competition and startup showcase with startups hailing from five Caribbean islands. Select GBAN members were judges in the showcase, some tuning in from the U.S. and LatAm.
KISED Accelerator Demo Day
GEN board member Rebeca Hwang invited Scott Fox, a GBAN Community Observer from Tech Coast Angels to speak and participate at the KISED Accelerator Demo Day. Twenty-two of Korea's top health tech, medical device and consumer startups travelled to Los Angeles to explore expansion and fundraising opportunities in the U.S. These companies represent some of the best medical tech and software/consumer applications from the burgeoning Korean startup ecosystem, which now includes at least 18 unicorns and is among the top 10 ecosystems in the world in terms of number of startups reaching a $1B valuation.
"With a wide net of global investors who are eager to support and fund innovative startups, GBAN proved to be a reliable network of astute investors open to learn about unconventional opportunities outside of their local markets," said Rebecca Hwang, GEN board director and senior director of Thunderbird’s Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Family Business. "Scott and Tech Coast Angels were a powerful contributor to the panel discussion, and generously offered mentorship and office hours to founders with life-saving technologies in need of business training. We are grateful to be part of a supportive platform that elevates entrepreneurship for founders and investors alike."
GBAN Field Call: Early Stage Capacity Building With Bangladesh Angels and USAID
Nirjhor Rahman, founder of Bangladesh Angels and the GBAN National Lead in Bangladesh, was the featured speaker at the GBAN Monthly Field Call, where he announced recent capacity-building initiatives with donors such as USAID and lessons for other small angel networks in incorporating that revenue stream into their structure.
Bangladesh Angels and its sister chapter Bangladesh Women Investors Network announced their partnership with USAID, DAI, Singapore-based early-stage accelerator and investor Accelerating Asia, and angel networks and accelerators from across the region to launch WeScale, the first cross-regional accelerator in South Asia focused on women-led companies who want to raise their first funds. The initiative is the first cross-regional accelerator of its kind in South Asia.
GEW was an opportunity for investors and investor groups at GEN to share what we’ve learned as a community, what the future holds, and some of the companies and founders we’ve met along the way.