Pan-African Business Angel Network to be founded this November

The formation of an African Business Angel Network continues! After the Investor Summit at DEMO Africa 2014 in Lagos a next big meeting will be held in November, parallel to the European Business Angel Forum in Helsinki, Finland. Do you want to be involved?

This September startup funding community Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa) hosted the first pan-African Angel Investor Summit at the DEMO Africa 2014 event in Lagos. Central to the Lagos discussion was the creation of a Pan African Business Angel Network (ABAN), a member driven association. VC4Africa, Lagos Angels Network (LAN) and the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) support this initiative and now invite others to join moving forward.

The next meeting has been announced to be held as part of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN) Forum in Helsinki on November 17th and 18th. EBAN is the pan-European representative for the early stage investor community, representing 20,000 angel investors across Europe. At the EBAN Forum in Helsinki angels from different parts of the world will come together, and the event is also the place where the world’s largest cross-border angel investment awareness initiatives will be announced this year: the Business Angel Week 2014 and Global Business Angel Day 2014 (to be held November 17-23 and November 20). This year’s Business Angel Week will focus on celebrating and creating “Success Stories” and inspiring “Cross-Border and Cross-Continent Business Angel Investment and Exits”.

Angel networks

Over the past years various angel networks have emerged across Africa, including the Lagos Angel Network, Ghana Angel Investors Network, Cairo Angels, Angel Africa List, NewGenAngels, the Africa Angels Network and others. But these angel investor networks are not yet organised like in other parts of the world (Europe, United States, Asia, and other regions). VC4Africa, EBAN and Lagos Angel Network hope that by inviting a delegation of angel investors from across Africa to join the Helsinki international angel investors gathering, a conversation among African angels can start to develop a roadmap for the formation of a Pan-African Business Angel network.

The EBAN Helsinki 2014 event offers two intense days and three tracks full of conference program, including the ‘Winter University’, an annual learning focused gathering of the European Business Angel Network – a privileged setting to extend professional networks with experts who can directly contribute to participants’ performance as angel investors and to the success of their organizations. The EBAN event is held back to back with another event, SLUSH, the focal point for European and Asian startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media.

In addition to the Winter University and SLUSH, an Africa session will be hosted as a part of the event Helsinki to talk about the developments in the African angel investment space. There will be an opportunity to connect with European and other international angels considering the African opportunity, and separate conversations regarding the continued formation of the ABAN. It is also expected that the association announces its formation at this event with founding members present.

ABAN formation

“Following on the success of the recent DEMO Africa event in Lagos where we launched the idea of creating an African-wide Angel Network with EBAN and VC4Africa, we are delighted to collaborate with our European, Middle East and Global Angel Colleagues,” said Tomi Davies of the Lagos Angels Network. “The Cross-Border and Cross-Continent character of the Business Angel Week and the Global Business Angel Day is inspiring all of us to create new Success Stories to benefit our economies and societies”.

Dr. Abdulmalek Al Jaber, President of MBAN, the Middle East North Africa Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and Early Stage Market Players, remarked: “We are bringing a large number of business angels and entrepreneurs to Helsinki to celebrate global Angel investing at EBAN Helsinki-SLUSH and will be organizing Business Angel Week events in the Middle East in December amongst Business Angels from Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa”.

Candace Johnson, President of EBAN noted: “In today’s global markets, a company must be born global. That is why we are pleased to be celebrating Business Angel Week 2014 17 – 23 November 2014 with our partners MBAN and ABAN as well as joining our colleagues from the Global Entrepreneurship Week to initiate Global Business Angels Day during that week on 20 November”.

Last month, 40 active investors took part in the Investor Summit session in Lagos. This included people like Tomi Davies (Lagos Angels Network), Baybars Altuntas (European Business Angel Network), Ben White (VC4Africa), Chika Nwobi (440.NG, L5Lab), Viktor Okigbo (IDEA Nigeria), Dipo Adebo (Lagos Angels Network), Collins Onuegbu (Lagos Angels Network), Kresten Buch (88MPH), Dr. Inderpal Mumick (Kirusa), Tope Ajao (Leadpath), Dehab Ghebreab (US State Department), Leonard Stiegeler (Ringier), Harry Hare (DEMO Africa), Nick Vilelle (LIONS), Fernando de Sousa (Microsoft), David van Dijk (VC4Africa), and many others.

For the Helsinki event in November Tomi Davies of the Lagos Angel Network, Rebecca Enonchong of a Cameroon-based angel network, and others have already confirmed their attendance.

Do you want to be involved?

Contact Thomas van Halen ([email protected]) for more information about the event and tickets or leave your details here and we will contact you as soon as possible. Also see our special ABAN Helsinki page and please inform us if you want to secure your seats as founding member of the African Business Angel Network!