Brunsbüttel, November, 2022

Does a fund make sense for us as an investment vehicle? How do other networks do it? At our year-end event, we learned about different approaches. We also dealt with the question of how big the crisis mood is for investments in startups and how to deal with problems in your own investments as a business angel.

Deepening one’s own knowledge in the field of StartUp Investments and exchanging ideas with other investors in an atmosphere that explicitly allows personal conversations – this is the focus of the Baltic Business Angels Masterclasses. Also this year, our year-end event took place over one and a half days in a newly opened first-class hotel in Schleswig-Holstein.

In the River Loft Hotel & Spa we started on Friday with the first part of the program on the topic of Business Angels Funds. In Berlin and Brandenburg, the local Business Angels Club has already created an active fund with its investment company. Martin R. Huber, Managing Director of the Business Angel Club Berlin-Brandenburg Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, gave us a closer look. The main motivation was to offer an ideal entry point for members to learn in the circle of experienced angels how start-up investments work and to offer the opportunity to participate in a variety of attractive start-ups with minimal time investment.

Pia Boni and Sebastian Megow from the Business Club Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V. told us how Baltic Incubate, as the first business angels network in the „fake“ north, invests together in startups. It was a very pleasant and interesting exchange and we definitely want to use further opportunities to expand the contact.

Eckart Koerner operates Angel Investments and successful fund management with Angel Invest GmbH. The portfolio currently comprises 100 companies and will grow to over 150 companies by the end of ’23. The fund managers look at about 50 deals per investment. It therefore needs a deal flow of over 1,500 companies per year. This comes primarily from the network of
founders and co-investors. The combination of fund investments with the possibility of direct investments in the portfolio is a very attractive combination for Angel Invest when investing in startups.

Lunch together was followed by a bit of exercise and fresh air for body and soul. And while we were already visiting Brunsbüttel, we naturally wanted to take a look at the locks of the Kiel Canal. Tour guide Bettina Plug showed us how the ships enter the world’s busiest artificial waterway from the North Sea and told us a lot of background information about the construction of the canal at the end of the 19th century and about the new lock chambers currently under construction. 

The second part of the masterclass focused on startups in crisis: flatround, downround or exit – how do investors react? Robert Marx from Osborne Clarke Partnership mbB reported on the development of startup financing in Germany. Despite strong market uncertainties, there is still a high willingness to invest, even if the sums per deal have decreased. While VC investors are becoming more cautious and have a lower willingness to make new investments and are even more scrutinizing during due diligence, Osborne Clarke does not currently see any change in investment behavior among business angels. Finally, three Baltic Business Angels gave us insights into the challenges they faced in the ventures they supported and the solutions they finally found.

After the participants could retire to their hotel rooms, we had a dinner together in a cozy and entertaining round and made were still late into the night in convivial round together.

Saturday started with a keynote speech by Diana Heinrichs. Diana is CEO and founder of Lindera. With her team, she has developed AI-based 3D motion analysis to prevent falls in old age and digitization of orthopedic assessments. Previously, she spent six years at Microsoft Germany. She took us on her journey to self-employment and talked about the challenges of female founding.

At the end of each Masterclass, we always hold a matching event, so this time, too, our members got to know five startups from a wide range of industries and exchanged ideas about possible collaboration and support at a get-together.

Looking back

© 2023 Baltic Business Angels Schleswig-Holstein


Claus Ruhe Madsen

Vorstandsmitglied und Minister für Wirtschaft, Verkehr, Arbeit, Technologie und Tourismus des Landes Schleswig-Holstein​

Claus Ruhe Madsen ist seit dem 29. Juni 2022 Minister für Wirtschaft, Verkehr, Arbeit, Technologie und Tourismus. Er wurde am 27. August 1972 in Kopenhagen geboren, ist verheiratet und hat eine Tochter.

Norma Jensen

Commercial Officer

Claas Nieraad

2. Vorsitzender & Screening Officer,
Next Logistics Accelerator GmbH

Claas begann seine Karriere in der Old Economy bei „AEG und Electrolux Group“, wo er seine Leidenschaft für aufstrebende Industrien entdeckte. Das ist es, was ihn bis heute antreibt. Nachdem er bei „American Heritage Management Corp.“ an der Wall Street war und in den 1990er Jahren an den ersten internetbasierten Börsengängen teilnahm, wurde seine Leidenschaft für Technik und disruptive Technologien immer stärker. Er ist Mitgründer von „New Commercial Room“, einem VC-Unternehmen mit Sitz in Hamburg, mit dem er ein Portfolio von High-Tech-Wachstumsunternehmen verwaltet, das von medizinischen Geräten über Medien bis hin zu SaaS, IT und Cybersecurity reicht. Als Angel Investor investierte er sowohl privat in Unternehmen als auch mit dem „btov Investor-Network“. Er betreut aktiv zahlreiche deutsche StartUps, Accelerator-Programme und ist Scout im Norden für den „High-Tech Gründerfonds“ (HTGF). Dadurch hat er Zugang zu erstklassigem internationalen Deal Flow und Investoren. Darüber hinaus hat Claas mehrere Aufsichtsratspositionen inne und ist Live-Musiker mit der „Soul Lounge Connection“.

Julian von Hassell

1. Chairman

Julian beschäftigt sich als Serial Entrepreneur, Investor und Business Angel seit 2003 mit der deutschen StartUp- und Venture Capital-Szene. Dabei konzentriert er sich darauf, ausgewählten frühphasigen StartUps und ihren Gründerinnen und Gründern dabei zu helfen, Ambitionen in die Tat umzusetzen. Investiert wird meist in frühphasige B2B-Technologie-unternehmen mit erstem Track Record. Julian‘s Fokus liegt zurzeit auf Industrial IoT, Data Analytics, b2b-Plattform-Tools, e-Health und 3D. Er liebt SpinOffs, die aus Forschungsstiftungen und -organisationen oder technischen Hochschulen stammen, ist aber auch für andere Möglichkeiten offen. Mehr zu Julian findet man am besten auf seiner Webseite und hier im Interview.