This year’s masterclass focused on „Angel investments in turbulent times“. To this end, long-established business angel icons shared their experiences with us, we got to know a new platform for deal flow management and fund investment tools, learned about the European Digital Innovation Hub and how to successfully identify exceptional founders.
The Baltic Business Angels masterclasses focus on deepening your own knowledge in the field of start-up investments and exchanging ideas with other investors in an atmosphere that explicitly allows for personal discussions. Once again this year, our year-end event took place over one and a half days in a great hotel in Schleswig-Holstein.
We started on Friday at the Panorama Hotel Aschberg with a kind of speed dating session to get to know the other members and their investment interests better. Many a private insight opened up through the leading questions and we got to talk to people with whom we may not have been in contact before.
After the coffee break, Christian Jessen from Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB.SH) introduced us to the Innovation Fund SH, which the state of Schleswig-Holstein launched in summer 2023 as a new support program. Start-ups and innovative companies can receive silent or open investments of up to EUR 1 million from the fund. The SH Innovation Fund, which has a total volume of €50 million, is financed by EU funds as well as funds from the state, IB.SH and MBG.
Joachim Krabbenhöft, EDIH-SH project manager at Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein, then explained the services offered by this project. EDIH.SH supports companies and public administration organizations in creating new digital solutions at product and process level that take sustainability aspects into account in the innovation and implementation process.
Martin Stadler demonstrated how investors can structure and manage their deal flow digitally in an efficient way using the Leva software. AQUATY offers another exciting approach to managing investments. The founders Sebastian Otutuama and Robert Jeggle want to increase the accessibility of equity in the venture capital market. By developing digital, decentralized and automated solutions along the entire venture capital value chain, AQUATY aims to become the „end-to-end operating system“ for early-stage VCs in Europe.
Johann Nordhus Westarp is co-founder and managing director of Flash Ventures and explained how he identifies exceptional founders and ideas with the early-stage investor Lucid Capital. The assessment of start-ups in terms of their personal skills and motivation is an important criterion for many business angels in addition to purely looking at the figures.
Next, we went over to the USA where the discussion partner for a virtual fireside chat was waiting for our Management Board member Claas Nieraad: Carol Sands, angel icon and founder of The Angels‘ Forum and The Halo Fund, has been active as an investor, entrepreneur and in large companies for the past 36 years. She gave an exciting and inspiring insight into her way of managing investments and was an entertaining and impressive discussion partner.
We ended the program with a virtual live concert from Lviv in the Ukraine and met in the evening for a relaxed dinner with varied discussions.
On Saturday, we were able to get to know five selected start-ups and go into more in-depth discussions after their pitches.