Big ideas in front of high mountains: This year the Business Angel Day – organized by AplusB and the Austrian Wirtschaftsservice – took place in Obergurgl, Tyrol. One of the highlights was the nomination of Hermann Hauser as Business Angel of the year 2016. Hauser invested just a couple of weeks ago in the crowd investing platform CONDA. Alone this year, he could add nine new Austrian startups to his portfolio. (on the picture from left: Bernd Litzka (aws), “Business Angel of the Year 2016” Hermann Hauser, Marcus Hofer (AplusB) and LR Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf).
Pushing the startup agenda
Tyrol seems to be a good place for the venture industry: Over 100 participants took part at the Business Angel Day, among them many new faces and international top investors. Perfectly organized with a great activity package (get together dinner, gondola ride, and ski race), the event offered many opportunities for networking. This year, the main topic was about co-investments. Experts such as the Business Angels Markus Ertler and Peter Koch, or lawyer Rainer Kaspar (PHH Rechtsanwälte), shared their knowledge. Daniel Beck, investment manager at the European Investment Fund (EIF) emphasized the importance of European angel networks. Such networks offer angels – among many things – access to high-quality deal flow and professional execution of transactions. Our CEO Berthold Baurek-Karlic got a lot of positive feedback for the idea of a pan-European Angel Club, a project we are working on with KPMG Austria. In addition, he had good talks with Magdalena Hauser-Venier from I.E.C.T. about investments in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. A great sign for the fast progressing Austrian startup ecosystem was the participation of the Austrian Broadcasting Company ORF with its new startup engagement vehicle futurelab.261.
Hub to new markets
Thanks to the support of the Tyrolean government and especially Mrs. Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf, Tyrol is evolving to a regional startup anchor. The Business Angel Day is already the second high-class event this year in Tyrol. In July, the Business Angel Summit attracted over 100 business angels and investors to visit Kitzbühel. Harald Gohm and Marcus Hofer from CAST and Standortagentur Tirol together with AWS i2 Business Angel Börse and sponsors such as PHH Rechtsanwälte or Venionaire, these events are acting as networking hub to new markets, primarily to Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Opportunities such as the Business Angel Day are very important for the Austrian startup ecosystem emphasizes Rainer Kaspar, a partner at PHH Rechtsanwälte: “We really appreciate the effort undertaken by AWS and Standortagentur Tirol to bring together the Austrian investors community and also involve investors from neighboring countries. This was again a fabulous event which leads the way in building a solid base for potential co-investments in the DACH-region.”