THE POWER OF TWO – EUROPEAN ANGELS FUND FINLAND AND FINNISH BUSINESS ANGELS TEAM UP TO DOUBLE INVESTMENT FIREPOWER
Since its launch in 2012, the European Angels Fund has expanded to nine European countries and also includes a pan-European compartment for cross-border strategies with total assets under management of around EUR 700 million. At the end of November 2019, it had on- boarded 100+ Business Angels with a portfolio of about 600 companies. The European Business Angel Fund is proactively connecting its community of business angels from different ecosystems across Europe to share best practices and investment opportunities through an on-line platform and dedicated events.
EAF Finland, a EUR 30 million programme funded by the EIF and Business Finland Venture Capital, continues the success story of the initiative by enrolling four new seasoned business angels: Ali Omar, Henry Nilert, Aaron Michelin and Kustaa Piha. All of them have already co-invested with EAF Finland in Finnish early stage companies.
“Finland has a vibrant business angel community, which plays a fundamental and widely recognised role in the innovation ecosystem. We are very pleased with the six candidates who have already joined us, and their investment pace has already exceeded expectations. We also believe that uncertain economic times make EAF Finland’s value proposition even more powerful, as it allows business angels to better control their risks while capitalising on investment opportunities enabled by disruptive innovation. EAF Finland remains open for new applicants and we are looking forward to working with further Finnish business angels interested in taking advantage of the programme”, comments Juho Aminoff from the European Investment Fund, the investment advisor of EAF Finland.
Ali Omar, the 2019 FiBAN Business Angel of the Year, joined EAF Finland in early 2020. He shares his initial impressions:
“The example and positive feedback from prominent Finnish business angels Janne Jormalainen and Leena Niemistö about EAF Finland programme aroused my interest. I also met EAF representatives to understand in detail if the programme is a good fit for me. In general, applying for the EAF programme was very straightforward and a natural continuum of building experience as a business angel.”
“Due diligence during my application process was quick and pleasant, and at the same time, quite detailed, which is understandable and even preferable. The process included an overview of my experiences as an entrepreneur and a business angel, background checks, reviewing my future investment strategy, and how I contribute as an angel investor in portfolio companies. We had a few telephone calls and one face-to-face meeting where we went through my previous investment cases”, he continues.
“My first experience on the EAF programme is extremely positive. The EAF representatives really want my processes to be effortless and straightforward. They are also very responsive concerning communication if I need some clarification on any issue. I have already made three investments together with EAF. I wish Finland would have some more business angels joining the programme to support the development of the Finnish startup ecosystem”, Ali Omar concludes.
Kustaa Piha, a serial entrepreneur and investor in the healthcare sector, is another EAF Finland backed business angel that joined the programme in 2019.
“The selection process was professional and comprehensive, which built trust also from the applicant’s side. The contact with the EAF representatives was ongoing and smooth. Overall, the program has provided me with more opportunities for making investments as well as new contacts. The investments I have made under the programme into the med tech sector, and particularly into digital health sub sector, have hit it right”, comments Kustaa Piha.
“The process was really well thought through and I liked the idea where the first criterion is the personality of the business angel. The DD process was tough but fair”, says Aaron Michelin, who also joined EAF Finland in 2019. “The principle of the program is brilliant”.
“The EAF structure is robust yet flexible, and gives business angels full independence in pursuing their investment strategy. It’s been a pleasure to work with the team at EAF who have been very supportive throughout”, says Henry Nilert.
Building on the achievements of the existing business angels, EAF Finland is looking to enroll new Finnish business angels in 2020. If you recognize yourself in the criteria below, EAF Finland might be a great choice for you to double your investment capacity:
Interested to learn more? Please contact EIF representative Juho Aminoff or reach out to any of the EAF Finland business angels for a reference.
Not sure if you remember what happened a year ago with EAF Finland? Check out our previous articles here and here.
EIF: Juho Aminoff (j.aminoff(at)eif.org, +352 691 286611)
FiBAN: Amel Gaily (amel.gaily(at)fiban.org, +358 50 3655 019)
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