The toughest feat for a startup is not the one related to finding that first angel.
It is the one on how to find that particular angel that adds not only money but also specific value in that crucial early stage.
Having this in mind, Angel Island organises the first European competition for angels with the aim to celebrate the ones who drive the community forward. Therefore, Europe’s Most Valuable Angel will be announced during this year’s edition of Angel Island on 26th of September in Amsterdam.
Who would be more suitable to select Europe’s Most Valuable Angel than the entire European startup community? Everyone is invited to vote for their favourite angel here.
The winner will be asked and celebrated on Angel Island, the unconference that changes the way entrepreneurs and investors work together.
No Keynotes, No Pitches, Only Meaningful Connections
The island next to Amsterdam packed with angel investors, VCs, global influencers, and startups – that’s Angel Island, the exclusive unconference.
“Angel Island combines the best of Amsterdam – boats, DJs, a fortress, crazy creative people – with the coolest international crowd of founders and investors.” ~ Special Envoy, Prince Constantijn van Oranje, StartupDelta.
Breaking the traditional pitching and investor meetings, Angel Island connects the unconnected and brings together the bravest and the most brilliant minds every year to combine the resources that will contribute to a sustainable future.
The one-day event takes 200 angel investors, 50 venture capitalists, and 200 startup founders on an island with the aim to create meaningful relationships that will help each other progress and disrupt industries.
“The number one question I get asked by startup founders is “How do I find the right Angel?”. Crazy enough, angels ask the same question regarding start-ups“. ~ Ton van ‘t Noordende, Partner at Keadyn, Founder of Angel Island
The unconference will start on sailing boats, will continue on an island situated in the middle of the sea, and, as the grand finale, will have an exclusive party on the motherland.
The Angel Island team values the immediate interaction between angel investors and founders. Therefore, they will break the ice right after stepping foot on the sailing ship, where the participants meet their personalized crews composed of three founders and two angels.
On the island, groups with common interests will be locked together in the fortress and will be encouraged to have open conversations on hot topics.
Last year, there were no pitches, no keynote speakers, nor any name tags. Everything was about entering conversations without strategizing beforehand. Participants confessed that it was a rough, quite mysterious, extremely adventurous, but deliberating setting which took everyone back to the origins of bonding.
This year, Angel Island will continue their success recipe by adding new elements to reach once more the main goal – connecting on a meaningful level and having insightful, straightforward conversations with the right people at the right moment.
“It has given us the amazing opportunity to connect with angel investors in an informal setting, which resulted in investment within 60 days.” ~ 2016 Participant, Floris van Hoogenhuyze, Founder Barqo
Reviewing the impact of last year’s edition, the founders ended up with global connections, investment knowledge, new co-founders, and closed rounds.
This year, Angel Island turns into a global event with an invitation-only policy, a focus on the “no limits” mindset, and the first European competition on who the most valuable angel is – don’t forget to vote here!
“I’ll put it this way. Sea fort on a tiny island packed with cool people? Are you KIDDING ME? #awesome!” – Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media
About Angel Island / Backstory:
Fueled by initiatives like StartupAmsterdam and StartupDelta, Amsterdam is finally joining the ‘connected game’. And with that, The Netherlands is now seen as one of the more entrepreneurial countries in Europe.
Many new tech funds have been raised in the Netherlands, which has led to better upstream funding options for start-ups. For example, more than 1b euros in capital was raised by tech funds in 2016.
The angel community to is becoming more informed with the help of private initiatives like the Leapfunder Roundtables or Keadyn’s Angel Academy. However, the public players are stale/redundant / legacy. The Business Angel Network (BAN) and other public initiatives have had little impact on the investment community.
Luckily, we do see several players that are stepping up their game. The Chamber of Commerce, for example, is actively trying to reconnect to the startup community and they try to see how they can reclaim their role in the entrepreneurial scene in the Netherlands.
There is limited knowledge from the founders perspective on how term sheets and valuations work, or about the dynamics of ‘economics & control’ – the essence of it all. In the Valley, term sheets have long been commoditised.
We see the same thing happening in other countries in Europe as well. Angel communities are still quite closed, and it’s tough to find that first angel.
As Ton van ‘t Noordende, founder of Angel Island puts it:
I’ve travelled to more than 30 cities in Europe in the past eight months, and I’ve seen the same issue all across the board. Founders still spend a lot of time trying to find that first round of informal funding and – unfortunately – often don’t realise they need to do their due diligence as well. We’re here to break open those informal networks and get that firsthand knowledge sharing going.
So, how easy is it for startups to raise funding?
If you ask the VCs, they will say that if you’re a good founder and you’re stationed in recognized startup cities across Europe, you should be able to raise capital quite easy. The truth is that there is still a mismatch between investors and founders.
This is why Angel Island came to life. We believe that the mismatch has to do with the fact that founders still have to learn how the funding game works. The scene is not complete information enabled yet, and not everyone has the network to find the right match.
Considering the funding gap and the work that still needs to be done on the front of getting angels & founders information-enabled and connected, we want to kick start this movement and get that first-hand knowledge sharing going.
The toughest fear for a startup is not to find that first angel. It’s how to find one that either understands that there is no role other than that as a funder, or (even better) find that particular angel that adds, as well as money, a specific value in that early stage. These angels also provide a ‘stamp of approval’ which allows for even better investors to step into the game later on in their life cycle.
With Angel Island, we have this exact goal of having the two parties better understand the game and help them start the conversation with the right people. However, we go beyond that and create powerful connections between cities by bringing together the people who can make things happen.
Let’s make an impact together. Hope to see you on the island!