INOVA+ has been coordinating an extensive study: “Understanding the Nature and Impact of the business angels in Funding Research and Innovation”, together with Business Angels Europe (BAE), the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Markets Players (EBAN), Tiago Botelho of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW).
Through documental research, a survey and the conduction of a series of interviews with Business Angels and entrepreneurs from 33 European countries, the study provides detailed insights on their economical and professional behavior throughout European venture capital markets and the national context business angels operate in.
The document also presents a catalogue of best practices of support measures and innovative schemes for Business Angels’ investments, as well as giving policy measures aimed at supporting business angels.
The investment of business angels in Research and Innovation (R&I) is a crucial complement to supporting start-up companies through national incentives to invest. It represents the most significant source of early stage equity investment in young and R&I firms, and angels invest throughout Europe. However, little is known about business angels and their investment behaviour throughout European venture capital markets. This report presents the outcome of a study aimed at filling this gap.
Business angels have long been recognized as an important source of finance for entrepreneurial businesses, particularly in the start-up and early growth stages when the financial support required is too small to be economic for VC fund investment. Business angels share a primary motivation to give back to society by sharing knowledge, skills, contacts and capital with young entrepreneurs. In terms of national approaches to business angel activities, whilst financial support and incentives are important, policies should also foster an environment in which successful individuals are encouraged to share their resources and skills. In this sense, awareness, networking and education are, arguably, as important as financial support instruments for increasing participation in business angel investment.
Business angels were asked, for this study, to give their opinions of national frameworks for doing business and, whilst some were happy with the situation in their own country, the large majority expressed dissatisfaction and had recommendations to make about how to improve national policy on business angel investment.
In addition to generating knowledge about business angel activities in funding R&I, this report also delivers a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the business angel market. The assessment goes beyond existing data on business angel networks and organizations to cover the informal, less visible and also less documented activities of private business angel investors.
INOVA+ expresses its gratitude to all contributors who provided data and information to the current research, and remains at disposal for providing further details to who might be interested.
Contact: Chiara Frencia, Senior Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The European Commission study “Understanding the Nature and Impact of the business angels in Funding Research and Innovation” has been prepared for the European Commission, however it only reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which might be made of the information contained therein. More information on the European Union is available on the internet (http://europa.eu).