czwartek, 19 października 2017

Report from EURUS 2017


This has been an exciting week for us here at Jaaz. It all started with the Wolves Summit in Warsaw and ended with the EURUS Forum and European Super Angels Club Roadshow in Zurich. The latter two of which, I’d like to share with you.

The EURUS Forum is a growing platform bringing together Private Equity, Venture Capital and Real Estate groups from all over Europe and beyond. For this up-and-coming forum, this was their second annual event following the inaugural meeting in Vienna in 2016, and thus a huge test of their strength and capabilities, albeit one they passed with flying colours. 

It started early in the morning, with a guest reception in the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), a wonderful venue with a panoramic view of Lake Zurich and the surrounding Alps, and one which advertises itself as a meeting point for the best minds.

The conference, as with the delegates, was divided into three tracks – Private Equity (PE), Venture Capital (VC) and Real Estate (RE). Delegates were free to attend any session of choice in any of these tracks. This format facilitates cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities when, for example, VC firms take interest in propteq or when RE groups seek to partner with PE funds. I could only participate in the VC stream, but I fully believe that the others were also on the same, exceptionally high, level.

The debate started with the topic of How Private Capital Shapes the Global Economy. Following this, within our track we had the opportunity for some snapshots on the latest technology trends, from FinTech to AI. In addition, we were given some invaluable advice from leading VC firms on how to building stellar start-ups as well as lessons learned from past mistakes.

Having been given some fascinating insights to consider, we then enjoyed a short break for coffee and soft drinks. This provided the perfect opportunity for some networking and friendly chat with fellow delegates. 

After the break, we learned about some interesting potential directions for SaaS start-ups. This was followed by a debate on what drives LP allocation decisions in today’s fast evolving world. The carefully chosen panel offered some essential facts and unique insights for entrepreneurs wishing to know what lies behind successful investment decisions. 

Debate over, the guests settled down for an excellent dinner with three courses and a dessert. This provided another ideal occasion for networking and expanding our contact base in a friendly and engaging company.

After lunch, heavyweights from EURONEXT and the London Stock Exchange discussed IPO trends, the exit climate and the benefits of taking private companies public. Following this, a moment of reflection took place, with a session dedicated to creating a new pan-European start-up ecosystem. 

The afternoon break that followed was the perfect opportunity for refreshment and yet another occasion for networking. Finally, the remaining time was devoted to discussing corporate venture hubs and later listening to some engrossing real-world case studies. 

The conference ended with a networking party. However, many of the guests and speakers were eager for more. For them, Chris Houghtaling from Venionaire Capital, who also sits on EURUS Advisory Board, had prepared a second day of activities as part of the European Super Angels Club’s (ESAC) road show in Zurich.

The next day I arrived early and was warmly welcomed by Chris. After coffee, the opening was headed by Berthold Baurek-Karlic, Founder and CEO at Venionaire Capital and ESAC Board Member, and also featured KPMG- another partnering organisation. 

Later on, we had the opportunity to watch pitches made by six companies (1 Hungarian, 2 Austria, 2 German and 1 Swiss) selected by the Club through a rigorous process. From vendors of venture capital support portal DealMatrix through to e-bracelets, to the AI-driven myAlfred, every presentation was at the highest possible level, and was followed by an engaging Q&A session. 

The European Super Angels Club is also a relatively new organisation that raised 2.5 Million Euros for their first three startups. Off to a good start with very high standards and potential, they are currently raising over 8 Million Euros for 7 startups with commitments to raise over 15 Million in 2018 already confirmed. If you are a start-up looking to raise your capital in Europe, you should definitively consider applying at https://www.superangels.club/.

Investors can email Chris at chris@superangels.club to learn more about membership opportunities.

Overall, it’s been a stimulating few days in Zurich under perfect blue skies and with a great mix of leaders to connect with. Many thanks go to the organizers of EURUS Forum and its Founder Aren Sarikyan.

You can visit EURUS Forum here: http://eurusforum.org

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