INSEAD and EPFL Alumni business angels in Switzerland

How to become a business Angel in Suisse Romande ? We discussed this on April 9th with 80 INSEAD and EPFL Alumni. We heard great feedbacks from successful entrepreneurs on the panel.

  • Claude Florin, President A3 Angels presented the eco-system of Business Angels in Suisse Romande and the experience of 5 years mentoring and investing in tech start-ups at A3 Angels. Check-out the presentation here or download file here.
  • Kelly Richdale , VP ID quantique (IDQ) described the US start-up and VC environment as respectful of failures. She was a wonderful moderator to ask critical questions to our panelists. One of them was the return on investment expected by investors and provided by companies : estimates ranging from 0%, 15-25% (average for Business Angels) to 300% (Nexthink) were given. Definitely motivation has to be beyond investments to become entrepreneur or business angel.
  • Martin Velasco, CEO Anecova and co-founder of many other startup projects, described how the primary success factor is whether or not a project makes a social contribution. If yes it will attract employees, customers and capital. He also raised the importance of long-term commitments by business angels and founders : well over 6 years. Be prepared for tough changes in roles and ownership power on both sides : founders and investors - there will be happy moments and great disappointments.
  • Pedro Bados, CEO Nexthink, highlighted the importance of company culture, focusing on individual deliverables from both employees and early-stage investors : nobody is interrested in just an advice, contact  or investment money. He believes  business angels are investing for 3 reasons :  trust in the founding team, interrest in understanding new technologies, passion for reaching ambitious goals. Venture Capitalists have different objectives so it is important to select those who are aligned with the founders visions, not only prepared to provide funding. Do the due dilligence both ways.  
  • Marco Boella,   CEO Lemotpics  explained how business angels can  have more tolerance to uncertainty  than institutional investors. This is useful in early-stage when startup have to adapt to changing technology and market environments. But strict governance is important when small investors are involved :  syndication is one way to limit interactions with the Board or in General Assembly to a few shareholders.
  • Colin Turner,   partner at  Greentek ventures and past mentor at A3 Angels  encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to join other business angels at educational sessions such as Angel Day or meet start-ups at pitches such as A3 Angels Seed Night.

We look forward to see you next month on May 22 at EPFL.