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Angel Investor Startup Digest

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Every Friday we send out a newsletter to more than 8000 Angel Investors around the world, once in a while I post some news here so you maybe can see the value of subscribing. Here you have some of the posts I have been reading the last couple of days and hope you find some relevant stories. Sign up for Angel Investor Startup Digest today.

Angel Challenge Bergen Finalists

Angel Challenge Blog

– Over the past 2 months, 20 Angel Investors have worked closely together with 6 startups screening, mentoring, and evaluating them to decide which one to invest in. Here are the companies…

Digital economy profits from angel investors

Martin Cash – Winnipeg Free Press

– The recent spate of workforce trimming by some of the Winnipeg’s largest corporate entities – Great-West Life, IGM Financial, Manitoba Hydro and Bell MTS – is not a signal that the economy is collapsing. But it does provide another warning bell of sorts that significant change is occurring – the digital economy is shaking the foundations of legacy industries.

The difference between investing and speculating

George Beall – TNW

– With Bitcoin cracking $2,500 per coin recently, it seems everyone has an opinion on what the future of the cryptocurrency is and whether it is a worthwhile investment. The hard truth though is that no one with an opinion on bitcoin is making an informed decision.

Paris has never been closer to toppling London as Europe’s tech hub

Shona Ghosh – Business Insider Nordic

– Paris is maturing into an impressive startup ecosystem, attracting foreign talent and funding. Research shows France received more VC investment than Germany in 2016.

Distributions of Outcomes and Angel Investing

Scott Shane – Small Business Trends

– This week I want to recount the story of a high volume early stage investor who described to me his experience with an inefficiency in a gambling market that he sought to exploit.

Deal of the week: Boom Fantasy

Finsmes.com

– The company, which has raised over $3m in total, will use the new funds for product advancement and player enhancements. In conjunction with the raise, Boom Fantasy has acquired Draftpot, a company that had raised $3m in funding, to double its user base.

Indian Startup Fundings Of The Week

Meha Agarwal – Inc42

– This week 12 startups raised about $215 Mn in funding altogether.

GEW Oslo and around the world

http://www.gewoslo.com
Despite being busy coordinating GEW Oslo as we speak, we are already starting to plan for 2017 with hopes of creating the best entrepreneurial festival Norway has ever seen. Sign up to follow the process and get the latest news.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the innovators and dreamers, who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human wellbeing. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Read more about GEW at http://gew.co/gew/about

Recent news:
– GEW South Africa Kicks off A New Chapter. Read more.
– Young Entrepreneurs: Role Models for the New World of Work. Read more.
– GEW Investors: American Investment Officer Talks Untapped Potential in African Startups, Workforce. Read more.

African Angel Investor Summit 2016

VC4A – Venture Capital for Africa

– The theme for this years Summit is “Co-investing, making it work together.” With Nigeria now officially in a recession and most major economies suffering form low commodity prices, working together is the only way forward to unlock capital fast and maximize Africa’s entrepreneurial potential.

Creative Business Cup November 20 – 21 2016

Creative Business Cup

– This year’s Creative Business Cup will be held November 20-21, in Copenhagen. 70 National partners have already joined us and are busy planning their National competition in the search for their National Winner.

GEW Oslo – Big Data, Seed Forum, Indie Publishing and more

Gewoslo.com

– During one week each November, GEW Oslo inspires people through activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

GEW United Kingdom hits 678 events in one week

Ewan Gaffney – Uk.gew.co/

– GEW started life in the UK and has grown into the world’s largest festival of entrepreneurship. Today the campaign is managed by GEWUK – an independent charity.

Get in the Ring the Netherlands

Getinthering.co

– Meet all the persons – from corporate innovators to investors, to talent and fans – you need to be successful, in just one day.

Global Startup Weekend (GSW)

Global.startupweekend.org

– More than 15,000 entrepreneurs will come together for over 200 events November 11-13 & 18-20 for Global Startup Weekend!

GEW Canada: On The Road

Futurpreneur.ca

– On The Road is a contest that helps give you an inside look at some of the rock star entrepreneurs and small businesses across Canada, as well as showcase some of the great events and initiatives that are happening during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.

Global Challenges

Futureagrochallenge.com

– Future Agro Challenge provides a platform unifying startups, investors, and other stakeholders. The FAC community focuses global awareness, innovation, and dialogue towards finding solutions for the global challenges ahead.

The greatest Entrepreneurship Festival in Latin America

INCmty.com

– Richard Branson is one of the speakers at Disrupt INCmty in Mexico City this year. They are bringing together thousands of key entrepreneurs, investors, and organizations of the entrepreneurship ecosystem to share knowledge, create, and stimulate high-impact companies and initiatives, promoting innovating entrepreneurship.

Investor is packing and leaving Oslo

Today we learned that 500 Startups are shooting down their activities in Norway, Sean Percival leaves, and the rest of the team is moving to Sweden. They are one of the leading venture companies in the world and has invested more than 1.6 billion in approximately 1,400 companies.

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Sean Percival, Source: 500 Startups

– Sweden has a much greater appetite for risk, and they are much better at marketing, commercialization, and internationalization, says Sean Percival.

– When I tried to raise money for our 15 million USD fund in Norway, there were very few who understood how venture capital works. They did not understand the mechanisms and they did not understand how they got the money back.

For every conversation I had, I started on the minus side, and had to spend time just to get to the starting line, and then I have to continue to get them to invest, he said.

It is tragic that 500 Startups not got underway in Norway. What Sean says, pinpoint our problems related to culture and lack climate for cooperation across national borders inside Scandinavia.

What worries me most is that Norway can have branding issues in the environment in Silicon Valley. It’s like a little duck pond and rumors going fast. This for sure a downturn and emphasizes once again the importance of tax incentives for investors in Norway. I assume that key politicians realize the seriousness now. As entrepreneurs, we must also put pressure on the government.

Norway must have conditions that are competitive and that can secure that startup projects have an opportunity to get financing. I think it’s unreasonable that we give a lot of grants from Innovation Norway, only for the next turn see the company flag out to get investors.

Also, we must all demand that our politicians have a vision for this country? The last thing we need is more commissions and committees. We need action!

Source: Shifter.no, Lucas H. Weldeghebriel

Estonian IT is much more than governmental e-services

Last week over 1000 foreign guests and I arrived in Tallinn for the Estonian ICT Week (27 May -3 June) including the “Industry 4.0 in Practice” conference and the “Green IT” seminar. I will write several blog post from my experience, but as a first taste, I will share a video with some of my pictures from the “Green IT” seminar and beautiful Tallinn.

ICT sector has been one of the most important industries in Estonia, starting with governmental e-services and ending with Estonian startups that are proved to have a global mindset.

Estonia is a tech advanced and agile society that gets things done fast. Therefore, a big effect is expected by encouraging the industrial and ICT sector to work together locally and internationally.

Recently, Malwarebytes, an internet security company founded in the US enlarged their office in Tallinn, because of the excellent location and awesome IT vibe. People from different corners of the world are traveling to work in Tallinn, and they expect to have 60 people in the office very soon.

If you want more information about moving your company to the heart of Europe or investing, you should contact Estonian Investment Agency (EIA), a part of Enterprise Estonia, is a government agency promoting foreign investments in Estonia and assisting international companies in finding business opportunities in Estonia.

If you want to learn more about opportunities in Estonia, you may enjoy my post “9 reasons for doing business with Estonia”.

By Berg Moe, posted originally at LinkedIn Pulse, June 5, 20.

Pictures: Berg Moe. LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bergmoe

Where to invade next

United States of America concept with statue of liberty in front of the New York cityscape at night

United States of America concept with the statue of liberty in front of the New York cityscape at night. Foto: Alexey Rotanov.

Most Norwegian are shocked looking at what is going on in American politics these days. Even the thought that Donald John Trump can end up at the White House is something we have huge problems understanding. Can Michale Moore’s new documentary give us some answers?

At the same time, we see that The Kauffman Foundation suggests policies that protect against entrepreneurial risks and economic hazards (and as they say it) might encourage more people to start companies. Is it even possible to raise such a debate in the complicated political landscape we see in the USA today? In Norway, we know it is critical to have robust safety nets to motivate people to take risks. The region has implemented “the concept of WE” with great success, wich I think is one of the key findings in “Where to invade next.”

Norway is very dependent on America both economically, as a superpower and allied, but maybe most important as a universal defender of some of the most important values in our society as freedom of speech, religion, and free enterprise. With great interest (especially from me) my son and I went to the screening room.

I know that most Americas also have problems understanding how the Norwegian model functions. Very often you hear the word “communists” used by most right-wing Republicans. Our two countries have very close bonds but are at the same time so different. Have a look at this interview with Michael Moore that maybe puts it all into perspective?

Michael Moore: Norway is unbelievable for Americans. Source: YouTube Torfrom nor/92Y.

After we left screening the conclusion from my son was simple;

I am surprised that the American are treating their own people the way they do, but I still want to go there. My favorite city is Miami.

…and then we talked a lot and still have great discussions going on and he even involved his mom in the dialog. Where is the US going and is there some light in the tunnel?

Following the presidential campaign in the media it looks like the Americans also are struggling to understand what is going on and where the country is heading;

Anger at Wall Street. Anger at Muslims. Anger at trade deals. Anger at Washington. Anger at police shootings of young black men. Anger at President Obama. Anger at Republican obstructionists. Anger about political correctness. Anger about the role of big money in campaigns. Anger about the poisoned water of Flint, Mich. Anger about deportations. Anger about undocumented immigrants. Anger about a career that didn’t go as expected. Anger about a lost way of life. Mob anger at groups of protesters in their midst. Specific anger and undefined anger and even anger about anger.

Source: Washington Post – Looking for America , Part 1, By David Maraniss and Robert Samuels.

There is a campaign to deliver a bid for GEC 2019 – The Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Oslo, and maybe if the region wins this battle we should use this opportunity to sell the Norwegian/Scandinavian model and “the concept of WE”? I think both the world and especially America need to know there are alternative roads ahead. We are for sure not perfect here in Norway, but we have some best practices the rest of the world should be aware. And by the way, it was all “made in America”, that gives us all the decisive touch we need to keep up the optimism.

By Berg Moe, March 30, 2016. Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Chairman Norwegian Entrepreneurs Association Oslo, GEW organizer and TEDx speaker.

Connect with Berg Moe at LinkedIn, sign up for my personal newsletter and the Angel Investor Startup Digest.

9 reasons for doing business with Estonia

Personally, I love Estonia and have been there 27 times since 2003 and here are the main reasons why you also should consider taking the trip to Tallinn. 5576281192_fc8575f9c4_o

View from Oleviste. Photo by Tony Bowden

Estonia is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe over the last decade. Both sales and sourcing possibilities bring Norwegian companies here. There is a good access to EU markets, including 85 million inhabitants in the Baltic Sea Region. The business environment is competitive: highly educated workforce, advanced technologic environment, low taxes.

Nordic countries are the largest investors and trading partners for the Baltic region, Norway has made the fastest growth over the last years. Today, there are over 1000 companies with Norwegian capital and thousands of Norwegian companies with business partners in the Baltics.

Nordic countries are the largest investors and trading partners in the Baltic region, and Norway has made the fastest growth over the last years. Today, there are over 1000 companies with Norwegian capital and thousands of Norwegian companies with business partners in the Baltics.

Estonia is geographically and culturally close to Nordic countries. 75% of Norwegian businesses in the Baltics and Poland are satisfied/very happy with the results according to Deloitte study.

Europe is number 1 market for Norwegian green business globally, as this sector depends on public regulations. The Baltics have EU regulations in combination with extensive EU funding, which are the drivers for the development of the market.

IT cooperation has grown primarily with Estonia, who has focused Norway Grants on green IT – IT for energy, transport, and logistics, production and trade, e-health. These IT subsectors are critical for solving local challenges, as well have global growth potential according to a Ernst & Young study.

Today, Estonia is regarded as one of the most advanced e-governments in the world.

The use of technology and digital services is widespread in both the public and the private sector.

Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency (a digital identity) to anyone interested in administering business online. e-Residents can digitally sign documents and contracts, verify the authenticity of signed documents, conduct e-banking and remote money transfers.

Estonia’s tax system is unique and the most competitive tax code in the OECD. First, it has a 20 percent tax rate on corporate income that is only applied to distributed profits. Second, it has a flat 20 percent tax on individual income that does not apply to personal dividend income. Third, its property tax applies only to the value of land rather than taxing the value of real estate or capital. Finally, it has a territorial tax system that exempts 100 percent of the foreign profits earned by domestic corporations from local taxation, with few restrictions. More at http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-international-tax-competitiveness-index

Source: Entreprise Estonia and Innovation Norway.

Picture: Tony Bowden under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Connect with Berg Moe at LinkedIn, sign up for my personal newsletter and the Angel Investor Startup Digest.

GEC 2016 – Empowering entrepreneurship

I today confirmed my registration for GEC 2016 in Medellin and are looking forward to what I believe will be a great conference and celebration of entrepreneurship. Do you want to join us or just want more information, have a look at http://www.gec.co/

gec2016_screenScreenshot: http://www.gec.co/

GEN – The organizations that power the Global Entrepreneurship Network in 160 countries gathers for their annual meeting each year at the conference.

Every year, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress gathers together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other startup champions from more than 160 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world. At the weeklong GEC, delegates make connections, gain insights, learn about new research, and leave ready to renew their programs, policy ideas or firm founder skills.

In the approach to the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network annual meeting, GERN has sought to explore important entrepreneurship research themes, particularly those around unaddressed – or less than thoroughly addressed – questions about entrepreneurial dynamics.

See more about GERN and their initiative at http://www.gec.co/gern-explores-new-research-questions-ahead-gec-medellin#sthash.yXzGEi3H.dpuf

I will blog from the conference and you are welcome to follow me at @vikingangels.

Do not degenerate yourself and your visions

We had a wonderful 10th anniversary in Norwegian Entrepreneur Association and we had engaged the comedian and entrepreneur Jon Schau. He was quite an experience. One of his main messages was “be true to your idea and who you are”, and I wanted to play a little further on this message the next day. I wake up and made a blog post that have made several Norwegian entrepreneurs and a few politicians reaching out to me.

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Jon Schau at the 10th anniversary in Norwegian Entrepreneur Association in Drammen. Photo: Odd Moe

The situation in Norway is special because there is a lack of private business angels. Seed funding is mostly provided by the government through their state organisation called Innovation Norway. There are some professional seed funds that are coming up and running now funded with 50% oil money, and that will hopefully be a game changer.

In Norway most of the entrepreneurs from day one have to adapt to the system by having to have one gameplan towards Innovation Norway relating to getting funding and grants while the real plan lies in the back of their head ready for use when they have the money. My recommendation in the blog post was;

“Be true to yourself , say what you believe is right and do not degenerate yourself and your vision in the face of the system”. “Wherever crazy, politically incorrect or spectacular your idea is, you will always find investors, partners and others who have thought some of the same thoughts as you and who understands you. It takes just a little longer!”

So do we have a problem in Norway? I think that too many bright people and good ideas have left this beautiful country because of reasons mentions above.

I feel it is happening positive thinks and we have a government that really want to do something and change the system. There are a lot of good intentions, but there are issues regarding cultures that changes slowly up here in the north.

“Norway can never be Silicon Valley – but we can be much more if we define our space.”

We for sure have the financial power of the oil fund if we are willing to us it to create the future.

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