Once a year, both entrepreneurs and investors met at ACCIÓ’s Investment Forum in Barcelona, Catalonia’s most important event on the field. The Investment Forum focuses on sharing succes startup stories, making entrepreneurs more visible, fostering networking activities and emphasizing their international presence.
Innovative projects in search of financing
One of the main goals of the Investment Forum is to create a space where entrepreneurs are able to pitch their projects to investors so that they can raise money and put their expansion plans into practice. In the last editions of the Forum (2000-2016) have raised nearly €159,3M from business angels and venture capital funds, and public institutions. The Forum also aims to promote contacts between all attendees and facilitate relations between people from the same sector through participatory, dynamic networking.
The 22nd Investment Forum: the perfect opportunity to find and to be found
The 22nd Investment Forum, last July 2017, showcased noteworthy business projects, while the networking space welcomed everybody: entrepreneurs and investors who met face to face to build common ground and make the entrepreneurial ecosystem grow.
The 21 business projects that took the stage to perform a one minute elevator pitch, had been selected from out of 100 candidates. Divided into three categories -life and health sciences, ICT and other technologies- the public voted in real time for the nine finalists, three per category. Then, in the next round, the nine finalists had five more minutes to convince the 24 investors in the jury, answering investors’ questions to demonstrate the feasibility and business potential of their proposals. Companies and investors from the UK, the guest country, were present.
The Investment Forum Award was given to the Catalan startup AEInnova, the project tht showed the most potential for innovation and internationalization from among the nine finalists. The award consisted of 120 hours of consulting services to implement an internationalisation project with a Catalan Government Trade & Investment Exterior Office, including a travel allowance of up to €1,500 and, if needed, free use of a workspace in one of the offices for a three-month period.
Yoram Wijngaarde, founder of Dealroom
The opening conference was given by Yoram Wijngaarde, the founder of Dealroom, Europe’s largest database of startups, technology and venture capital. Wijngaarde’s speech, named The state of tech: is it morning in Europe?, took a look at the situation of the international venture capital ecosystem, as well its connections with the present political situation in both Europe and the world.
Dealroom actively tracks over 500,000 companies and 10,000 investors, from very early to late stage and buyout. It gives investors detailed data on every company, thus helping them take investment decisions, and allows companies to identify thousands of private funds and investors that could help them grow.
In the framework of the Investment Forum, the Entrepreneurial Career Achievement Award was awarded to Rakuten TV. This award is given to entrepreneurs of companies that have been operating for a maximum of 10 years and that have shown a recognized growth path. The award was collected by Jacinto Roca and Josep Mitjà, who founded Wuaki TV – now called Rakuten TV – in 2009. Since 2012, it has been part of the Japanese group Rakuten, and currently has more than 5 million users in 12 European countries of its on-demand video service. In previous editions, the award has been given to Lucas Carné and J. Manuel Villanueva, founders of Privalia; Miguel Vicente, founder of Letsbonus; Jordi Carrera and Rafel Bru, founders of the company STAT-Diagnostica; and Joaquim Domingo and Àlex Ollé, founders of Galenicum.
The 2017 Business Catalogue
Each year, from among more than 100 projects received to appear in the Investment Forum, the top 50 are selected to join the Business Catalogue. This publication is aimed at private investors interested to know new projects as well as the entrepreneurial community in general. The catalogue will be presented on the same day of the Forum.
The 21st edition
2016 edition gathered together over 550 entrepreneurs and investors in Barcelona, and some 450 networking meetings were held between attendees. It also had 21 finalist companies, which had already raised 4.9 million euros, and also 24 investors on the panel. 2016 winner was the Catalan company Nektria, recognized as the most promising startup in terms of innovation and internationalization. The company has introduced the RECShipping logistics solution, allowing consumers to choose the exact day and time slot when you want to receive your purchase, thereby improving delivery options for online shopping.
Israel was chosen to be the guest country in this 21st edition of the Investment Forum. Thus, the inaugural conference of the Forum was given by the Israeli Alon Lifshitz, CEO of Blumberg Capital investment fund, who spoke about trends in venture capital and Israel’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.