As the ePlus project gears up its activities, it a privilege and honor for me as President of EBAN, one of the consortium members to write the first blog on our ePlus website.
We at EBAN believe passionately in what ePlus is doing to connect local startup ecosystems and accelerators, mentoring networks, researchers, business angels and policymakers to provide startups with new web-based products and services and help them grow internationally.
Ever since we were started by EURADA in 1999, EBAN has had as its mission to help create, finance, and build great, global entrepreneurial companies made in Europe. We believe that Business Angels, often themselves serial entrepreneurs turned private investors, and early stage market players are the best individuals and organizations to help entrepreneurs grow and achieve their potential, all the while providing a good return on investment.
Making Early Stage Investments a True Asset Class:
To this end and over the years, we have devoted ourselves to growing and professionalizing the business angel community throughout Europe and recently in the MENA Region and Africa. Our Knowledge Center is chock full of resources, tips, and best practices for both entrepreneurs and investors and I urge our ePlus community to avail themselves of all these documents (http://www.eban.org/knowledge-center/). With over 155 members in 51 countries in EBAN alone investing over 1 Billion Euros in 2014, we believe we are making steps toward achieving the goal of making early stage investments a real asset class, even though there is still much to do. This is why, we are so pleased to join together with accelerators, crowd-funders, and local startup and scale-up ecosystems to foster, encourage and support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship to make Europe a destination point for the global innovation and entrepreneurial society and economy.
The creation of an E-Zone for Europe’s Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Investors
Besides working to help transform Europe into a “Nation of Investors” in the digital economy, EBAN continues to work hard to create eco-systems that are conducive to developing a sustainable entrepreneurial eco-system. To this end, last year we joined with all of our early-stage market player colleagues to call for the creation of an E-Zone for Europe’s Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Investors. The E-Zone paper makes clear recommendations on what the public and private sectors need to do to create a thriving and dynamic entrepreneurial eco-system, such as:
- Create a connected value chain for all players in the European finance ecosystem to support innovators from start-up through scale-up to high growth,to create a thriving and dynamic eco-system for entrepreneurs to flourish, and
- Institute an E-Corp: a new type of cross European company that can be created under 24 hours, possibly at a second stage with the same requirements across the EU and which would be invested in by investors holding E-Passports.
The entire E-Zone paper is available at http://www.eban.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/E-Zone-22-December-20141.pdf.
EBAN as partner of the e-Residency program:
Also in the vein of supporting, fostering and encouraging entrepreneurship and the digital economy, EBAN is partnering with our EstBAN colleagues from the Republic of Estonia which is the first country to offer “e-Residency”, a transnational digital identity available to anyone interested in establishing and administering a location-independent business online. Estonian e-Residents can register a company online, perform e-banking transactions, access international payment service providers, declare taxes online, manage a company remotely, and digitally sign documents and contracts.
“e-Residency’ was created to grow the digital economy, attract new investment, and connect with new businesses. “e- Residency” provides enormous advantages in convenience and flexibility for anyone who has an existing business or other connection to Estonia. But it also provides anyone, not just those connected to Estonia, with the tools and systems to own and operate their own business. In creating this program, Estonia, EstBAN, and EBAN hope to unleash the world’s entrepreneurial potential.
Global Success Stories made in Europe:
The ePlus project is also particularly exciting to us at EBAN due to its Pan-European aspect. Putting in motion a true pan-European web-entrepreneurship ecosystem by setting up the initial backbone made of the interconnection between the booming regional ecosystems of Lisbon, Nice and Baden-Württemberg, combining and intertwining current services and opportunities and making room for more local ecosystems to join in is most gratifying as we have worked with all three of these first regional eco-systems for many years and have strong business angel and early stage investor groups in each of them as well as throughout Europe. We are increasingly doing “cross-border” investments in order to help our entrepreneurs access large markets and deeper pockets.
As we advance with the ePlus project, we at EBAN look forward to working with our consortium partners and the entire web-based Entrepreneurial and Early Stage Investor community to create Global Success Stories made in Europe.
EBAN, the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players