Calling All Nordic And Baltic Angel Investors

    angelThere’s been a lot of talk lately about angel investing or the lack of thereof, and I think the time is finally ripe for it to raise its head here in the Nordics and Baltics.

    I just recently talked to Petteri Koponen of Lifeline Ventures, who came back from the first SeedSummit that took place in London and was put together by the good people at Seedcamp. It’s a new initiative that twice a year brings together a critical mass of Europe’s most active seed investors to try and establish a stronger, more cohesive network to support entrepreneurs across the continent.

    We welcome the initiative. If its needed generally in Europe, the Nordics and Baltics are literally screaming for such an initiative.

    The other angel investor coming from our neck of the woods who was present was who else than the other Jaiku co-founder, Jyri Engeström. Other angels present included  Jeff Clavier, Martin Varsavsky, Brent Hoberman, Lukasz Gadowski, Stefan Glaenzer, Dave McClure, Andy Philips, William Reeve, Robin Klein and Sherry Coutu. A hefty list.

    Saul Klein, quite rightly, says that we need to make our geographic distribution and cultural diversity part of our strength. He goes onto state that Seedcamp has spent the last few years very focused on building the beginnings of a network model for entrepreneurs and tried to lessen the constraints and isolation of geography by giving people the best possible access to a distributed network of advisors, funding and investors across our region, who can help them aim high and build ambitious global businesses.

    This is a great idea, but again everything is in the execution and its not the first time we hear such ambitions. That said, Seedcamp and SeedSummit in particular are well on their way into becoming established pan-European platforms that work. Now, that in mind, I believe we should also recognize our unique cultural strengths here in the Nordics and Baltics in building companies. To start we should build a our own distributed network of advisors, funding and investors across the Arctic region that can then easily further tap into the larger European SeedSummit network of knowledge and capital.

    To our surprise, we have heard some local players and institutions being protective of their ‘lists’ of angel investors to the extent that they don’t want to share them with fellow investors. That needs to change! It needs to change since this is an effort where everybody wins: The entrepreneurs, the investors and the economy.

    To take the first baby step and do what we can do, we have included a new category  into ArcticIndex: Angels. This falls under the category of Investors, which list both venture capital funds as well as angel investors. To get listed there all you need to do is create a personal profile in ArcticIndex and tick a box that says ‘Angel investor’. ArcticIndex is a free wikistyle directory of entrepreneurs, startups and investors for everybody in region to benefit from.

    It is beneficial for the entrepreneurs and angel investors to find each other, resulting in better and more quality deal flow for angels and better term sheet for entrepreneurs. Not only that, it is also valuable for the investors to know each other, especially in the seed stage where pooling of investments is not only useful, but many times a requirement to make a meaningful impact. Similarly it is useful for angels to share knowledge on best practices on for example how early and later stage investors can work together. Seedcamp has started something great that makes the region potentially better for all of us. Let’s do our part and make it work for all of us.

    If there is something you’d like to see added to the ArcticIndex to make it work better for serving the above purpose, please don’t hesitate to comment or shoot us a mail.