A special message comes from the Chairman of the World Business Angels investment Forum: ‘It is a great honour to announce that H.E. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia, will be attending the World Business Angels Investment Forum – WBAF 2019 with a strong delegation. She will make a speech at the Grand Opening Ceremony on 18 February 2019 Istanbul. The Croatian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, representatives of the Zagorje Development Agency, board members of WBAF Croatia, the legendary coach of the Croatian national football team, and many high-level executives who are engaged in Croatia’s economy are also joining WBAF 2019, the biggest gathering of the world’s early and post-early stage equity and capital markets. We are looking forward to welcoming President Grabar-Kitarović and her delegation in Istanbul.’

As an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the World Business Angels Investment Forum is committed to empowering the world economy through innovation and its annual meeting,World Congress of Angel Investors – the biggest convergence of the world’s equity and capital markets, WBAF 2019, is quickly approaching.

This year’s theme, ‘Connecting angel investors with private equity funds to boost innovation’, is particularly relevant in the current economic environment and has attracted great speakers on a wide variety of related topics. It will give audience all a chance to focus on how they can develop better collaboration between private equity funds and early-stage equity markets to ease access to finance for angel investors for their second and further rounds of investments.

The Grand Opening Ceremony will start with the Ministerial Roundtable on developing an international dialogue between leaders of public and private stakeholders to ease access to finance for investors and more financial inclusion. It will be moderated by H.E. Mehmet Simsek, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey. Speakers of this panel discussion include the  Economy Entrepreneurship and Crafts Minister of Croatia, the Innovation  and Entrepreneurship Minister of Kosovo, Minister in charge for regulations of Macedonia, Business Development Minister of Ghana, the WBAF Chairman, the EBAN President, the MBAN President, the IFC – SME Finance CEO and the President of the UNIDO – ITPO.

This year’s Congress features 23 panel discussions with 110  speakers from 42 countries. There will also be 2 masterclassess and 6 international workshops.

The first masterclass, the EIF Masterclass, will focus on how to develop a co-investment fund structure that will attract European Investment Fund financing. Cyril Gouiffès, Impact Investment Manager at the European Investment Fund, will join us from Luxembourg to give this special masterclass with a case study from Croatia.

The second masterclass will be a BIC Masterclass: New Methodologies to Pick Winners When Angel Investing in Blockchain Powered Projects by Brad Bulent Yasar, Founder of the Blockchain Consortium, USA.

Of particular interest this year will be a session called Nasdaq Talk. Carsten Borring, Head of Listings & Capital Markets of Nasdaq will give an keynote speech on the anatomy of an SME IPO. How to successfully plan and structure a public offering? When is the right time to list? What are the key considerations companies should take before listing?

The WBAF 2019 Workshops will be delivered by leading names of the world’s equity and capital markets. These include Callum Laing, partner in Unity Group Private Equity – Singapore; Ian Sosso, Founder of Monte Carlo Capital – Monte Carlo; Wayne Clarke, Founding Partner, The Global Growth Institute – UK; Patrick Kedziora, WBAF High Commissioner – France; Michael O’Connor, CEO CorkBIC, Ireland; and Marcel Dridje, President Sophia Business Angels – France.

During the conference, 66 selected startups will have a chance to pitch their projects on the Global Fundraising Stage in front of an audience of investors, in addition to receiving training from a variety of experts on investment readiness for GFRS 2019.

Immediately after the Congress, you will have the opportunity to join the QBAC+ Qualified Angel Investor Executive Programme of the WBAF Academy on 20 –22 February.



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