A QBAC+ Closed Group Training recently took place in the Southeast Anatolian region in Turkey. Three of Turkey’s 26 regional development agencies are in the southeast of the country: the Karacadag Development Agency in Diyarbakir and Sanliurfa, the Dicle Development Agency in Mardin, Batman, Siirt and Sirnak, and the Ipekyolu Development Agency in Gaziantep, Adiyaman and Kilis came together with the Southeast Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration of the Republic of Turkey for the QBAC+ training in the city of Diyarbakir. Launch of the GAP BAN (South East Anatolia Business Angels Network) announced after the QBAC+. GAP BAN committed to invest in startups around 300K as a seed funding.
Board Member of Brussels based EURADA – European Development Agencies Association, The Karacadag Development Agency of the Turkish Government coordinated the event. Each development agency sent 10 participants from their region to the course. Three of those 10 were staff of the development agency and 7 were chamber of commerce members who met the criteria for potential angel investors and who were interested in investing in start-ups. (The list of criteria list was provided by the World Business Angels Investment Forum.) The 7 potential angel investors were selected after phone interviews. The QBAC+ Closed Group Training was delivered in Turkish.
Dr Hasan Maral, Secretary General of the Karacadag Development Agency explained: ‘Turkey passed an angel investment law in 2014 and the Treasury Department of the Economy Ministry has accredited around 500 angel investors as eligible to invest in start-ups. Most of these licenced angel investors are based in Istanbul. One of the missions of development agencies in Turkey is to promote investment opportunities in the various regions. We see start-ups in our region as good investment opportunities for angel investors. We are confident that angel investors based in Istanbul or in other countries will be keen to pair up with local angel investors to invest in start-ups in our region. So, in co-operation with chambers of commerce and industry, the Southeast Anatolia Project of the Regional Development Administration and three regional development agencies decided to promote the angel investment system to potential angel investors of the region.’
‘We outlined a regional start-up ecosystem development plan to attract investors to early-stage equity markets in Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, and Mardin. We decided to have the World Business Angels Investment Forum’s QBAC+ Qualified Angel Investor Course & Certification Programme as our first step. We had two goals in hosting this training: the first was to promote angel investment in the region and to increase the understanding of early-stage equity investment. Secondly, we wanted to identify the most ready-to-invest angel investors of the region and include them in the founders list of the GAP Business Angel Network (the Southeast Anatolia BAN). We knew we needed a bridge between the start-ups of our region and angel investors in other regions and countries. We therefore wanted to initiate the Southeast Anatolia BAN with the participation of the potential angel investors of the region, so we invited the General Director of the Treasury Department from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, to give a workshop on how the Southeast Anatolia BAN could be officially registered. This workshop took place immediately after the QBAC+ training so that we could announce the founders list of the BAN right away. We had the training on Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday evening, we invited volunteers from among the participants to be founders of Southeast Anatolia BAN. On Monday morning we announced the official launch of the Southeast Anatolia BAN with a press conference. 13 of the participants had volunteered and each one committed to put their personal money in start-ups in the region. Before the press conference, the Governor of Diyarbakir, the WBAF Chairman, and the General Director of the Treasury Department gave short speeches, which were followed by the signing of an MOU between WBAF and the Southeast Anatolia BAN to ease access to smart finance for start-ups and scale-ups of Southeast Anatolia. Engagement with WBAF’s global investment ecosystem is very important in terms of connecting local start-ups with world investment markets. We also applied for full membership in the Turkish Trade Association for Business Angels (TBAA).’
‘The second stage of our plan is now to organise a Southeast Anatolia start-up competition. Because our staff participated in the QBAC+, we know exactly what angel investors are looking for. The competition will be organised in cooperation with the WBAF and TBAA, and the winners of each city will go to the Global Fund Raising Stage at the World Congress of Angel Investors on 19 February 2019, where each will have an opportunity to meet hundreds of angel investors from all around the world. At the Congress, I will make a 5-minute presentation on investing in Southeast Anatolia start-ups and scale-ups.’
With regard to the QBAC+ we had in Diyarbakir, I can only describe it in one word – perfect! It was exactly what we needed. A survey at the end of the training showed that not only our staff but also the potential angel investors who attended the training found it very comprehensive and to the point. Without this training, identifying potential angel investors in our region, launching a Southeast Anatolia BAN and organising a start-up competition in our region would have been impossible. Our cooperation with WBAF has really accelerated the engagement of our local investment and start-up ecosystem with world markets.’
About QBAC+ Closed Group Trainings for Corporates
QBAC+ training is organised upon the request of corporates or institutions who want to enrich the knowledge of their staff about angel investment. The training is usually conducted at the premises of the institution or corporate or, if they prefer, a meeting room in a hotel, university, chamber of commerce or stock exchange. The maximum number of participants accepted for each training is 25.
QBAC+ Closed Group Trainings can be delivered in English or in the local language of the participants. Training in English lasts 2½ days, which includes a case study and a proficiency test at the end. The level of certification (Qualified Angel Investor, Accredited Angel Investor, or Silent Angel Investor) is determined by the test results.
Training in the local language depends on the availability of WBAF faculty members who can lecture in the local language. It lasts 2 days, and there is no case study or proficiency test. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance for the Qualified Angel Investor Course.
About the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF)
An affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation aiming to ease access to finance for businesses from start-up to scale-up, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, start-ups, and SMEs. The Forum interacts with leaders in all areas of society, first and foremost in business and political spheres, to help assess needs and establish goals, bearing in mind that the public interest is of paramount importance. WBAF engages a wide range of institutions, both public and private, local and international, commercial and academic to help shape the global agenda.
The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) is an inclusive platform for all G20 countries, interested non-G20 countries, and relevant stakeholders to carry forward work on financial inclusion, including implementation of the G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan endorsed at the G20 Summit in Seoul. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is the Honorary Patron of the GPFI.