World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Science, Technology & Innovation Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday , Fuji Hall, 09.45 – 10.30

Panel 1
The financial challenge in the innovation chain: The funding gap between research and the market

Innovations and innovativeness in a business context is a key determinant of competitive advantage due to its role in identifying new markets and driving revenue growth, among its other value propositions. Success will depend on a context that encourages innovation in general and nurtures entrepreneurial innovation in particular.

Early-stage startups looking for financing face particular difficulties. Such enterprises have little or no collateral to offer, and conventional financial intermediaries are unwilling to participate in the first stages of their development. For this reason, public funding is typically needed in the earliest stage of the innovation process: research and development.

This panel will focus on current challenges to entrepreneurial innovation financing, the chain of financing, equity gaps, and equity-based investments. The discussants will consider whether new types of investments such as international coin offerings (ICOs), crowdfunding, and angel investment can help bridge the equity gap in financing for innovative projects and under which conditions it is possible. They will also propose ways to bring more innovative ideas to market more quickly.

Moutasem Mismar, Senior Advisor, World Bank / IFC

Dr Alex Lin, Deputy CEO of NTUitive, Singapore
Marek  Rusiecki, President of the Management Board of Xevin Investments, Poland
Rene Rojas , Founder of HubBOG Angel Investment Club, Colombia


World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Science, Technology & Innovation Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday, Fuji Hall, 10.30 – 11.15

Panel 2
Innovative techniques to maximise startup potential: Building a disruptive entrepreneur-friendly community through multi-stakeholder engagement

Building and supporting a successful innovation and startup community requires the participation of stakeholders involved in various entities (business incubators, science and technology parks, angel networks, startup associations, universities, technology transfer offices, VCs, private equity funds, angel investors, family offices and corporate ventures). Multiple stakeholders can take on a pivotal role of innovation leader and champion to connect startups, scaleups, SMEs, governments, industries, and other knowledge-based institutions. The aim: to grow promising businesses.

This panel will discuss how innovative policies can be developed and what the role of public–private partnerships might be in this process. The discussants will put forth a concrete approach to changing the mindset of individuals who are in decision-making positions, both in public and private institutions. Any policy that supports entrepreneurs and SMEs directly—or that supports the supporters of entrepreneurs and SMEs—is useful, including converting public money to smart money by involving more angel investors and corporate ventures. A critical game-changer question will be addressed: How can we create an entrepreneurial ecosystem where all stakeholders come together around the same table to create more liquidity, ease access to finance and accelerate early exits?

Mondher  Khanfir , Advisory Board Member, AM Acceleration @ Station F, France

Chinwe Okoli, Manager, Founder, Grand Africa Initiative,Nigeria
Mejra  Juzbasic Bajgoric , Regional Director, Finance in Motion, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nawaf  Mohamed Alkoheji , Chief Executive Officer, Tenmou, Bahrain


World Business Angels Investment Forum
2020 World Congress, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Science, Technology & Innovation Summit, 18 February 2020, Tuesday, Fuji Hall, 11.15 – 12.00

Panel 3
Launching an angel investor network for each science and technology park: A mechanism for accelerating the commercialization of innovative ideas and technology transfer

In the past, it was inventions that were important for economic development. In the 21st century, however, it is no longer invention that counts, but innovation. In earlier times, entrepreneurial skills were not needed to get an invention to market, largely because it was a seller’s economy, where customers were ready to buy anything new. Times have changed, and so have the rules of the game. Today’s inventors need more than just a clever idea. They need a complex set of skills to move their innovative idea into the market and to ensure that it succeeds.

One important skill they need is the ability to convert invention to innovation. To do that, they need access to finance. Virtually all types of finance sources beyond simple bootstrapping — corporate ventures, angel investors, crowd-funding platforms, accelerators, VCs, banks, public grants, co-investment funds, business plan competitions, technology transfer offices, family offices, private equity investors and stock exchanges — can easily be tapped for smart investing if they are paired with the right qualified angel investors and if they look beyond local financial ecosystems.

This panel will examine innovative policies that can ease access to finance for startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs and innovators. It will also discuss the creation of science park angel networks (SPAN), ways to identify potential angel investors in their ecosystem, and ideas for organizing them into angel investor groups. The aim is to involve investors with the mission of the technology parks, to connect them with innovators and entrepreneurs in these science and technology parks, and to develop co-investment structures.


Dr Aylin Tumay, Chief Executive Officer, Antalya Technopark, Turkey

Mario Ottiglio , Managing Director for the High Lantern Group, Switzerland
Dr Mohammed  Elhadi, National Consultant of the Social Entrepreneurship Program, Sudan
Vitaly Polekhin, President of International Investor Organization INVESTORO, Russia