Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels: Addressing the Shortage of Business Angels in Lebanon and the MENA
Whether the entrepreneurial spirit has hit Lebanon or not is no longer subject to questioning.
Following the Government-backed Circular 331, the country is now abound with entrepreneurship support units, startups have successfully exited, and funds have been multiplying. We can safely say that the startup ecosystem is thriving and remolding the Lebanese economy.
However, banks and VC funds have been concentrating on large investment tickets (average $1M-2M) and on growth and later stage ventures, contributing to the creation of an equity gap in early-stage funding with average tickets of $100K-300K. Promising sectors outside of ICT are also neglected, such as retail, franchises, agrifood, consumers, services, impact investing, etc.
As very accurately formulated in Wamda’s article ‘Are angel investors born or made?’, the ideal pipeline is where companies can move from incubators and accelerators, to angel investors, to VC firms, to private equity shops, to public listings. The existing equity and sector gaps make the move of adequately scalable and investable startups towards VCs very challenging.
Filling such equity and sector gaps is crucial to the success of any entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the missing link is obvious: Business Angels. Angels are typically high-net-worth individuals who invest directly in early-stage businesses and then take an active role in mentoring the management team.
IM Capital, as the Global Business Angel Network (GBAN) National Leader for Lebanon and the leading voice in the country’s angel community, is aware of the existing sparse angel investing initiatives in need for structuring for scalability, better impact, and sustainability. Along those lines, and in partnership with GoBeyond, IM Capital will be launching its Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels (MBA). The initiative is aimed at building the investment readiness of novice angels and recruiting them into a network that will become an independent ecosystem player, filling an equity gap at both funding and sector levels by injecting much needed smart money in early-stage high risk ventures.
Stay tuned for more news and book your agenda to attend Seeders MBA’s official launch on July 12, 2016, 4:00 pm at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut.