It wasn’t so long ago that Angel investing in Australia was considered to be disorganised and largely anonymous.
Last week, the Australian Angel investor movement proved just how far it has come when the Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI) joined with the national angel associations of USA, China, UK and others as foundation members of the World Business Angels Association (WBAA).
The charter members of this new global organisation were established at a meeting in Dubai on 27 April. They are:
- AAAI, Australian Association of Angel Investors – Australia
- ACA, Angel Capital Association – USA
- BBAA, British Business Angels Association – UK
- CBAR, Center for Business Angel Research – China
- IAN, Indian Angel Network – India
- ESBAN, Red Espanola de Business Angels – Spain
- Southern Angels – Chile
- IBAN, Italian Business Angels Association – Italy
- ABAN, Arab Business Angels Network – United Arab Emirates
- France Angels – France
- FNABA, Portuguese National Federation of Business Angel Groups – Portugal (honorary member)
- EBAN, European Trade Association for Business Angels and Early Stage Investors (honorary member)
Each of these national bodies are participating in this alliance as part of an overall effort to address the funding gap for early-stage businesses. This gap is to some extent common to every market, but is especially pronounced in markets with smaller population bases such as Australia. It is hoped that the WBAA will facilitate Angel investment by providing a platform for collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas and models.
The key objectives of the Association are to:
- Promote the professionalisation of the angel market through the fostering of angel groups and associations
- Identification and spread of best practice at international level
- Identification of global successes supported by angel investors
- Supporting entrepreneurship worldwide
- Improving knowledge about angel investor activities
- Coordination of research produced on the angel market worldwide
- Standardised terminology at international level regarding angel investing.
Commenting on the motivation and timing for this new global initiative, AAAI Chairman John Mactaggart said:
The AAAI and its peers at the table believe that WBAA is a great response to the current international financial and economic crisis.
In Australia, as elsewhere, entrepreneurial businesses and innovation are seen as critical contributors to economic recovery and international competitiveness. These vital contributors are in danger of failure due to the challenges in accessing early-stage finance.
Angel investors, investing their own funds and time for the benefit of young companies, are one of the few classes of investor still able and willing to support innovation on a national and global scale.
Photo: piermario (Flickr)