On October 22, the Angel Investing Day, organised by UVCA with the support of the Early Stage Investing Launchpad (ESIL) took place. Invited by the Association, the founder of GoBeyond Investing and European Angel Investor of the Year Brigitte Baumann visited Kyiv.
Brigitte is one of the 50 most influential women in Europe in the field of startups and venture capital, with 20 years of experience in bringing new technologies to the market in the United States and Europe. Her mission is to help improve the investment potential of European countries. As an ESIL trainer, she is internationally recognised as a speaker and expert, and meets with government representatives to discuss angel investment opportunities, including recently the Armenian President Armen Sarkisian.
On her latest visit to Ukraine, Mrs. Baumann met with key representatives of the Ukrainian venture capital ecosystem, where she shared her own vision of the current state of early investing in Europe and Ukraine, presented the key elements of building an angel ecosystem and revealed figures regarding EU and US angel investments.
Based on her own 20+ years of experience in investing and analysing neighbouring markets, Brigitte also provided guidance on the development of the angel market and, more generally, the investment ecosystem in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian investment market is growing steadily, and the total volume of venture investments into Ukrainian IT companies has reached €303.3m, which is almost one and a half times more than the last year's maximum (€232.8m). The amount of angel investing in Ukraine in 2018 reached €0.8m, and it is the main source of early-stage investment for Ukrainian startups. "We became part of the ESIL community to promote, find ways to support and develop this type of investing in Ukraine," said the #ESILangel for Ukraine Olga Afanasyeva.
During Brigitte’s visit, she also met the Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova - Claude Wilde, at a meeting organised by UVCA. During the warm reception at the Embassy, the Executive Director of UVCA and ESILangel for Ukraine Olga Afanasyeva, Claude Wilde and Brigitte Baumann discussed the possibilities of cooperation between countries in the development of the investment ecosystem and debated the potential challenges ahead.
Brigitte Baumann also had a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Industry Development of Ukraine, Oleksandr Bornyakov. The new Ministry was established just recently and has ambitious plans. One key goal is to facilitate the development of entrepreneurship in Ukraine, as well as increase access to alternative financing. The experience of the ESIL community could be helpful for strategy formation. UVCA looks forward to ongoing fruitful collaboration and the active development of Ukraine's innovative ecosystem.
"We held meetings with the representatives of government to share our experience of angel investment and illustrate the ecosystem structure of other countries to avoid making the same mistakes, accelerate the development of this sphere, and to show the importance of the state participation," said Olga Afanasyeva.
ESILangel for Ukraine Olga Afanasyeva
Ambassador Claude Wilde, Brigitte Baumann, Olga Afanasyeva, Olena Gut and Simon Pidoux
ESIL (Early-Stage Investing Launchpad) is an EU-funded initiative that connects networks of business angels and crowdfunders across Europe. It promotes private investors, improves the innovation and investment environment in over 40 countries and for the first time, #ESILangels visited Ukraine with the support of UVCA.
Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) was established in mid-2014 following the example of the European Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (InvestEurope), and currently unites 50 members - private equity and venture funds, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions, and non-government organisations that make a significant impact on the development of Ukrainian investment market. The association promotes investment opportunities in Ukraine for foreign investment funds, conducts market research, lobbies the government to improve the investment and business climate and carries out activities on behalf of Invest in Ukraine.