The second Early Stage Investment Conference was held in Yerevan (Armenia) on September 17th 2019, gathering business investors, business leaders, startup founders and officials from the Armenian government, attracted by the presence of the two main speakers: Luigi Amati, president of Business Angels Europe and CEO of META Group; and Brigitte Baumann, European Angel Investor of the Year in 2015 and Founder of GoBeyond.
Before the conference, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian received Luigi Amati, Brigitte Baumann and BANA (Business Angels Network of Armenia) Director Greg Hovhannisyan at the Ministry of the Economy. They discussed how to create favourable conditions for foreign investors and simplify the process, as well as emphasising the importance of early stage investors, as they will ensure the continuous growth of large enterprises. Afterwards, the guests stated that they aim to further develop the culture of angel investors in Armenia.
The international conference consisted of two parts: In the first one only BANA investors were present and they exchanged experiences with European speakers, then listened to the speeches of two Armenian startup founders and discussed the risks and consequences of possible investments.
The official opening was welcomed by Gegham Vardanyan, Deputy Minister of High Technology Industry, Mariam Babayan, Team Leader of the EU Support to SME Development Program in Armenia and Zareh Sinanyan, the Diaspora High Commissioner.
Luigi Amati: “I aim to invest in Armenian teams”
Luigi Amati is Founder and CEO of META Group, which through its investment arm (META Investment) has invested more than €130M in over 200 high-growth startups across Europe via eight venture capital funds in three countries. Amati had never been in Armenia before, and noted with enthusiasm his interest in creating a connection with the Armenian startup ecosystem. “I am already interested in Armenian teams, and through BANA I will get to know the ideas of Armenian innovators more thoroughly. My goal is to join the BANA angels and invest in Armenia," he said.
The annual conference on investment opportunities in the IT sector is being implemented with the support of the Early Stage Investing Launchpad and European Union SME Development in Armenia Program. The conference was organised to develop Armenia's innovative ecosystem, facilitated by the Business Angels Europe network with its vast experience.