World Business Angels Investment Forum to kick off in Istanbul on Feb. 17

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 15.02.2019 00:05

The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), considered the Davos of global early-stage investment and capital markets, will be held in Istanbul from Feb. 17-19.

This year's forum will focus on how to further develop private sector and public sector cooperation, and will host 23 main sessions and 110 international speakers.

On the second day of the forum, which will be attended by hundreds of angel investors and the main players of capital markets from 82 countries, many entrepreneurs will make presentations to investors at the Global Fund Seeking Stage.

This year's congress will be attended by the strong delegations of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), Invest in Spain (ICEX), Ghana Ministry of Development, Middle East Business Angel Network (MBAN) and World Bank IFC SME Finance Forum.

The forum will be attended by Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu on behalf of Turkey.

Croatia will have broad participation at the forum and will be represented by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic who will deliver a speech at the congress. The Croatian president is coming to Istanbul accompanied by a 30-person delegation including the minister of economy and the shareholders of the Croatian Zagorje

Development Agency. So, Croatia will be one of the major countries at the congress this year.

Two African countries also come to the fore. Ghana will be represented by Business Development Minister Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and his delegation. During the congress, the Ghanaian government and WBAF will sign an economic cooperation agreement as part of WBAF's Master Plan for Africa.

WBAF Chairman Baybars Altuntaş

said that the forum will provide global investment fund seeking opportunities for start-ups for the first time this year, adding, "A total of 50 entrepreneurs from 18 countries will make their presentations to investors on the main stage for six minutes each."

Altuntaş stated that 340,000 angel investors invested a total of 9.6 billion euros ($10.82 billion) in Europe last year and this figure is 320,000 angel investors and around $26 billion in the U.S.

Recalling that Turkey was ranked 32nd in Europe in terms of startup economies eight years ago, Altuntaş said, "Turkey has become the fifth-largest angel investment market in Europe, with an investment exceeding 500 million euros last year. The reason for this rapid development is that Turkey is the only country after the United Kingdom that has a law on this issue. As of the end of 2018, a total of 471 angel investors have been accredited by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. They can deduct 75 percent of their investment from taxes, which is the highest rate in the world. Thus, Turkey has made rapid progress in the startup economy."

In addition to main sessions, the program also includes Carsten Borring, the vice president of Nasdaq, one of the biggest stock exchanges in the world. Borring will talk about the steps that should be followed for small businesses going public.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), more than 96 percent of the world economy is driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and startups. Many countries are making regulations such as tax deductions and incentives for angel investors, corporate initiatives and startups taking into consideration the importance of the early-stage investment market.

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