Last modified:Monday 13 August 2018
What is a Business Angel?
It is a private financial backer (individual) who personally invests in the share capital of companies not listed on the stock exchange (private equity).
Business Angels, for most entrepreneurs themselves, are generally involved in the projects in which they invest, by supporting the companies, giving them access to their skills, experience, time, networks, etc.
The projects most likely to interest them are those which offer innovative solutions representing significant growth potential.
They invest alone or with others in such projects, in addition to the entrepreneur’s own contribution, and often in the project's launch or development phase.
The average “ticket” from a Business Angel, that is to say the level of their investment, is generally around €50,000.
The Business Angels networks
It is not mandatory; however, many Business Angels choose to operate through a Business Angels network.
Such an organisation can be defined as a formalised legal organisation facilitating the networking of potential investors and project carriers looking for financing.
This type of network has various benefits for both parties:
- Structured matching of supply and demand.
- A recurring source of innovate projects to finance
- The products initially submitted are tried and tested so that only the most credible are selected
- Such an operation guarantees a certain level of transparency, from the project carrier towards the Business Angel and vice versa.
In Belgium, there are various Business Angels entrepreneur networks.
The main and/or most “corporate” networks are:
- Be Angels (FR), active in Brussels and Wallonia
- Business Angels Netwerk Vlaanderen (NL), active in Flanders
Be Angels is supported, among others, by the Brussels-Capital region and by the Walloon region. It has over 180 members.
Be Angels has two main objectives:
- The development of activities encouraging support and financing from Business Angels
- Promotion of entrepreneurial spirit
Each project goes through the following 4 stages
Application: submission of the project via the link available (FR) on the Be Angels website and submission of the documents required.
Selection committee: when Be Angels believes that an investor in its network may be interested in partial or global financing, the entrepreneur is invited to present its project to the selection committee (canvas, terms, etc.). The entrepreneur has 7 mins to present their project and must then answer questions asked by members of the selection committee.
Presentation to the investment forum: Be Angels organises meetings (forums) around 10 times per year where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their project to a group of investors. After having signed the entrepreneur contract, the entrepreneur will be helped with the preparation of their file, specifically with the presentation of the latter.
Option: after the investment forum, Be Angels assesses interest. The first work meetings with the Business Angels and the entrepreneurs are organised. Be Angels and its network of experts also helps the entrepreneur and the investor with the negotiation process.
Each month, investors receive a list of the projects selected with a full and anonymous description of each of them.