Workshops Abstracts

19 February 2019, Tuesday
09.00 – Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 1
Making big returns investing in small businesses: An entrepreneurial approach to investing

by Callum Laing, partner in Unity Group Private Equity

Investors complain there are not enough good deals. Entrepreneurs complain that there is not enough money. The current investment structures are keeping the two parties apart. 

50% of the Worlds GDP comes from small to medium enterprises, yet most of it is off limits to sophisticated investors. Learn how adopting an entrepreneurial approach with a fixation on liquidity can allow all investors to make big returns investing in small business.

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor. He is partner in Unity Group Private Equity, Co-Founder and Chairman of MBH Corporation PLC, and is the originator of ‘Accelerated Venture Capital’ (AVC). Author of two best-selling business books, publisher of more than 700 interviews with entrepreneurs and investors, he is also the WBAF High Commissioner for Singapore.


19 February 2019, Tuesday
10:00 – Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 2
Combining the best of angel investing and venture capital

by Ian Sosso, Founder of Monte Carlo Capital, EBAN Board Member

According to the latest EBAN figures, the average investment for an angel investor in a single business in 2017 was EUR 25,000, and EUR 182,000 for an angel network. At the same time, venture capital investment starts with significantly larger numbers. Businesses looking to raise $500K to $2M often struggle. It’s the valley of death.

Ian explains how, by leading investment rounds from $500K to $2M, and increasingly leading follow-ons, whilst bringing a global ecosystem of advisors and relationships usually available only at large VCs, an angel investor can combine the best of what angel investors and venture capital can offer.

Ian Sosso is the founder of Monte Carlo Capital, a group of business angels, UHNWI and family offices investing globally in early-stage deep tech and highly disruptive businesses. He currently lectures on venture capital and entrepreneurial finance to MBA and finance MSc students at the International University of Monaco. He joined the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) in 2016 and in 2017 won the best performing new member award. Ian was elected to the board of EBAN in June 2018. He is also a board member of the Monaco Venture Capital Association. Ian is a Monégasque and holds a MSc in Finance from the London School of Economics (LSE).


19 February 2019, Tuesday
11.00 – Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 3
Growth and excellence from startup to scaleup to exit: How to maximise your people investments on your entrepreneurial journey

by Wayne Clarke, Founding Partner, The Global Growth Institute, UK

There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) about world-class people engagement, from governments to tech start-ups, leaders talk about the operational and strategic advantages for companies who seek to better engage their people. The benefits, from improvements in productivity to quality to safety to profitability are clear. How to achieve these benefits is also clear. However, we know that many organisations struggle to realise and sustain these benefits.

We know that the quality of management and leadership is the key ‘input’ to achieve these ‘outputs’, as is a sustained and rigorous focus on positively impacting the ‘experience’ of being at work, day to day, for our people. None of the factors that propel companies to the top of ‘best employer’ lists are rocket science. It’s always the culmination of small practical changes in the way that leaders, managers and everyone interacts with each other, it’s the result of people ‘feeling’ more cared for, valued, listened to etc., and it’s the result of the key functions of the business that enable every team to be at their best.

In this workshop, Wayne will look at three key areas: what startups and scaleups are getting right, what managers are getting right and what we need to get right, as leaders and investors, to realise these important operational and strategic benefits for our organisations.

Wayne Clarke is a founding partner of the Global Growth Institute based in the UK/Netherlands and from 2007 until 2012 was the international partner of the advisory arm of Best Companies, who produce the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies lists. He began his career at Deloitte and went on to help BDO, the fifth largest accounting network, to achieve a top 20 ranking in the Sunday Times Best Companies lists. He has advised over 600 CEOs/boards and thousands of managers in over 30 countries from Fortune 500 companies to startups on how to drive growth through better people engagement. Wayne was recognised again in 2018 by HR Magazine as one of the ‘Most Influential Thinkers in HR’ globally. He is also a visiting lecturer at the Cass Business School in London.

19 February 2019, Tuesday
14.30 – Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 4
How to steal like Steve Jobs - Learn to create the next unicorn - Learn how to think like a great artist, inventor, creator and innovator.

by Patrick Kedziora, WBAF High Commissioner - France

This workshop will show you how the great artists, scientists, musicians, movie makers, innovators and business creators all have one thing in common – THEY STEAL! You’ll learn how others create, how to develop your own creative mindset, how to learn from others and how to create like the best. You’ll learn the tools you need to start thinking like Picasso and Steve Jobs. Creating and innovating isn’t just for geniuses – it’s something that can be learned. And, once you’ve learned how to ‘Steal like Steve Jobs’, you’ll be on your way to creating something spectacular. Even if you don’t create the next unicorn, you’ll learn how to come up with winning products, services and designs that give you a competitive edge.

Whether you’re an investor, a corporate innovator or an entrepreneur, this master-class will teach you something that you can use every day.

Patrick Kedziora works closely with early-stage companies and has been a founder of five technology companies in the past fifteen years. He is currently focused on growing his most recent venture –, a mobile learning platform for the enterprise, which has won three major international innovation awards: Startup Chile, Startup Brazil and French Tech Ticket. His experience encompasses both banking and industry. He headed a number of corporate finance groups in New York City, and his experience encompasses both commercial and investment banking. Additionally, he was the Managing Director for a $250 million investment fund. He has also been the Chief Financial Officer of both private companies and a public company, head of business development, and an arranger and financier of management-led buyouts. He has held senior positions at Solomon Equities, Société Générale, and Barington Capital Group and counts Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and T. Boone Pickens amongst his previous clients. He has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU) and received Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Economics and Political Science from NYU. He is proficient in Spanish and has native fluency in English and French. Mr Kedziora is a mentor to entrepreneurs and is actively involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the U.S. and France. He is passionate about sharing his experiences. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in both the U.S. and France and has been a judge in numerous start-up competitions.

19 February 2019, Tuesday
15.30 – Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 5
7 steps to scale your start-up. How to invest early and add value to smart teams to get great returns

by Michael O'Connor, CEO CorkBIC, Ireland, EBAN Board Member and founder of the International Security Accelerator & Fund
An interactive session for (1) Start-ups through Series A/B, (2) angel investors to evaluate and select scalability and (3) corporate partners seeking to work with and support great scale-ups

Great teams are built with a shared vision and an ability to execute it. Testing the team is the primary go/no-go decision for any investor or partner. How to do this will be explored in the workshop. There is a close linkage between the mindsets of great sporting teams and great start-up and scaling teams. Scaling is little understood and is often mixed up with the start-up process. Team selection by psychological methods and a focus on key step(s) are critical for scaling. This forces team restructuring, role definition and sometimes early failure to create pivots. Customer and channel commitment via partnerships and leveraging data will be explored alongside RoT (return on time) and lifetime gross margin by customer, channel, product and R&D phases. Investors can, by early application of these techniques, identify great investments via funds, accelerators and business angel syndicates. Corporations can, through partnering and proof of concept or pilot funding, get a first look at new technology or disruptive products or processes.

Michael O’Connor is CEO of CorkBIC, specialising in high tech businesses involving international growth. He started in marine and arctic exploration in the UK, Spitsbergen, Nigeria and the Caribbean before moving to high-growth manufacturing and sales start-ups with Raychem Corporation in Menlo Park, California. He co-founded Intepro, a venture capital-backed Irish IT start-up. He led the Europe and U.S. market entry, building a team based out of Boston and San Diego and with several rounds of international venture capital before a successful trade exit. Since returning from the USA, he has advised over 500 start-ups. He graduated from Cambridge University in Engineering and earned an MBA from the London Business School and the Wharton School, USA. He is a chartered Engineer in London. Michael has created and runs a regional HBAN business angel network that has completed 80 deals with 2 syndicates and 150 investors investing over €40m in primarily start-ups. He was awarded as the best performing new EBAN member in 2015. He is the founder of the International Security Accelerator as a private investment fund under AIFMD. Funded by VC, angels and a corporate partner and identifying Scaling and Deep Tech teams in cybersecurity, AI, blockchain and data analytics. 
He has been a board member of several private and public companies in the last 30 years, including EBAN. His interests include governance and building effective boards in the hi-tech field of play. He has been an international judge and umpire in the sailing world for major events. Michael and his team at CorkBIC have an enviable track record of selecting and guiding successful start-ups over many years and achieving good exits.

19 February 2019, Tuesday
16.30 – 17.00 Zurich Hall

WBAF Workshop 6
Converting yourself to an angel investor: What should you know to be a qualified angel investor

by Marcel Dridje, President Sophia Business Angels France, EBAN Board Member

For anyone new to angel investing, this is an invaluable workshop that covers the most important topics of investing as an angel and tips on how to avoid the many pitfalls new angel investors often encounter. Marcel Dridje will outline of basic milestones of becoming a qualified angel investor. In this workshop, you will have an idea of what skills you should develop to be a startup-friendly angel investor.

This workshop is for corporate executives that manage innovation and corporate ventures, early-stage capital fund managers, M&A and business development executives, family office investment managers, entrepreneurs who are raising capital or planning exit strategies, successful entrepreneurs interested in becoming an investor or advisor, members of boards of directors, policymakers wishing to encourage the creation of clusters of innovation in their region, and service providers: attorneys, accountants, and consultants.

Marcel Dridje is currently the SOPHIA BUSINESS ANGELS President (Nice, France), an EBAN Board Member, and Mentor at The Camp (Aix en Provence, France ). A seasoned European sales senior executive, Marcel has substantial field experience helping IT and telecom startups in the U.S. and EMEA. Marcel has a broad range of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, communication and management with direct experience with Fortune 500 enterprises (IBM, Nortel, Lucent, Cisco, EMC, ALU) and startups (Quantum, Andrew Networks, Pluris, Corvis, Ascend and Airespace). During the course of his career, he has held VP roles, most notably as VP EMEA Corvis (first all-optical router), where he grew the team and business to an outstanding success. Of French-Algerian and British origin, Marcel launched his career after completing a BSc in Electronics and Computer Science from Portsmouth Polytechnic UK and holds an M&A executive program credential from INSEAD. Marcel recently left CISCO after 30 years in IT and telecom sales to start his new venture as a business angel with SBA to help startups with seed money, VC connections and business development. Vaelsys/ IVAS, Microgine, Faveeo, Digitalarti, OnePulse and Cyberflowanalytics (Webroot) are six of his star ventures. A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Marcel loves new challenges in sharing his 30 years of experience in IT and telecom and high-tech VC firms with new high-tech start-ups ready to expand their sales and marketing success across EMEA, the USA and APAC.