Business angels, i.e. private investors who support startups through 'smart money' - capital, as well as knowledge, experience and access to a network of contacts - help young companies enter new stages of development. The best business angels have a chance to receive one of the four prizes awarded in the Business Angel of the Year 2021 (BAY) competition organized by COBIN Angels, the largest professional club of business angels in Poland, together with partners. The organizers are waiting for applications only until January 3!
With the advent of new unicorns and soonicorns (startups that have achieved a valuation of $ 1 billion and companies that will soon achieve it), 2021 turns out to be unique for the Polish market. The increase in funding and the number of startups shows that the ecosystem is more dynamic and resilient than ever before. The role of business angels, who at the beginning of the company's development, can protect the founders from making the most severe mistakes becomes even more important.
- Comparing our market to other European countries, Poland should have even several thousand private investors. We estimate that there are only a few hundred - said Robert Ługowski, Founder and Managing Partner of COBIN Angels.
- According to Credit Suisse, we have over 116,000 people in Poland with assets exceeding USD 1 million and this number is growing dynamically. Many of these people have the potential to become a business angel, and thus support the latest technologies and innovations emerging in the country - he added. By promoting the best in the industry, BAY inspires and shows you how to start investing as a business angel.
The competition will be held for the fourth time. So far, the awarded were the co-founder of the CHIC Group and its e-Smoking World brand, Dawid Urban, (Business Angel of the Year 2018), Founder and President of Billon Group Wojciech Kostrzewa (Business Angel of the Year 2019), CEO of the DDB Group Polska Paweł Kastory (Business Angel of the Year 2020), founder of Coders Lab Marcin Tchórzewski (Debutant of the Year 2020) and former CEO of BRE Ubezpieczenia and professional investor Paweł Zylm (Ecosystem Award 2020).
Some investors, like Paweł Zylm, are high-ranking managers and entrepreneurs who have decided to devote themselves entirely to cooperation for startups. Investing in startups as a business angel is aboutmore than just looking at bars and graphs, said the winner of the Ecosystem Awards.
- It is working with people who make their visions and dreams come true and supporting them on this path. It is also a great accessory and even a career alternative for people looking for more than their current job. I hope that this sector will develop dynamically, also thanks to initiatives such as BAY - added Zylm.
The BAY 2021 Awards are awarded in four categories: Business Angel of the Year for the most outstanding private investor; Rookie of the Year for a person who made the first startup investment in 2021; Ecosystem Award for a person who supports and builds the entire startup and investment market; Venture Award for a VC Fund co-investing with Polish angels.
The value of the competition is not only the prestige and the prize awarded. - Participation in the Business Angel of the Year competition has greatly expanded my network of contacts - said Marcin Tchórzewski, founder of the Coders Lab programming school, who now invests in startups himself. - Thanks to COBIN Angels, I met people with whom I can exchange experiences, and many more investment offers began to flow to me.
Candidates for the award can be nominated online until January 3, 2022. Subsequently, applications will be verified and assessed by the Competition Jury chaired by Wiktor Namysła, finalist of the Business Angel of the Year 2020. In two categories: Ecosystem Award and Venture Award, the winners will be selected by public vote. The Business Angel of the Year 2021 award ceremony will take place during the hybrid gala on February 15, 2022. More information about the competition: https://cobinangels.com/bay
COBIN Angels is a club of individual investors (business angels) launched in 2015 in Warsaw. He is involved in the development of companies with high growth potential, with particular emphasis on projects in the technology sector. Over 100 investors cooperate with the club on a daily basis. In addition to investment activities, COBIN Angels conducts educational and information initiatives promoting the activities of business angels in Poland.
The GAIA Foundation acts as BAY's Ecosystem Partner in this year's edition of Business Angel of the Year 2021.
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