Next month’s Asian Business Angel Forum (ABAF) 2017 will feature prominent international speakers from Silicon Valley (USA), Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Israel, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka won the chance to host this prestigious event for the first time, beating out many Asian countries for the honour.
ABAF is Asia’s largest annual start-up investor forum, attracting premier business angels, venture capitalist, entrepreneurs, policymakers, government officials and other like-minded high net-worth individuals (HNIs) to one central networking platform.
The forum has been held successfully across Asia ever since its inaugural event in Singapore in 2010. Past ABAF conferences have typically welcomed 250 prominent business personalities, including as many as 50 investors, from the Asian region as well as the Asia Pacific, Australasia and Middle East. Venture Engine’s 2017 finale also plays an important role at the ABAF’s programme, taking up one full day of the proceedings.
“There will be over 25 start-ups from Venture Engine showcased for ABAF 2017 delegates. Interestingly, this year’s Venture Engine applications consisted mostly of post-revenue companies where some were at the seed investment stage, while others were looking to secure Series A funding, a key indicator of the increasing sophistication of our market,” noted a Founder Member of the Lankan Angel Network, the host organisation for ABAF 2017.
Dr. Clarence Tan, former Ambassador for Australia’s Singularity University, is scheduled to give the forum’s keynote address, entitled ‘Exponential Technology Reshaping Future Start-ups’. Other prominent ABAF 2017 speakers include: Guangzhuo Israel Biotech Fund (GIBF)Chairman Dr. Yehoshua (Shuki) Gleitman, Hong Kong Business Angel Network (HKBAN)Chairman Dr. Samson Tam, Business Angel Network South East Asia (BANSEA)Chairman Dr. Mark Hon, Google VP SEA and India Rajan Anandan, Indian Angel Network (IAN)President Padmaja Ruparel, Wadi Accelerator (USA) Investment Committee Member Pankaj Jain, AngelVest Co-founder and Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of China Founding Chairman David Chen, Go Beyond Early Stage Investing (UK) Founder and CEO Brigitte Baumann Gervais, ABAF/Melbourne Angels Chairman Jordan Green, Aavishkaar (India)Partner Sanchayan Chakraborty and Jungle Ventures (Singapore)Managing Partner Jayesh Parekh.
ABAF 2017 will comprise sessions on ‘Facilitating Cross Border Investments between Angel Networks’, ‘Global and Regional Start-up Trends’, ‘Driving Exits’ and ‘Impact Funding’. An in-depth agenda and other details are accessible via www.lankanangelnetwork.com/ABAFColombo.
“ABAF 2017 will display a start-up corner where the Venture Engine finalists will be showcasing their company. In addition, we are giving an opportunity to a limited number of start-ups wishing to showcase their products or services to over 200 local and overseas delegates. If interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before September 15, 2017,” the Founder Member added.
Sri Lanka’s well-received bid to host ABAF, which was submitted at the 2015 conference in New Zealand, was a landmark achievement for the start-up eco-system locally. The fact that the country won the chance to host this prestigious event for 2017 is a true testament to how far it has progressed over a very short period – and not just in terms of domestic growth for the start-up eco-system but also with regard to its international profile. Sri Lanka can today be considered a viable option for those looking to invest in great companies, elevated by their pools of great talent. Kicking off on October 11, at Cinnamon Lakeside, the ABAF follows the sixth edition of Venture Engine, the country’s trailblazing programme for entrepreneurship acceleration and empowerment, which will be held the previous day. The finalists of 2017’s Venture Engine also benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly access, via the ABAF, investments, expertise and mentoring offered by well-respected individuals in the field of global finance.
Emphasizing the ABAF’s 2017 theme of ‘Crafting the Future’, the conference offers valuable analysis of what is trending in the regional and global start-up scenes. It also provides extensive technical training and panel discussions offering insights in many vital areas, including investing across borders, how to drive exits, impact funding, etc., all the while, tapping a number of highly distinguished speakers to contribute at each of its sessions across the two-day event.
A strategic partner for this year’s Venture Engine, the Lankan Angel Network is the host of ABAF 2017. The Lankan Angel Network is Sri Lanka’s pioneering Business Angel Network, with over 75 member investors who have collectively invested over Rs.2 billion in 25 local start-ups, while Venture Engine is a product of a 2012 collaboration between BOV Capital and the Indian Angel Network.
For 2017, venture capital firm Aavishkaar serves as Venture Engine’s Platinum sponsor, while Orion City is the Silver sponsor and Dialog Axiata is the Official Telecommunications sponsor. Visit www.ventureengine.lk for more details.