Dublin Notes

IMG_3239I was in Dublin to participate in the EBAN’s 14th Congress, hosted by the Halo Business Angel Network of Ireland (HBAN), on the 19th and 20th of May. I preferred to arrive in Dublin on the 17th because I had had no time to visit the city on my previous visit about 2 years ago, when I was invited by IBM to be a jury member and panel speaker of the Start-up Bootcamp of Dublin, where (incidentally) the Prime Minister of Ireland hosted a delightful reception at the beginning of the event.

The EBAN Congress was organised in association with Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Eversheds – which shows that entrepreneurship and angel investment are highly appreciated by the government, and that there is a positive environment to foster entrepreneurship and angel investment within the country.  Richard Bruton, Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation made the opening speech.

In addition to policymakers providing support, there are civil initiatives that work very well. I was able to review the Entrepreneurship Forum Booklet of Ireland, an initiative by a group of successful entrepreneurs and businessmen led by Sean O’Sullivan of SOS Ventures, who have created a to-do list for the improvement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Ireland.

Ireland is on its way to becoming a destination for successful entrepreneurs. This stems from the belief of policymakers, entrepreneurs, angel investors, and bankers that, in order to create more jobs and generate wealth, Ireland’s two key words should be entrepreneurship and innovation. The consensus on these key words is not surprising if you realize that Ireland is home to the European headquarters of two famous innovative brands: Facebook and Google.

The theme for the EBAN 14th Annual Congress and the 9th Annual Awards was “The Power of the Collective: Business Angels, Seed Funds, Accelerators & Incubation Space”.


IMG_320117th of May

While I was waiting at the CIP Lounge of Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, I met some friends flying to Montenegro: Prof Ahmet Incekara, the President of the Economic Research Foundation and Fahrettin Yahsi, the CEO of Albaraka Turk Bank. We seized the opportunity to talk about how we can use angel investment as a financial instrument in Islamic banking since the main principles of the two systems are perfectly compatible. We decided to meet at the Islamic Banking Association based in Istanbul after my return from Dublin to discuss angel investment. I believe more jobs will be created as more banks enter the angel investment market and support entrepreneurs in the early stages.

The Istanbul-Dublin flight was 4.5 hours. After Istanbul, it was a great relief to complete passport procedures in a mere 10 minutes at the Dublin airport. In Istanbul, even the business class passport queue can take up to half an hour. Last week I waited 1.5 hours for Paulo Andrez to exit the Istanbul airport: thousands of passengers had landed and deplaned at the same time.

It cost approximately 30 Euro by taxi for the half-hour drive from the airport to my hotel, the Radisson Blu. The hotel was perfect and located in the city centre, so it was easy to go out for a look around. It was just a 5-minute walk to the Dublin Castle, the venue for the EBAN Congress.

The Dublin Castle has appeared in numerous films including Barry LyndonMichael CollinsBecoming Jane and The Medallion, as well as the television series The Tudors, where it doubles as the Vatican in the pilot.Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the seat of British rule in Ireland, and is know as a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland.

On this visit I stayed at:


The first thing I did after coming down to the lobby was to book a city tour at the reception. There was no half-day tour per se, so I had to choose the next best option, a 4-hour tour departing at 9:30am.  I had a clear plan in mind: I would complete that tour by 1:30pm and then take the 90-minute 18-Euro city bus tour which I had booked before coming to Dublin.

That evening, I met with Barry Connellan, Managing Director of Franchise Development Services–Ireland. He took me to an elegant restaurant for dinner, where we discussed the importance of branding and franchising in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. He was not happy with policymakers’ approach to franchising. I was a little surprised at this because on the streets of Dublin I saw many Irish brands with unique concepts – all seemed to be ready to be exported as a franchise brand.

Having founded the Turkish Franchise Association in 1991 based on my core business, Deulcom International, and having grown with the franchising system, I know how important franchising is to the creation of new jobs and that it is a less risky way for entrepreneurs to set up new businesses.

I know that Enterprise Ireland set up an office in Istanbul, after establishing one in Dubai. Barry should get in touch with them and explain that if one of the objectives of Enterprise Ireland is to export Irish goods, Irish brands are ready to be exported.


It was a very pleasant discussion, accompanied by excellent food in a lovely setting. He dropped me off at my hotel around 11pm and it was time to sleep.

IMG_321018th of May

I took a taxi from the hotel to the tour departure point, which was just 10 minutes away. It was raining, as usual. The tour, which included Malahide Castle and Gardens, was an interesting one, with a visit to the rooms of the castle. Would I advise you to take the same tour? Not really, but that was the only alternative to napping at the hotel. The price was 28 Euro. We came back via the Dublin harbour and coastal road. We saw where the Vikings first landed. I then took the 2:30pm city bus tour, which ended around 4pm. By 4:30 I was back at my hotel, where I waited  for EBAN friends to meet in the lobby, as we had arranged an EBAN Board Meeting for 5pm at Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club (9 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland).

Malahide Castle

It parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres (1.1 km2) of remaining estate parkland (the Malahide Demesne Regional Park), close to the village of Malahide, nine miles (14 km) north of Dublin in Ireland. The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne, when fourteen members of the owner’s family sat down to breakfast in the Great Hall, and all were dead by evening.

IMG_3253The last Board Meeting of the 13th term of EBAN

Most of the board members were ready for the meeting at 5:30pm. It lasted an hour and a half. This was the last board meeting of the 13th term of EBAN, and the only item on the agenda was the naming of the Global Business Angels Week. Some said Global Business Angels Day, and some said Global Business Angels Days. The majority voted to change the name of the initiative to Global Business Angels Day, which could be celebrated during the Global Entrepreneurship Week with core activities. Individual countries could then celebrate it on dates of their own choosing.

The Board listened to the pitching of Luis Galveias about the 2013 EBAN activities. Here is the EBAN Activities report:

Please click later – not uploaded yet

VIP Dinner

The same evening, speakers and sponsors were expected for dinner at the same club. It was an enjoyable event where we all greeted our friends from Canada, the USA and many other countries. Paulo Andrez of EBAN, Michael Culligan of HBAN, along with sponsors and partners, made the welcome speeches.

David Rose sat next to me, and we were able to talk about developing good business models to foster access to finance globally. Coming soon…)

I was in bed by 11:30pm, feeling a little tired after a long day of tours, a board meeting and a dinner discussion.

19th of May

I met with friends at breakfast and then proceeded to the Dublin Castle. The first day’s programme was full, with no shortage of speeches and panels:

IMG_3256Congress Programme of the 19th of May

9:00 Opening Remarks

  • Paulo Andrez, EBAN President
  • Brendan Butler, Board Member of InterTrade Ireland & Chair of its Equity Network
  • Michael Culligan, National Director, HBAN

9.30 EBAN Congress 2014 Formal opening:

  • Richard Bruton, Minister from DJEI (Dept. of Jobs Enterprise & Innovation), Irish Minister of Enterprise & Innovation
  • Neelie Kroes Video message

“What is Europe doing for you?

Fireside chat with:

  • Viorel Peca, Head of Unit, DG Connect, European Commission
  • Will Vizard, Principle at European Investment Fund and European Angels Fund
  • Paulo Andrez, EBAN President

Show me the numbers

  • Luis Galveias, EBAN – Overview of European Statistics for 2013

 EBAN Statistics 2014 – Congress

10:45 Coffee Break

11.15 Syndication & Co-Investment by Angels & Seed Venture Capital

Moderator: Michael Culligan, HBAN

  • Paulo Andrez, President of EBAN
  • David Rose, “New York’s Archangel” and founder of Gust (US)
  • Mark Horgan, Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) (IE)
  • Gerard Ryan, Foreign Direct Investor Partner, Eversheds Ireland (IE)

A Co-Investment Case Study,

  • John Phelan, The Irish Business and Innovation Centres

Keynote: Ciaran Connell, CEO Decawave, “On the Wings of Angels” (IE, France, USA)

12.30 Company Pitches

12:45 Lunch

14.00 “The (Web)Summit, from 300 local to 20,000 global attendees”

  • Paddy Cosgrave, Co-Founder of The (Web)Summit

14:10 “Female Entrepreneurship – Investing in Women led Businesses”

The story of Golden Seeds, the #1 most active business angel group in the USA in 2013

  • Loretta McCarthy, Golden Seeds Managing Partner & David Beatty Golden Seeds Business Angel Investor (USA)

14:30 “Entrepreneurial opportunities in the Global economy”

  • John Teeling, Whiskey distiller, Explorer, Academic & Serial Entrepreneur

14.55 Early stage investors & Business Incubators

Moderator: David Tee, EBN & The Business Incubator Magazine

  • Desmond Fahey, Guinness Enterprise Centre Board Member & CEO Dublin BIC (IE)
  • Alan Brunstrom, European Space Agency – BIC (NL)
  • Ari Korhonen, Co-Founder FiBAN (FI)

15.20 Company Pitches

15.35 The economic impact of angel investment unveiled

  • Lourdes Moreno, Deusto University/ EBAN

15:50 Coffee Break


1. What’s next for start-up accelerators

Bedford Hall, Main Castle

Moderator: Juan Roure, President AEBAN

  • Simon Devonshire, Director Wayra Europe
  • Daniel Tomov, Co-Founder 11 Start-up Accelerator Fund, Bulgaria
  • Andy Shannon, Head of Global Operations for Startupbootcamp

2. Angel Syndicates: the Irish experience

The Printworks, Main Hall

Moderator: Anthony Clarke, London Business Angels (UK)

  • Anthony Bermingham, Bloom Equity Syndicate (IE)
  • Alison Cowzer, Food Syndicate (IE)
  • Mike Ryan, Irrus Investments (IE)

3. Evolution of BA policy globally

The Printworks, Poddle Room

Moderator: Albert Colomer, Business Angels Network Catalunya (ES)

  • Ross Finlay, Board Co-Chair National Angel Capital OrganizationNACO (Canada)
  • Cassio Spina, Anjos do Brasil (BR)
  • John Huston, Founder Ohio Tech Angels (USA)

17:15 – 17:30 Tour to Dublin Castle (pre-booking required)

19:15 Annual EBAN Awards Dinner


IMG_3279Start-up Investors Manifesto

EBAN, together with experts and contributors from various early stage financing sources, has compiled a list of actions and policies to enhance investments in European start-ups. These actions appear in the Start-up Investors Manifesto.

In the morning, every congress participant was given a copy of this Manifesto in booklet form. The idea for a manifesto came from Paulo, who prepared all the text. I simply added a few points related to the third action plan: 3.3. More stock exchange markets for start-ups

The Manifesto is an investor-driven initiative aiming to increase European early stage investment up to €15 billion per year and generate 1.5 million jobs by 2017. To achieve this goal, the Manifesto recommends changes in the following areas:

  1. Inspiring a co-investment culture amongst different market stakeholders
  2. Taxes as drivers for innovation and reallocation of funds
  3. Increasing market liquidity to avoid equity gaps
  4. Raising awareness and changing mindsets towards a favourable risk culture
  5. Making investment easier and clearer for both businesses and investors

If you want to join this initial group of supporting investors, please visit and sign up at



borsa insan photoMore stock exchange markets for start-ups

In developing the Manifesto, we didn’t want to simply write the content and then read it out. We also wanted to implement it. As the main idea source of more stock exchange markets for start-ups, I wanted to put it into action and so prepared an action plan. The result?

BORSA ISTANBUL – the Istanbul Stock Exchange Market, EBAN, and TBAA – the Business Angels Association of Turkey, signed an agreement to foster access to finance for early stage market investments on the 14th of May in Istanbul with a gong ceremony. This Memorandum of Understanding is the first in the world signed by a stock exchange. In doing so, I think we implemented one of the most difficult parts of the Start-up Investors Manifesto.

A panel discussion followed the signing ceremony with the participation of dear Marianne Hudson of the ACA – Angel Capital Association, USA.

You can read the press release about the ceremony at:


IMG_329414th General Assembly

From 5:30pm to 7:00pm, the 14th General Assembly attracted   more interest and more participants than the one in Moscow two years ago. This shows that the contributions of the 13th Board have been appreciated by EBAN members.

Fifteen new board members were elected. Ari Korhonen received 33 votes from 37 countries – which is the the top rate. I received 30 votes from 37 countries. It was good to have 15 new members from 15 different countries, as this will add value to the decisions and activities of EBAN in the future.

After the voting session, we returned to the hotel to change clothes for the 9th EBAN Awards Night. I was excited because I had been nominated by the TBAA for one of the top categories of awards.

We all made our way to the Mansion House for the awards ceremony and the gala dinner.

The Mansion House (Irish: Teach an Ard-Mhéara) on Dawson Street, Dublin, has been the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin since 1715. The Mansion House’s most famous features include the “Round Room”, where the First Dáil assembled on 21 January 1919 to proclaim the Irish Declaration of Independence.

Famous visitors to the mayoral residence have included:

  • Pope John Paul II
  • President Obama
  • Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco
  • Queen Victoria

It was a perfect venue for the most important awards of the European entrepreneurship and angel investment ecosystem. The meal was excellent and the programme was well organised. Michael Culligan knows this business very well.

AwardIt was time to learn the winners. Everybody was listening very carefully to announcements of the EBAN President.

Jury members were from the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden and Portugal. In my category, I was one of four finalists. I had no idea about whether I might win or not. In the final analysis, I was invited to the stage to receive an award from the EBAN President. It was exhilarating to hear my name announced. It was also inspiring to receive an award in an historical building of such significance.

Four EBAN Board Members were also invited to the stage for the presentation of the award. This is by far the most meaningful award I have received so far: Best individual in Europe globally engaging the early stage investment within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Here is the press release about the award: Press Release 1

That night, Francisco Banha (leaving EBAN after 7 years of service) and Albert Colomer (11 years of service) were also honored for their services to EBAN. After the awards dinner, we held a very productive meeting with David Rose about municipalities and entrepreneurship. His new initiative is a perfect match for the ideas in our minds.

I then joined some friends at the bar just across the street, but after a few minutes Ari, his wife and I took a cab back to the hotel, where we continued our chat in the bar until 2am.

New EBAN Board20th of May

The first meeting of the newly elected board members was at 8:00am at the Dublin Castle. We had only one agenda item: electing a new president and vice presidents. We also voted unanimously to give the title of Emeritus President to Paulo Andrez.

Everybody in the Congress was waiting for news of the new president and board members, and at 9:00am, Michael Culligan of HBAN was on the stage to announce the results of the previous evening’s voting.

He first announced the names of the vice presidents and then the name of the new president. Then Candace made a speech and invited all board members to the stage for a photo — with 15 people from 15 different countries.

  • President – Candace Johnson, Sophia Business Angels, FRANCE
  • Vice-President – Ari Korhonen, FiBAN, FINLAND
  • Vice-President – Baybars Altuntas, TBAA, TURKEY
  • Albert Colomer, Business Angels Network Catalunya, SPAIN
  • Aleksandar Cabrilo, Serbian Business Angels Network, SERBIA
  • Hedda Pahlson-Moller, Luxembourg Business Angels Network, LUXEMBOURG
  • Ivar Siimar, Estonia Business Angels Network, ESTONIA
  • Jeanette Andersson, CONNECT Sweden, SWEDEN
  • Jesper Jarlbaek, Business Angels Copenhagen, DENMARK
  • Juan Roure, AEBAN, SPAIN
  • Konstantin Fokin, National Business Angels Association, RUSSIAIMG_3299
  • Michael Culligan, Halo Business Angel Network, IRELAND
  • Peter Braun, Red Alpine Ventures, SWITZERLAND
  • Ricardo Luz, FNABA, PORTUGAL
  • Selma Prodanovic, Austrian Angel Investors Association, AUSTRIA

Here is the press release about my appointment to the vice-president position: Press Release 2

Congress Programme of the 20th of May

8:30 EBAN Board Meeting

9.15 Industry Trends

Keynote: “The Future of Angel Investment”,

  • Candace Johnson, SBA (Sophia Business Angels) / EBAN Board

9.40 From the Valley to the Alley – Emerging Technology Companies’ Development Process and Culture

  • Ryan Nash, VP Technology, Gust (US)

Start-up Company Pitches Award

9.50 Business Angels , Family Offices and Private Equity: worlds apart or maybe not?

The Printworks, Main Hall

Moderator: Peter Braun, EBAN Board (CH)

  • Pete Smyth, Broadlake Capital (IE)
  • André Delafontaine, COO Partner & Investor at Go Beyond Investing (CH), Founder & CEO, Go Beyond (CH)
  • Kaushal Chokshi, Founder & President Scaale Group of Companies (US)
  • Michelle Scarborough, Chair & Founder, Canadian Women’s Angel Network (CAN)”           9.50 Impact Investing: take the lead into double bottom line investments

Bedford Hall, Main Castle

Moderator: Hedda Pahlson Moller, Luxembourg Business Angels Network & EBAN Board (LU)

  • Pieter Oostlander, EVPA Chairman
  • Yvette Go, Shaerpa Fund
  • Mike Mompi, Director of Early Stage Investment at ClearlySo

Testimonails from Emerging Markets

The Printworks, Poddle Room

Moderator: Baybars Altuntas

  • Ilija Vuckov, EMKICE & Macedonia BAN
  • Ivar Siimar, EstBAN
  • Eveline Buchatskiy, EastLabs, Ukraine
  • Stefan Schandera, InfoDev/ World Bank
  • Dr. Abdul Malik Al Jaber, Chairman and Founder Arabreneur
  • Ali Arslan, Undersecretariat of Treasury, General Manager – Turkey

10.35 Coffee break

11.10 Crowdfunding: Where to next?

Moderator: Modweena Rees-Mogg, Founder Angel News (UK)

  • David Drake, Chairman LDJ Capital (US)
  • Peter O’Mahony, CEO LinkedFinance (Irl)
  • Darren Westlake, CEO Crowdcube (UK)
  • Sean O’Sullivan, MD of SOSventures & Carma

11.50 Lessons from & for the Angels!

Moderator: Michael Culligan, National Director HBAN

  • Riku Asikainen, Chairman of FiBAN (FI)
  • Dusan Stojanovic, Founder of True Global Ventures (SE)
  • John Huston, Founder Ohio Tech Angels (USA)
  • William Reeve, Chairman Graze.com & Co-Founder of LOVEFiLM.com (UK)
  • Mark Little, CEO & Founder of Storyful

12:45 EBAN Announcements

13:00 EBAN Congress Closing Remarks

  • Niall O’Donnellan, Head of Investment Services, Enterprise Ireland
  • Incoming EBAN President


  • Business Accelerators & Angel Investors’ Private Summit (By Invitation)
  • EBAN Institute Training:

The Map to Success : Your Rising Steps to Angel Investment

Baybars Altuntas, President of TBAA

  • Gust platform demo

IMG_3306My Panel

Here is the Speakers’ Call Sheet for my panel

12:45 – 14:00

Moderator: Baybars Altuntas

  • Ali Arslan, Undersecretariat of Treasury, General Manager – Turkey

His presentation: Turkey


  • Ilija Vuckov, EMKICE & Macedonia BAN

His presentation: Macedonia

  • Ivar Siimar, EstBAN

His presentation: Estonia

  • Eveline Buchatskiy, EastLabs, Ukraine

Her presentation: Ukraine

  • Stefan Schandera, InfoDev/ World Bank

His presentation: World Bank

  • Dr. Abdul Malik Al Jaber, Chairman and Founder Arabreneur

His presentation: Jordan

After the panel, Stefan Schadera of InfoDev/World Bank presented participants with a useful publication of the World Bank and the Kauffman Foundation. I strongly advise you to get a copy if you really want to improve yourself on angel investment:

Download free

IMG_3316Michael Culligan invited me to the stage to give information about the European Business Angels Forum in Istanbul to be held on the 15th and 16th of September.

It was then time to get an autographed copy of ‘Angel Investing’ of David Rose. He had presented me with an advance copy a few months ago in Washington, DC but now it the final published version was available.

After that, I went to the main room to deliver a 2-hour training session for potential and existing angel investors, where I described  the stages angel investors should complete in order to transfer know-how to the entrepreneurs they invest in.

Here is my presentation PDF :Rising Steps of Angel Investor

After the training session I moved to another room where there was a small summit for accelerators. They were sharing their know-how with each other and the session was quite enjoyable. In finalizing, they decided to set-up an Accelerators Committee.

Shortly afterwards, I returned to the hotel for a meeting with Dusan about the Tesla Scientific Council and its upcoming meeting in Croatia on the 9th of July. He also shared a map of Tesla Corners in the accelerators of the Balkans Region and in New York. The workflow was not very clear so he invited me to a web meeting on Sunday evening (25th of May at 9pm Turkey time) to do some brainstorming about this.

After a half-hour meeting Dusan left for the airport, and Paulo and his friends from Portugal came and we soon went to our rooms to sleep. Kaushal had invited me for dinner, but it was impossible because I was so exhausted.

I was in bed by 6:30pm and didn’t wake up until 6:30 the next morning. It was a 12-hour sleep in Dublin.

21st of May

After a satisfying breakfast, I left the hotel at 8:45am and was at the CIP Lounge at 10am. My return flight to Turkey was at 11.05am. Ari and his wife came into the lounge at 10:30am. Their flight to Copenhagen was at 11:00am. Ali Arslan at the same time. Ali Arslan introduced me to Dr Sayan and Dr Acarer from the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (ICTA).

On my arrival in Istanbul, my ambassador to Kosovo, Medina Braha, found me at the airport. We had been on the same flight. We had a stand-up meeting about setting up a Kosova BAN in Kosovo and planned how to co-operate with Aletjin on this initiative.

untitled4A big salute to Michael Culligan for a job well done,

Thanks to Michael for everything,

Thanks to Paulo for all his efforts to make EBAN even better,

Thanks to all congress members for their confidence in the new Board!



IMG_3237 IMG_3224 IMG_3203 IMG_3318 IMG_3246

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