The Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI) today joined with the national angel associations of USA, China, UK and others as foundation members of the World Business Angels Association (WBAA).
At a meeting in Dubai this week, Mr John Mactaggart, Chairman of AAAI, joined his colleagues, the leaders of:
– ACA, Angel Capital Association, USA
– BBAA, British Business Angels Association, UK
– CBAR, Center for Business Angel Research, China
– IAN, Indian Angel Network, India
– ESBAN, Red Espanola de Business Angels, Spain
– Southern Angels, Chile
– IBAN, Italian Business Angels Association, Italy
– ABAN, Arab Business Angels Network, United Arab Emirates
– France Angels, France
as charter members of the World Business Angel Association.
The Portuguese National Federation of Business Angel Groups (FNABA) and the European Trade Association for Business Angels and Early Stage Investors (EBAN) are honorary members.
Mr Mactaggart said “WBAA, as a platform for exchange of information and development of the angel investor market around the world, will provide an entry point for investors and entrepreneurs looking for angel groups worldwide. The WBAA will educate and inform policy makers and market intermediaries about angel investing”.
The WBAA is the culmination of significant effort and collaboration over the last few years among the leaders of federations of angel groups from five continents. These national bodies are responding to significant international activity intended to address the common challenge of the funding gap for early stage businesses. The WBAA solution is a connected environment for all parties supporting this asset class across international borders.
Commenting on the motivation and timing for this new global initiative Mr. Mactaggart said, “Australia, through the AAAI, has a seat at the table as a founding charter member. The AAAI and its peers at the table believe that WBAA is a great response to the current international financial and economic crisis.
In Australia, as elsewhere, entrepreneurial businesses and innovation are seen as critical contributors to economic recovery and international competitiveness. These vital contributors are in danger of failure due to the challenges in accessing early-stage finance.
Angel investors, investing their own funds and time for the benefit of young companies, are one of the few classes of investor still able and willing to support innovation on a national and global scale.”
Mr. Mactaggart went on to say, “As with venture capital in the 20th century, in the 21st century it is important to raise the awareness of the Angel Capital asset class, it is important for governments to invest in this driver of recovery and it is important to recruit new angel investors to the market at a global level.”
The main ambition of the WBAA is to foster a favourable environment for the activity of angel investors at the international level. The key objectives of the Association are to
– Promote the professionalization of the angel market through the fostering of angel groups and associations
– Identification and spread of best practice at international level
– Identification of global successes supported by angel investors
– Supporting entrepreneurship worldwide
– Improving knowledge about angel investor activities
– Coordination of research produced on the angel market worldwide
– Standardised terminology at international level regarding angel investing.
The Australian Association of Angel Investors Ltd (AAAI) is the not for profit national professional association, incorporated in 2007 with a volunteer Board of Directors, representing Australian angel investor members to promote responsible, ethical angel investing, to foster the growth of angel groups, provide accessible education for angels, identify and disseminate best practice in angel investing and represent member interests in relationships with governments, investors from other asset classes and international peers.
The AAAI vision is to establish angel investing as a recognised, robust, sustainable asset class that continues to significantly contribute to the commercialisation of Australian innovation and thus to the economic prosperity of Australia. AAAIL strategy covers delivery of knowledge and continuing learning about angel investing; enriching the capabilities of members with information, services, events and networks; influencing the investment governance and commercialisation practiced in Australia; and promoting understanding of and respect for the role of angel investors.