WIPA Start-up Exchange programmes are designed to increase the likelihood of successful development of start-ups, high-growth businesses and scale-ups, facilitating growth that is beyond that which each participating company could achieve on its own. Offering value-adding services will be key to WIPA Start-up Exchange’s ability successfully to nurture ambitious businesses, provide them with access to capital, help them grow and scale and generate jobs and wealth.
WIPA draws on the vast human and resources of the World Business Angels Investment Forum - a cadre of trainers, professionals, including lawyers, IP Lawyers, accountants, auditors, tax specialists, marketing and management consultants, valuation specialists, human resource specialists and verticals among WBAF’s institutional members – to support its founders, entrepreneurs, start-ups, high-growth businesses, scale-ups and SMES.
Additionally, relationships developed over the years with external organisations such as International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group (IFC), London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), World Association of International Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), The Middle East Business Angels Network (MBAN), The African Trade Association for Business Angels (ABAN), The World Free & Special Economic Zones Federation (FEMOZA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Junior Chamber International (JCI), and others, will be leveraged to provide the most appropriate support needed for entrepreneurs / founders to grow and scale their businesses profitably and sustainably.
Strategic Partners of the World Business Angels Investment Forum are some of the world’s top industry leaders representing diverse regions and industries; they are committed to the idea that interaction between multiple stakeholders can be a positive force in creating change. They work in close cooperation with the Forum to help shape regional and global agendas in the global and regional investment markets. Through this cooperation, Strategic Partners contribute to the global knowledge base and benefit from it as they determine the agenda of Forum meetings and develop the focus of Forum initiatives. WBAF has signed strategic collaborative agreements with global and regional institutions to empower the economic development of the world.
Participants will be able to come together every six months at our Stock Exchange Meetups, each of which will include a 3-day intensive programme in a different country at the biggest stock exchange on the respective continent. This will give participants an opportunity to get to know each other in person, to network, and to gain multi-cultural and inter-continental insights from different capital markets and entrepreneurship ecosystems.
The programme will include classroom-based workshops in the meeting room of the relevant stock exchanges; study trips to acquaint participants with the main stakeholders of diverse ecosystems; meetings with university students; and visits to public figures such as mayors, government ministers, and presidents of stock exchanges and chambers of commerce.
In these meetups and study trips, participants will be able to get an overview of the local start-up and innovation ecosystem of the various countries visited; encourage bilateral co-operation to develop entrepreneurship; pitch to investors; join round tables, discussion sessions and conferences with local entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers; and visit innovation facilitators such as incubation and acceleration centres, chambers of commerce and industry, free zones, and stock exchanges.
With this knowledge, participants will be better equipped to identify and engage with the individuals in our community, who are contributing to the development of the various local and regional ecosystems and to explore cross-border early-stage market investment opportunities.
A unique offering of WIPA is its individual strategic advisory boards (ISAB), each of which consists of a business mentor, a business consultant, and an executive coach. All participants in the programmes are eligible to apply for an ISAB. The ISABs are managed by the Corporate Governance and SME Support Centre of the WBAF Business School, which carefully selects the experts for each ISAB, taking into account the individual participant’s specific business and personal development needs. For the needs assessment, each participant is interviewed by a panel of 3 experts from various relevant fields. In these interviews, each Founder will map their vision with defined goals and objectives, and together with the Managing Director of the WIPA, perform an analysis to identify the gaps between the current status and the vision. The entrepreneur / founder, with guidance from the Managing Director, will design a strategic growth plan that will fill these gaps and facilitate the business achieving the vision.
WIPA explores how players in the early stage equity markets can foster innovation and deliver more business value through partnerships between angel investors, start-ups, high-growth businesses, scale-ups, and SMEs. In line with this goal, WIPA Global Business Mentors Club (GBMC) supports start-ups through qualified mentors accredited and certified by the WBAF Business School. The purpose of the WIPA Global Business Mentors Club is to provide quality mentorship for start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs around the globe, including specific market expansion services, and to offer coaching and active exchange of information, [contacts] and experiences with regard to the formation, development and financial structuring of applying companies.
WIPA extends the education needed for entrepreneurs accepted for the programmes through the WBAF Business School (WBS). The WBAF Business School was established by the World Business Angels Investment Forum as a response to an increasing need for qualified investors, qualified entrepreneurs and qualified companies in the world economy. It provides education and training for individuals such as investors and entrepreneurs and, through its executive development programmes, it contributes to the business transformation of both private and public entities.
All WBS executive and business development programmes, qualification and certification courses, seminars, masterclasses and training sessions, as well as its webinars and roundtables, are tailored to the specific requirements of individual professionals and corporate managerial teams.
The WBAF Business School aims to contribute to the development of skills and expertise, to assist in the business transformation of private and public entities, and to foster the kind of creative thinking that leads to innovation and eventual success in the ever-changing market environment of the 21st century. This will serve the WBAF mission of easing access to finance, increasing financial inclusion, promoting gender equality, and creating more jobs and social justice worldwide.
Business Transformation Courses
Executive Development Courses
Qualified Start-up Courses
Short Angel Investor Courses
English for Fundraising Courses
WIPA Roundtables highlight the various issues, problems, solutions, events, or updates relating to any aspect of entrepreneurship. The general purpose of a WIPA Roundtable is to hold a close discussion and exploration of a specific topic on entrepreneurship. WIPA Roundtables, holding all participants on equal footing, aim to confront issues rather than people.
A roundtable discussion is an organized conversation with one moderator, several chosen speakers that bring a variety of perspectives to a subject, and an audience who may simply observe or participate by asking questions. WIPA Roundtable discussions are an opportunity for participants of the WIPA to get together in an informal setting to examine issues as they relate to entrepreneurship.
There is no formal agenda, but there are specific topics such as:
The Global Exchange and Networking Forum hosts WBAF World Leaders from around the world to let them share their best practices with participants of WIPA. The Forum aims to connect Board Members, Associate Partners, High Commissioners, Senior Senators, Senators, International Partners, International Committee Members and Executives of Country Offices for open learning with different insights from different regions of the world. This gives each participant a great opportunity to learn more about the current developments in the global early and post-early stage equity markets. The Forum is a great networking opportunity for all participants of WIPA.
WIPA Ideathon serves as a platform to emerge and guide start-ups to transform ideas into reality and scale up. It is a creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either verbal, visual, concrete, or abstract at inception. WIPA Ideation comprises all stages of a thought cycle, from innovation, to development, to actualization. WIPA Ideathons are brainstorming events, these usually last anywhere from 1-5 hours depending upon the number of participants. Participants throw in their ideas, present them to get feedback and what they should be working on or how they should go about it. WIPA Ideathons aim to foster open innovation and cross-border idea exchange on developing business plans and business models.
WBAF Startathons aim to help innovative start-ups to showcase their business models and pitches in front of the ecosystem stakeholders including investors. It is supported by virtual exhibition opportunities. Each participant owns a special virtual booth while joining the WIPA Startathon.
WIPA Hackathons aim to help the start-ups, scale-ups and high growth businesses respond to a particular problem where innovative solutions can be brought about through intense brainstorming. It is an efficient tool to bring together people from across WIPA to explore new ideas and/or identify problems that could be addressed with the right mix of time, thinking and technology. WIPA uses hackathons as an innovative way to train participants of the WIPA, whilst fostering collaboration.
Having the World Business Angels Investment Forum as a key international partner is a game changer for WIPA EIRs. With over 700 High Commissioners and Senators from over 127 countries as members, WIPA EIRs have a unique opportunity to access global markets. The World Business Angels Investment Forum coordinates the World Business Angel Investors Week in which EIRs of WIPA have the opportunity to showcase their products, technologies and services in the virtual Exhibition Hall to global investors.
As a start-up nears completion of their initial milestones; they may need to raise a subsequent round of funding to support future growth and then scaling-up. WIPA assists the start-up to syndicate the next round of investment by reaching out to the right investors, help the start-ups develop a strong investment pitch and also help the start-ups negotiate good terms during the investment.
WIPA’s Access to Finance Department taps into various sources of funding such as government schemes, multilaterals, corporate, family offices, wealth management institutions, corporate venture capital, private equity funds and last but not the least, the private investors (e.g., angel investors, HNWIs, and others), who are such a critical source of funding for start-ups and other companies.
Please remember that another source of capital is the World Business Angels Investment Forum’s own angel investment fund, which has a specific purpose of investing in start-ups and scale-ups incubated at WIPA and eligible to make pitching on the Global Fundraising Stage.
The WBAF Angel Investment Fund is designed to capitalise on the worldwide growth in entrepreneurial activity and venture financing for start-ups, high-growth businesses and scale-ups and to benefit from WBAF’s extensive network of global investors, including angel investors, private equity funds, co-investment platforms, wealth management institutions, family offices, VCs and acceleration centres.
World Business Angel Investors Week, coordinated by the World Business Angel Investment Forum globally, is envisioned as a platform where all stakeholders pause to assess their fast-paced journey, to analyse why and how we should leverage angel investment as a must-have financial tool for boosting economies, and to reiterate how entrepreneurial ecosystems can create more jobs, more wealth and more social justice in co-operation with key players in early-stage equity markets. It is celebrated every third week of October, under a global theme.
During World Business Angel Investors Week, partners host events and exhibitions related to that year’s theme. These event partners are individuals and organizations from various sectors who volunteer to share their insights on angel investment, the start-up economy, financial inclusion, gender equality, entrepreneurship, and innovation to audiences and collaborators in various sectors. WIPA is one of the global partners of the Week. This week-long event is an open platform for connecting, learning, sharing, exhibiting inventions and innovations, as well as exchanging know-how, with the purpose of promoting entrepreneurship and angel investment ecosystems.
As a global partner of the Week, WIPA organises events and exhibitions which helps its entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to global investors, increase communication of each participant of the Agency, and ease access to smart finance. World Business Angel Investors Week creates a unique opportunity for WIPA entrepreneurs to showcase fresh and innovative ideas that inspire current and future leaders of the world to take risks on new ideas, collaborate across sectors, and transform world economies through the scaling of entrepreneurship, angel investment, financial inclusion and innovation.
WIPA includes a virtual exhibition hall which entrepreneurs of the Agency enter with specific permissions and capabilities. WIPA entrepreneurs can build virtual booths to exhibit information related to their products or services, just as they would at a trade fair in a convention centre; visitors view these virtual trade show displays in the exhibition hall.
The virtual booths often reflect the imagery of a real-world tradeshow booth with desks and displays (this similarity helps users relate to them more easily). A virtual booth typically has several icons which can trigger different responses upon the click of the mouse. For example, visitors might initiate instant communication with the exhibitor email. Icons also deliver multimedia such as videos and audio messages or other slide-show presentations such as investor pitch or executive investor summaries. WIPA’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence use online tools to upload relevant and tailored content to appeal to the audiences.
All start-up ventures who complete the incubation programme or acceleration programme with a minimum 5,000 Credits are announced as WIPA Listed Start-ups ready for investment on the official website of the World Business Angels Investment Forum the next 1 year and and WIPA website the next 2 years.
WIPA organises Weekend-Retreats that may include one or two classes a day, a talk, a roundtable, a workshop, a demo day, networking events and sometimes group activities.
WBAF Research Institute surveys reveal that post-pandemic business environment will have great opportunities for entrepreneurs who can achieve digital transformation of their ventures. Business transformation and digital transformation were considerations of big companies before the pandemics, but today this is not the case. Even the smallest business owners and founders should consider business and digital transformation for their companies. We know that small businesses suffer today because of the pandemic business environment, but they will suffer more after the pandemics if they cannot achieve business and digital transformation of their companies.
WIPA’s Digital Transformation Department supports EIRs to find their path and pace and develop a strategic plan in digital transformation journey of their ventures. This digital transformation department helps them assess how their company should evolve so they can extract the most value from digital technologies and business models. EIRs develop a digital strategy roadmap, ready to make the transformation happen in their company with the support of the department.
WIPA EIRs gain a deeper understanding of the latest of innovative technologies and apply them to their business. The support program not only covers the successful integration of digital tools and technologies, but it also explores the complementary changes that need to occur with business transformation, such as organizational structure, products, channels, customer and employee engagement, incentives, and most importantly, company culture. EIRs will leave with a detailed roadmap of initiatives to implement, methodologies to use and technologies to apply, so that they are ready to bring their company’s digital strategy to life.
This module also introduces entrepreneurs / founders to the technology available to SMEs and the opportunities that digital engagement presents. Founders will learn why every business needs to become a digital business and explore the benefits of using technology tools to generate success. They will understand how to gain access to new markets and business channels using technology, and identify new ways of engaging with customers via social media and other digital channels.
GFRS, coordinated by the World Business Angels Investment Forum, is an international co-investment platform for investors, start-ups, high-growth businesses and scale-ups, which are aiming to globalise by raising funds from qualified investors. GFRS aims to create a high-quality portfolio for angel investors, with some of the world’s most promising start-ups, high-growth businesses and scale-ups and, simultaneously, creates opportunities for co-investment and follow-on round of funding. GFRS also connects top start-ups with the best angel investors, making it possible for the start-ups to benefit not only from the investment, but also from the know-how, mentorship and the networks of qualified investors. The mission is to showcase the world’s top start-ups and scale-ups, which, typically, are funded companies in the process of raising €100 – €10M, who want to take their businesses global.