The needs of companies regarding Venture Capital (VC) and Business Angels (BA) markets have increased dramatically in recent years. Regional instruments of venture capital can hardly meet the financial needs of companies. Due to the limitations of financing instruments available, regional VC and BA also need to improve their management tools (financial and industrial) to allow the growth of the companies involved. Advanced training in VC and financial tools are ofter only available in financial centres, whereby not all countries have those services.
In this context, the project aims to improve VC and BA markets in regions outside the main financial centres and their use and contribution to R&D activities. For this purpose, the project promotes analysis and the exchange of experiences in order to improve public and private VC and BA instruments, with the intensive participation of regional authorities dealing with regional economic development and SME competitiveness, regional development agencies and a closer connection with leading private VC and BA operators, particularly those focused on emerging sectors and technologies.
To deal with the key weaknesses identified during the regional VC markets assessment, the project aims to contribute towards the following results: improve the operations and impact of regionally-based VC and BA instruments, both publicly and privately owned, to promote RTD and the creation and development of innovative, technology based and fast growing companies; improve the understanding and access of regionally based SMEs to VC and BA instruments to finance the development of new technologies and RTD activities; link privately run VC and BA with the growth potential of regionally based SMEs and attract new operators to regional VC markets, increasing the availability of VC and BA instruments in the regions, as an alternative SME financing source.
The improvement of existing instruments through the project leads to the expansion of companies supported by this kind of funds and the consequent gradual creation of employment. Among those contibutions, there is the study 'Research, Analysis and Exchange of Experiences’ and the capacity building programme addressed to VC and BA practitioners combining different profiles. Investment Rounds and Venture Academies are tested instruments to increase knowledge, build professional capacity and networking between business/entrepreneurs and operators in Europe.
AT-Venture International Investment Forum is a high level meeting point for investors and companies from AA partner regions and other leading European cross-border investors.