Angel Investors in IcelandDec 19, 2017
I have a principle in life, I don’t complain about things, I either have to accept them as they are or I have to do something to change them.
Over the years I have heard myself complain a few times about the lack of early stage funding and support for startups in Iceland. So I had to make a decision, either shut up or do something, I decided to do something. My inspiration came from my last trip to Oslo, Norway where I got a chance to get to know the startup community and met up with various players in it. I noticed that it was much better organised and categorised than the Icelandic scene, which perhaps didn’t surprise me that much as Norwegians are usually much more organised than Icelanders, we tend to do everything with the “Þetta reddast” mentality. But one of the things the struck me was when I was talking with an investor there he mentioned that they had some 10-15 angel networks in Norway and I realised that we don’t even have one in Iceland and the more I thought about it I realised that even though I had been an active member of the Icelandic startup scene from day one (2008) I didn’t know more than 4 or 5 angel investors in the whole of Iceland.
So over the last couple of days I’ve been building up a group of angel investors in Iceland and I’m hoping to get a conversation started with them to find out how we could create more angel investors, improve access to them and improve their abilities to invest. I still don’t know how we are going to do that and I am truly hoping that they will be open to discussing these things and perhaps we can come up with a few ideas about how to do it.
What I have seen happen in other countries is that there are angel networks created that help angels collaborate, investing together and learning from one another. At the same time these networks make it easier for founders to access angels as they only have to reach out to one entity instead of dozens of angels, often these networks also have pithing events where a few companies at a time come to pitch for the angels. What I also saw in Norway was that they have angel investing seminars were investors interested in investing in startups can come and learn all about it. I myself am thinking about attending such a seminar next year to learn more, perhaps more Icelanders would like to join me or perhaps we could teach such seminars here.
If you have any thoughts on how we could improve the Icelandic scene for angels then feel free to share it in comments, and if you are an investor interested in becoming an angel investor reach out to me and I’ll include you in the conversation taking place 🙂
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