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The European Business Angels Network (EBAN) has decided to take to Luxembourg City from October 22 to the 23 for its upcoming summit. EBAN is the pan-European conglomerate for early stage investors, and it serves as a network for over 30,000 business angels in Europe. These guys play a vital role in Europe’s future, and they’ve got the deep pockets to do so, investing 7.5 billion Euros a year. We asked Olivier Selis, CEO of Lux Future Lab—a startup incubator based in Luxembourg City and powered by BGL BNP Paribas—and primary coordinator of the upcoming summit, to give us an idea of how it will look and why it’s not to be missed.
(Featured Image: Olivier Selis, CEO of Lux Future Lab / Image Credit © Silicon Luxembourg / Charles-Louis Machuron)
What do you expect from this event?

The EBAN Winter Summit is one of the two flagship EBAN conferences organized throughout Europe. So this is a unique opportunity to spotlight the local innovation ecosystem. I visited the event in Munich last year—that’s what really convinced me that we needed to organize a similar event in Luxembourg.

We expect hundreds potential investors, entrepreneurs and experts to gather, get inspired, learn and connect over these two days of intensive and qualitative conferences as well as networking/social events.

“Today, most tech events are startup-oriented. We are very good at attracting startups and scale-ups, but some of them struggle to gain access to early-stage investors and therefore don’t stay in Luxembourg. Our objective, thus, is to bring more heavyweight investors to the country.”

Why did you choose to host the summit in Luxembourg?

We have a two-fold angle for choosing Luxembourg.

First, we want to showcase the local ecosystem. I have been working at Lux Future Lab for six years now, so I have seen the startup nation grow over time. We consider these conferences as marketplace events and have invited as many local partners as possible to support it. Just browse the agenda and you will see how rich our ecosystem is. The first objective, then, is to show off Luxembourg!

Second, we had the feeling that a global event related to early-investment was missing in the Grand Duchy. Today, most tech events are startup-oriented. We are very good at attracting startups and scale-ups, but some of them struggle to gain access to early-stage investors and therefore don’t stay in Luxembourg. The second objective, thus, is to bring more heavyweight investors to the country.

What is the angel investment framework like in Luxembourg?

On one hand, the Luxembourg Business Angel Network (LBAN) is very active, counting dozens of members and numerous activities. In a sentence, it promotes and develops the early stage investment community in Luxembourg.

On the other hand, Luxembourg is one of the biggest Wealth Management centers in Europe. I cannot help thinking about the huge potential for growth between the two, and I hope that such initiatives will contribute to unleashing this potential.

“We have been able to gather dozens of local and international top speakers on various topics like big data, artificial intelligence, fintech, biotech, energy transition, and many more. So, after investors and entrepreneurs have enjoyed the events, they should have plenty of food for thought!”

In your opinion, what will be the highlights of this year’s summit?

We are convinced that innovation and sustainability are stronger together. Our thorough program, which includes workshops, masterclasses, pitching areas and plenary sessions, is therefore centered on the theme “Better Together, How to Shape a More Sustainable and Innovative World.”

We have been able to gather dozens of local and international top speakers on various topics like big data, artificial intelligence, fintech, biotech, energy transition, and many more. So, after investors and entrepreneurs have enjoyed the events, they should have plenty of food for thought!

More specifically, I am quite curious to listen to and chat with Tristan Edwards, CEO at BioSciences, about his session titled “Can Human Mortality be Hacked?” Aren’t you?

Maybe we’ll even have the chance to check out the Winter Summit in 2018!

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