Startups Seek More Than Just Funding From Business Angels 

In June 2023, our partner organisation ​Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN) sent a startup survey which received answers from 90 startup entrepreneurs. Learn more about the survey highlights, such as reasons to seek angel funding and insights on application diversity.

Startups seek more than just funding from business angels – diversity, clearer instructions, and more thorough feedback are requested.

Last June, FiBAN sent a startup survey which received answers from 90 startup entrepreneurs who have sought funding through the Finnish Business Angels Network.

80% of the respondents stated that, in addition to seeking funding, they also look for industry expertise, networks, and strategic knowledge from angels to support their growth.

Angel investors’ networks are seen as valuable, particularly for internationalization, growth strategy, and commercialization. While the majority of feedback was positive, startup entrepreneurs expressed a desire for increased focus on enhancing diversity, transparency of the evaluation process, and clearer guidance for funding applications.

According to FiBAN’s data, male-dominated teams still prevail: among startup teams seeking angel investment, only 6% are composed solely of women, while 49% are composed solely of men. 45% of the applying teams are mixed teams with both women and men as founders.

Attention to diversity is requested 

Among teams that have progressed to the investment negotiation phase, 52% of teams consist only of men. 41% of these teams are composed of individuals of different genders, and 7% are composed solely of women. The negotiation phase is where companies and investors perform due diligence and agree on the terms of investment.

Diversity of teams and ideas are requested by angels too. “More diverse teams also predict better success for startups,” says FiBAN’s CEO Tiina Laisi-Puheloinen.

Validate your business before seeking an investment 

However, according to FiBAN’s application data, companies often paint a rosier picture of their situation. Most of the respondents assessed their companies to be in the product’s initial version (MVP/seed), product-market fit, or rapid growth stage (scaling). Only a small fraction considered themselves to be in the ideation phase among the respondents.

A significant portion of companies seeking funding from FiBAN are not yet ready for an investment – the product and idea may be great, but credible numbers are still lacking.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s good to assess your company from the perspective of whether you would invest in it yourself if you were looking at it from an outsider’s point of view”. Moreover, “it’s important that the business has been validated to some extent before investors join in. Angels as well as other investors want evidence of the viability, scalability, and demand. ” Laisi-Puheloinen emphasizes.

Having been a startup entrepreneur herself, she understands the challenges of seeking funding. “Applying is a tough job for every entrepreneur, but I’d encourage you not to give up. Though submitting an application doesn’t guarantee funding, you can always reapply for funding when your business is a bit further”, she adds.

Survey Results Highlights

80% of startups seek more than just funding

  • Startups look for industry expertise, networks, and strategic guidance for growth from business angels.
  • Angel investors’ networks are seen as valuable for internationalization, growth strategy, and commercialization

Diversity and More Guidance Requested

  • Startup entrepreneurs say they wish to see more diversity within the startup ecosystem.
  • More clear guidance for the funding process and application are requested.

This recent survey revealed critical insights into startups seeking angel investments. The data emphasizes the demand for more diverse startup ecosystems and clearer funding guidance. Moreover, FiBAN’s CEO, Tiina Laisi-Puheloinen, highlights the importance of validating businesses before seeking investments and encourages persistence in the face of funding challenges.

The survey’s key takeaway: startups aspire for more than just capital; they seek supportive partnerships and a more inclusive entrepreneurial environment.

Stay tuned for more news and updates related to BAKE Project, aimed at enhancing the relationship between entrepreneurs and Business Angels, creating a brighter future for all!


Unveiling the Keys to Selecting a Good Business Angel for Your Project

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur in the dynamic world of startups? Do you have a groundbreaking business idea that is ready to take flight but lacks the financial wind beneath its wings?

If so, you are not alone. Many innovators like you turn to business angels for the vital investment needed to bring their dreams to life. But here is the challenge: How do you choose the right business angel for your project?

As a part of the BAKE Project, we have been on a mission to reshape the entrepreneurial landscape in the EU. We are developing an extensive toolkit to empower you in selecting the perfect business angel for your venture. But for now, let’s unlock the keys to this process!

1. A Shared Vision:

First and foremost, a business angel should share your vision. Beyond the funds, you need an investor who believes in your idea and is equally passionate about its success. A shared vision ensures that you and your business angel are moving forward in harmony, increasing the chances of success.

2. Industry Expertise:

When seeking a business angel, look for someone with relevant industry expertise. Your ideal business angel should possess experience in your industry or a closely related one. Their insights, mentorship, and guidance can be invaluable as you navigate the challenges of your entrepreneurial journey.

3. Networking and Resources:

Consider the breadth of your business angel’s network and available resources. Well-connected investors can introduce you to potential clients, partners, or even other investors. This expanded network will open up new horizons and opportunities for your business.

4. Appetite for Risk:

A successful startup often involves risks. You need a business angel who is willing to take calculated risks. Remember, entrepreneurship can be uncertain, so having an investor who is not afraid to embrace the unknown is a significant advantage.

5. Long-term Commitment:

Startup journeys can be lengthy and unpredictable. To ensure a strong and enduring partnership, you should choose a business angel who is committed for the long term. They should understand that overnight success is rare and be prepared to support you throughout your journey.

6. Transparent Communication:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any fruitful partnership. Seek a business angel with whom you can maintain open and transparent communication, whether times are good or tough.

7. Realistic Expectations:

Look for a business angel with realistic expectations. Entrepreneurship does not always yield immediate results. You need an investor who comprehends that success might take time and is patient with your venture’s growth.

8. Aligned Interests:

Finally, select a business angel whose interests align with yours. Some investors may have motivations beyond just financial returns. It is essential to be on the same page from the beginning.

In your quest to find the perfect business angel for your startup, remember that this partnership is not just about securing investment. It is about discovering a strategic ally who shares your vision and is ready to walk the entrepreneurial journey with you.

Evaluating potential business angels based on these keys will help you establish a partnership that is not only financially rewarding but also empowering for your startup.

Here at the BAKE Project, our mission revolves around empowering entrepreneurs, startups, and business angels to thrive in the ever-evolving world of investment and entrepreneurship. Our commitment to this endeavor is the driving force behind the creation of a rich set of resources aimed at fostering success and equitable partnerships.

Together, we are shaping a brighter future for startups across Europe!

Angel investor

Unlocking the World of Business Angels

What is a Business Angel?

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, a Business Angel shines as a beacon of support. These individuals are the unsung heroes of startup success, providing not just capital but also wisdom and guidance to early-stage, non-listed companies.

While they can join the journey at various stages, Business Angels are most influential in the nascent phases, igniting innovative enterprises. In fact, giants like Amazon and Google all owe a part of their origin story to a Business Angel’s nurturing touch.

Decoding the Term

In the United States, they go by the name “Angel Investors” or simply “Angels,” a nod to the early 20th-century entrepreneurs who backed Broadway productions. Yet, “Business Angel” remains the dominant term in Europe to describe these investors who offer more than just financial support. 

Distinctive Traits of Business Angels

Their Money, Their Choice: Business Angels invest their personal funds, setting them apart from Venture Capital firms that manage pooled investments.

Independent Decision Makers: They call the shots when it comes to investments, basing decisions on their insights and expertise.

No Strings Attached: These investors back ventures led by individuals with whom they have no familial or friendship ties.

Profit with Purpose: While profit is a motive, it’s not the sole driving force behind their investments. They often have a deeper purpose, such as fostering innovation.

The Multi-Faceted Role

Beyond the infusion of capital, Business Angels often wear a mentor’s hat. Their involvement extends to guiding entrepreneurs, sharing their network of contacts, and leveraging their experience to help businesses thrive.

In conclusion, Business Angels are the unsung heroes of the entrepreneurial world, offering not only financial support but also invaluable wisdom and guidance. As they continue to shape the startup landscape, their influence extends far beyond their investments, making them vital players in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship.

Stay tuned for more news and updates related to BAKE Project, aimed at enhancing the relationship between entrepreneurs and Business Angels, creating a brighter future for all! 


BAKE: #2 Newsletter

Welcome to the BAKE project newsletter! We’re excited to announce the first outcome—a toolkit on fairer funding schemes with business angels. It promotes equitable venture relationships, covering aspects like assessing collaborators and managing conflicts. Valuable resources will be on the BAKE website soon. Stay tuned for updates!

Read the 2nd BAKE Newsletter here.


BAKE, the European project that brings business angels closer to entrepreneurs and SMEs

Fundación Equipo Humano is the coordinator of this project, which involves eight partners from six EU countries.

BAKE has a budget of 337,106€ and a duration of 29 months.

October 2022

Fundación Equipo Humano coordinates BAKE, an Erasmus+ (KA2) project that offers innovative training to entrepreneurs and SMEs on how to obtain financing effectively, as well as how to establish successful relationships with the so-called business angels.

With a budget of 337,106 euros and a duration of 29 months (March 2022 – July 2024), BAKE aims to reduce conflicts that may arise between entrepreneurs and investors (misunderstandings, imbalances…), so that both parties can establish more equitable, effective and successful relationships.

In doing so, the EU aims to make an efficient European venture capital market a reality by facilitating direct access to markets for companies and exploring incentives for private sector funds to facilitate financing for start-ups and innovative SMEs.

A project led by expert entities in financing, entrepreneurship and training

The consortium behind BAKE is made up of experts in financing, business angels and entrepreneurs from different European countries.Specifically, the partnership is composed of the Spanish entities Fundación Equipo Humano, BIGBAN Inversores Privados and Escuela Profesional Xavier; EBAN – European Business Angels Network (Belgium); Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece); Mediterranean Management Centre (Cyprus); Finnish Business Angels Network (Finland) and Materahub (Italy).

Transnational Project Meeting in Brussels

In September, BAKE partners met for the first time in person at the EBAN headquarters in Brussels.

During this transnational meeting we decided on the structure of the first two results of the project: a toolkit for assessing fair and equal relationships between entrepreneurs and investors, and a training course for entrepreneurs on how to manage investments.