2014 NEM Summit
Blog Entries

Investment Forum

The 2012 NEM Summit has hosted on October 17, 2012 the first “European MediaTech Investment Forum” an event organised by Media Deals with the support of the European Commission (DG CONNECT), as part of the European Commission’s policy to encourage the transfer of results from research and innovation to the market.

Ten European SMEs and entrepreneurs specialized in Networked Electronic Media developments, and selected on the basis of applications to be submitted a couple of weeks prior to the meeting have presented their business concepts (in 7’ sharp!) to a group of European investors carefully chosen to fit to companies’ and projects profiles and needs for investment.

The event was successful and reached its overall objective to more efficiently engage innovative SMEs with investors from across Europe. In the next weeks and months several of these invited SMEs should report an effective impact (on the next round of funding) of their participation in the event.

You can access a more detailed event report at the bottom of this section.

Forum agenda
11:30 “International investment in early stage mediatech start-ups – Bridging the gap – from R&D to investment”
Moderated by Thierry Baujard, CEO Media Deals
“Introduction of the Investment Forum and its objectives”, Viorel Peca, Head of Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission
“Entrepreneurship and early stage investment in Turkey”, Baybars Altuntas, President of the Business Angels Association – Turkey (TBAA)
“Access to market and internationalisation of Turkish R&D”, Okan Kara, National Coordinator EU Framework Programmes TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) – Chairman Turkish Eureka
“Current overview of early stage investment in Europe”, Paulo Andrez, Portuguese angel investor and President of EBAN (European Business Angels Association)
12:15 Pitch of 3 companies
13:00 Lunch break & Open Networking
14:00 Pitch of 7 companies
16:15 Closing of session – feedback and debriefing
Moderated by Viorel Peca
(Head of Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission), Thierry Baujard (CEO Media Deals)
16:30 Open Networking
Selected SMEs
Invited investors
Event report

In the framework of the NEM Summit 2012, the European Commission organised on October 17th in Istanbul, in partnership with the network Media Deals and NEM, an Investment Forum dedicated to early stage mediatech entrepreneurs. The 10 invited start-ups and entrepreneurs successfully performed a 7 minutes pitch each, to a panel of European early stage private investors, business angels and seed funds. Each pitch was followed by a Q&A session in which the investors provided tailored feedback to entrepreneurs.Baybars Altuntas, President of the Turkish Business Angels Association and Okan Kara, National coordinator, EU Framework Programmes at Tübitak, welcomed the event in Istanbul and pointed out the current dynamism of Turkish R&D and entrepreneurship. Baybars mentioned also the recent implementation of dedicated new tax incentives to foster angel investment in Turkey.

During the panel session Paulo Andrez, President of the EBAN – European Business Angel Network, emphasized that angel investment is indeed a key gap financing tool in Europe for young technology entrepreneurs, offering expertise and financing in the start-up phase when the companies cannot access public funds and projects are in a too early stage and thus too risky for Venture Capital funds. The Investment Forum has been indeed the occasion for participating entrepreneurs to improve the way they approach private investors and to personally meet up with angel investors focused on their business sector. This has also been the occasion for participants of FP7 projects and other innovation projects to promote the commercial viability of their offerings and devise a GoToMarket strategy that addresses Competitor offerings, and Market Timing.

The Investment Forum had been thought as a pilot initiative by the DG Connect of the European Commission with the objective to foster early stage investment in European media and technology start-ups. “As a result of this experience, Viorel Peca -Head of Unit in DG CONNECT- emphasised that the European Commission intends to encourage commercialisation and introduce schemes that accelerates the market readiness at a very early stage within innovation projects and thereby increase the efficiency of European investments in research and innovation”.

The main criteria for project selection were mediatech sector relevance, scalable business model, European/International focus, a strong entrepreneurial and leadership spirit and previous interest won for the project (e.g. prize, investment, subsidies). The following 10 companies were thus selected on the basis of sector, development stage and quality of proposed products/services:

- Netmera (Turkey, Istanbul) back-end services for mobile applications
- Tazaldoo (Germany, Berlin), a social media content curation and verification platform
- AuREEL (Austria, Vienna), a software for video annotation and augmentation
- InfoDif Ltd (Turkey, Ankara), image processing and video analytics
- Bevelity (Spain, Barcelona), a cloud Based application for 3D content
- Witelist Ltd (Spain, Barcelona), location-based browser and mobile application
- VenakaMedia Ltd (UK, London) 3D system capture and offline image visualization software
- KoolFing- RekreateD (France, Grenoble), an immersive 3D platform
- Hercules Filmnetwork (Austria, Vienna), a social network platform for movie producers
- Smartsy (France, Paris), visual recognition and immersive mobile experience

Both entrepreneurs and investors found the event’s personalized approach to the industry extremely valuable, as they developed meaningful relationships and benefited from a wide range of investment and industrial partnership opportunities. Investors at the event also took this opportunity to exploring possible mutual interests and to comparing investment methods.

The benefits are well summarised by Jose Romano, head of Turkey and Istanbul Venture Capital Initiative at European Investment Fund who said “This event was very well organised and thought of, bringing together investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers; the latter are the key and they need to be supported in order to ensure continuity and accountability”.

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