access2innovation members test their business cases in front of a group of hungry investors.
On Thursday, November 16th, three selected access2innovation companies had a chance to pitch their business cases to a group of investors known as “Løvens Jyske Hule” (The Lion’s Den from Jutland).
At the lion’s den pitching session, company CEOs were given 45 minutes to present their business case and answer questions from a board of investors with various backgrounds. After a short recess, the CEO was either invited to further collaboration with one or more of the investors or given a constructive explanation as to why no investors took the bait.
Løvens Jyske Hule has been in existence for about a year and a half, but this was the first time the investors were presented to potential prospects in Africa.
“The reason why these companies are here today is due to the close connection between us and access2innovation,” says John Büchler Bertelsen from Business Aalborg, one of the founders of the investor network along with Jysk Pension and Revice.
“We are constantly broadening our scope for investments, but prospects in Africa are still a bit daunting. We are out of our comfort zone and have an idea that the risk is larger – but so is the potential return on investment,” he says.
“The fact that these companies are working in partnerships facilitated by access2innovation is definitely something that makes their business cases more attractive to us. It obviously lowers the risk that you are part of a network with solid experience on the African markets.”
All three participating acces2innovation partnerships found interested investors to work with at the lion’s den event. That is very encouraging, says access2innovation CEO Jacob Ravn.
“Løvens Jyske Hule is an opportunity for us to tap into a well established investor platform where we can help our members present their business cases,” he says.
“Part of our strategy is to find private investors or business angels as an alternative to the rather rigid and slow-moving publicly funded opportunities.”
“One of the missing links in relation to doing development business is to get investors on board and expose them to the ideas that we have,” says CEO Jacob Bejbro Andersen from MASH Biotech after pitching his case to four investors in the den.
“That is the beauty of an event like this. Investors and companies like us that work with developing world business usually don’t have a natural meeting place. But we do now,” he says.