“Entrepreneurship is not the goal. It’s the tool.”
– Jeff Hoffman –

Such a simple sentiment, but one that is perhaps easily overlooked. We, for one, couldn’t agree more.

In fact, if there’s a more pertinent statement to sum up the 2017 EBAN Annual Congress than this simple gem of wisdom from Jeff Hoffman, then we’d like to hear it.

Entrepreneurship – The future is bright, the future is tech

The dust has just about settled on this year’s event which took place in Malaga, concluding last Friday, June 9. Having taken the weekend to absorb what was an enthralling experience in Spain after three days of exciting discussions, workshops, seminars, pitches and networking, the start of the week offers the perfect time to reflect on key learnings from the event. A nice antidote to combat the Monday blues if you like.

Jeff Hoffman’s inspirational speech on ‘The Future of Entrepreneurship’ was, as expected, one of the highlights of the event. The serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker always seems to be on the mark.

Space, the final frontier?

There was also a lot of intrigue surrounding the Space tech vertical. EBAN assembled a great panel including Nick Appleyard, the CEO of the European Space Agency (ESA) among other experts in the field. Appleyard’s sound bites struck a chord on the endless possibilities ahead.

“The entry barrier to become a space company used to be €100M. Now it’s €100k. The space industry today feels to me like the internet service industry of 12 years ago.”

The sky used to be the limit. Now it’s the stars. One wonders what’s next.

For us, having been part of EBAN since 2009 (with two awards in 2013 and 2016 under our belt) it is always special to be there, on the pulse of Europe’s largest and most international business angel investors and innovative startups.

Entrepreneurship needs energy

As active European thought leaders on angel investing, especially in Greece where we have championed the cause as co-founders of HeBAN (Hellenic Business Angels Network), it is the energy which is the driving factor behind many successful entrepreneurs. And that is something which was clear to see in Spain as this congress aptly turned 18 years old.

Many of us get caught up and confused with what true Entrepreneurship is all about. We won’t deny it, it’s a tough nut to crack. It is, essentially, romantic in nature. And this is particularly true because you can sense it in every aspect of our lives. If like us, you find yourself in an everlasting process of self-improvement, then you are, in essence, an entrepreneur yourself!

So, yes. Entrepreneurship is a hard thing to be in. And the annual EBAN Conference is here to help all that endeavor in it.

Three days of workshops, speeches and presentations. Hundreds of ideas, dozens of creative and passionate entrepreneurs, and a host of renowned advisers and investors tuning everyone to the beat of today’s tech start-up rhythm.

And that’s exactly what we need! Not the glamour, but the pure energy. This is our vehicle to change the world. To carve ourselves a unique future. And that’s exactly what Hoffman means by his quote about Entrepreneurship. It’s a tool to create that change, whatever it may be for every single one of us.

Business in Entrepreneurship

Business, of course, has its square side. There are plenty of occasions when an investment is made purely in order to yield a specific return. EBAN collaborates with more localized BANs to change that. Ideas are often priceless. A world-changing idea that is poorly executed, however, amounts to nothing. And this is why ideas need to be given the opportunity to breathe, to mature and be acted upon. Because the same world-changing idea, if well executed, more often than not means a better world.

Thankfully, on the evidence from Malaga, this is something which is already happening. And long may it continue.

Things you think you know

If you think you know all you need about Business and Business Angels, here’s some tips for you!

See you next year EBAN Congress!


Panagiotis Sarantopoulos Panagiotis Sarantopoulos

Studied Science of Computing at the University of Huddersfield in UK, specialising in Animation for Multimedia Systems. He has worked as a Multimedia Author for IBM Hellas and as an Adobe Certified Instructor and Support Technician for Adobe Systems software at Anodos SA. He has also worked at various Advertising Agencies, as a Web/ActionScript developer.