A few weeks ago, the general meeting of the association was held. In the meeting, a new board was elected to drive FiBAN forward in 2021. Two new board members, Esa Kinnunen and Kim Väisänen joined the team, alongside existing members Noora Fagerström, Saga Forss, Annukka Mickelsson, Tuomas Palhman, and me, with Annukka elected as the Vice Chair of the Board. I am very happy to have this team being at the helm of FiBAN. I want to also take this opportunity to thank Esa Mäkeläinen and Teemu Varpanen for their contributions to FiBAN over the past years.

The general meeting also approved a new member class for FiBAN: Angel friendly investors. This investor class is meant for VC investors wishing to deeper their cooperation with the angel investors. 

Increasing cooperation with the VC investors is one of the initiatives aimed to help our members in getting more funding and exit opportunities for their portfolio companies. Besides VCs, the aim is also to increase cooperation opportunities with corporations. This is a part of our overall strategy to increase the offering to our members during the whole lifecycle of their portfolios, with the focus on finding new ways to create growth and exit opportunities for our members’ portfolio companies. 

One set of tools to help portfolio companies is FiBAN Founders Club cooperation with AWS, HubSpot, and Stripe (with more to come), where these companies offer significant benefits to our members’ portfolio companies. Work in this area continues, and finding new ways to create growth and exit opportunities for our members’ portfolio companies will be one of the key focus areas in FiBAN in 2021.

For those members who wish to increase their knowledge in angel investing, we have just launched a wholly new FiBAN Academy Online. The new angel track will consist of three courses: Angel investing essentials, portfolio building, and exits; a lead angel course will be added and a track for founders is also in the pipeline. And for those curious about the data and statistics: Stay tuned for next week as the work of our data team will be revealed. 

Angel investors form roughly one-third of the domestic venture capital. Thus, FiBAN is a significant player in the ecosystem, and we have an opportunity to get our voices heard. A good example is the Domestic Ownership Program set up by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: FiBAN has been actively involved in the program, and several of our members have participated in the working group hearings. In 2021 our aim is to make our influencing efforts more systematic and ensure that Finland will be a good country for angel investors also in the future.

On the international front, we see more Finnish faces, as the emeritus FiBAN Chair Janne Jormalainen was elected as the President of our international umbrella organization EBAN. Knowing Janne’s capabilities in planning and executing, I am confident that this will help EBAN to develop into a direction that creates value for Finnish angel investors as well.

That is a brief overview of what 2021 might bring. But as this year has shown, we never know what the future holds. However, we all can affect the future by the things we do today. Thus, if there is an initiative FiBAN should push forward in 2021, feel free to reach out to me, Amel, or anyone from our office or board. We are here for you.

More information:
Reima Linnanvirta, FiBAN Chair of the Board, reima.linnanvirta@fiban.org