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Business angels: Crucial elements of the European financial ecosystem


  • Pellens, Maikel
  • Licht, Georg


Europe faces a conundrum. Despite high levels of research investment and leading the market in many industries, disruptive and radical innovation typically does not come from European startups. One of the reasons for this is financial constraints: most innovative European start-ups do not manage to attract institutional funders or venture capitalists to invest in their growth, and hence do not fulfill their growth potential. Business angels, individual investors who support early-stage firms with capital and experience, are believed to be able to fill this gap in the funding landscape and thus help boost European innovation. However, relatively little is known about business angel activities in Europe. In this policy brief, we summarize recent research conducted at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), highlight trends in the German and European business angel markets, and discuss implications for the design of policies aimed at fostering the development of markets for business angel investment.

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  • Pellens, Maikel & Licht, Georg, 2017. "Business angels: Crucial elements of the European financial ecosystem," ZEW policy briefs 5/2017, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewpbs:52017

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rammer, Christian & Weißenfeld, Britta, 2008. "Innovationsverhalten der Unternehmen in Deutschland 2006: Aktuelle Entwicklungen und ein internationaler Vergleich," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 4-2008, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    2. Egeln, Jürgen & Gottschalk, Sandra, 2014. "Finanzierung von jungen Unternehmen in Deutschland durch Privatinvestoren: Auswertungen aus dem KfW/ZEW Gründungspanel. Projektbericht," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 110576.
    3. Ali, Sana & Berger, Marius & Botelho, Tiago & Duvy, Jean-Noël & Frencia, Chiara & Gluntz, Philippe & Delater, Aurélie & Licht, Georg & Losso, Jacopo & Pellens, Maikel, 2017. "Understanding the nature and impact of the business angels in funding research and innovation: Final report," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 181907.
    4. Gottschalk, Sandra & Egeln, Jürgen & Herrmann, Frank & Hupperts, Silke & Reuss, Karsten & Köhler, Mila & Bersch, Johannes & Wagner, Simona, 2016. "Evaluation des Förderprogramms "INVEST - Zuschuss für Wagniskapital"," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 144829.
    5. Richard T. Thakor & Andrew W. Lo, 2017. "Optimal Financing for R&D-Intensive Firms," NBER Working Papers 23831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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