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Position Paper: Turning Start-ups into Scale-ups

Business Angels Europe (BAE) and Invest Europe prepared a paper at the occasion of “Startup to Scaleup in Europe: The Role of Business Angels” event, which was co-organised with France Angels. It follows up on the joint efforts made by these associations in the context of the Scale-Up Europe Initiative to foster the development of European innovative businesses.


In this paper, both associations argue that specific changes - from the EU sophisticated investors’ treatment to tax incentives and marketing passports - could unleash the potential of tens of thousands of investors across Europe.


While the right focus has been put recently on the creation of scale-ups that have the potential to become unicorns, it is essential that EU policymakers continue developing initiatives focusing on start-ups at the lower end of the spectrum – as these remain the basis of the innovation pyramid.

These initiatives should specifically focus on facilitating private investments, such as venture capital investors and business angels deliver. Investing in the earliest stage of a business growth path requires an astuteness to risk assessment, an agility in strategy and a flexibility in execution, that are rarely matching the standard conditions of lenders or public funding.