This month, the Global Business Angels Network held a call in its Field Report series on the topic of Building an Angel Network. Tomi Davies, co-founder of Lagos Angel Network and President of the African Business Angel Network, led the discussion based on his experience in forming both angel groups. The webinar was moderated by Candace Johnson, GBAN co-chair and president of the European Business Angels Network.
For the first half of the call, Davies used his experience in co-founding Lagos Angel Network as a case study for building angel organizations. Davies said he used the World Bank guidebook, Creating Your Own Angel Investor Group: A Guide for Emerging and Frontier Markets, as a way to help organize and form LAN. He said he and his team were able to form LAN by following three primary steps:
- Assessing the Angel Investor Ecosystem
- Devising the Group Framework
- Running Network Operations
Over the course of his presentation, Davies broke down these three components and how he used them to form LAN in Nigeria. However, Davies also noted that his experience is in many ways unique to the entrepreneurial environment in Lagos and that it isn’t as important to “check boxes” when it comes to forming a network.
“The critical thing is to have in the back of your head an assessment of each and every one of these and know where is the strength of [your] particular ecosystem,” he said.
The second half of the call was devoted to discussion with GBAN members in attendance. Though most of the listeners had founded angel networks of their own, the ensuing discussion allowed members to compare notes on managing their organizations based on LAN’s continued success. Some members also took this time to share their own experiences and the unique challenges they faced in founding their local networks.
"There isn’t one way to do this,” Davies said to close the call. “What you've got to discover is the way that works for you and for your members, and that is what will work in your environment.”
GBAN field reports are an ongoing, members-only webinar series on topics related to angel investing from a global perspective. Find out more at gban.co.