In 2017, we celebrated our 5th birthday. And as many people (and apparently also organizations) do, we used this opportunity to reflect – on our services and especially on the benefits that we are offering for our members. The outcome of this strategic analysis: BALC and the decision to put more emphasis on investors education. Combined with the aim to be more active outside of Vienna, we created the first Austrian Investors Academy.

End of this history lesson and fast forward to 2019: Today we are looking back at a highly successful Investor Academy, implying that our peer2peer educational approach is not too bad 😉 But let’s dive deeper into the concept of this event (and promote the upcoming Academy in October 2019).


Let’s face it: Investment theory and calculating discounted cashflows can be kind of boring. And as you have probably already noticed when you are active in the startup area, the reality is quite a different game. That’s why we took a different turn when we designed the schedule of the Investors Academy: We cut (most) of the theoretical background and asked our speakers to share their real life experience – the highest highs and lowest lows in their career as investors.

Sounds good? We thought so too. That’s why invited some of the most experienced (Austrian) angel investors. Our line-up so far: Hermann Hauser (you can read more about him in our blogpost on our angel trip to Cambridge) Herbert Gartner (one of the leading super angels in Austria), our aaia board members Werner Wutscher and Nikolaus Futter, Philipp Kinsky, Michael Schuster & Oliver Holle from Speedinvest, former FFG Startup representative Stefan Kreppel and Michael Petritz from KPMG.

The topics that we focused on: a crash course featuring all the major steps in the life of an angel investor. Starting off with the basics – 1×1 for angel investors, legal and tax essentials – we made our way through the due diligence process and concluded with the questions on how to successful scale and eventually sell companies.

The magic of a village in the Austrian Alps

Inviting great speakers that share their stories in an authentic and honest way is of course crucial for an educational event like this. But in our opinion, it takes even more to stand out from the crowd: It’s about the experience. And – as in many aspects of angel investing (and probably life in general, but I try not to be to philosophical) – it’s about the people.

Let’s make this more tangible by comparing this idea of standing out by offering a great experience to the restaurant world: In a fine dining restaurant like Osteria Francescana, which is currently ranked as the best restaurant in the world, the same products, tools and methods like in many other restaurants are used. So what is it that makes people pay a crazy amount of money for food? You guessed it, the experience. It’s the feeling of exclusivity, the unforgettable atmosphere and the way that you are treated as guest. And of course the crazy chef that contributes to the creation of the hype around the restaurant but that’s a different story.

Coming back to the Investors Academy: The real magic of the event is what happens aside from the actual workshops – it is people connecting with each other. To foster this, we selected a small village called Wattens (well known for the Swarovski empire) where the attendees are basically forced to talk and spend time with each other, as there is literally nothing else to do. Sounds radical. But seems to work. Fine cuisine and good drinks do the rest of the trick. 😉

Summing this up: Attending the Investors Academy is a once in a lifetime experience for (prospective) investors. You get to meet the Who is Who of the Austrian investors landscape in a very informal setup, spend two intense but educational days in a nice Tyrolean village and connect with your potential co-investors & business partners.

If you are now curious and start to think about joining the 2019 edition: Have a look here and sign up for updates on the event.

See you in Wattens,