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WIPO-INSME Training program on the role of intellectual property in raising finance by small and medium-sized enterprises. Innovation tools to finance innovative SMEs. Geneva, 12.07.2006. Christian SAUBLENS EBAN. 1. Foreword.

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WIPO-INSME Training program on the role of intellectual property in raising finance by small and medium-sized enterprises

Innovation tools to finance innovative SMEs

Geneva, 12.07.2006

Christian SAUBLENS


1 foreword
1. Foreword
  • There is an asymmetry of information between entrepreneurs and investors;
  • It’s not only a question of access to money but also a question of life cycle of a company and about … sales and market penetration;
  • Investment readiness is needed;
  • All money is not the same;
financial supply chain
Financial Supply Chain







Other public support

SME profitability


Loans on trust


Loans for inventors

Reimbursable advance payments

University spin off

Proof of concept

Own resources












business angels networks, incubators, etc.

Advice: investment readiness, tutorship

Expertise: professional fund managers

FFF : Family, Friends, Founders

BA : Business angels

VC : Venture capital

IPO : Initial Public Offering

the paradox of access to finance
The paradox of access to finance
  • Banks
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Stock Exchange

Have money

But argue that there aren’t enough good projects

What is a good project?

A project which is not perceived as risky

for an investor


Trial to analyse the equity paradox


Is there enough money available for seed and early equity?


  • Are entrepreneurs aware of investors aspirations/ expectations (asymmetric information; all money is not the same)?
  • Are entrepreneurs ready to receive equity finance (Investment readiness)?
  • Are entrepreneurs proposals/ideas really innovative for investors?
venture capital in europe
Venture capital in Europe



Source: EVCA

eban statistical sample shows
EBAN statistical sample shows:
  • N° of active angels in the EBAN sample: 12.775
  • N° of projects received: 9.500
  • N° of deals done: 580
  • Size of deals: 25.000 to 250.000 €
  • Average size: 75.000 €
new trends
New trends
  • B.A. & B.A.N. co-funding vehicles
  • Proof of concept loans/grants
  • Repayable advance
  • Mezzanine
  • University spin out/off funds
  • Pipeline research revenue
  • Non-financial tools
2 segmentation of the market
2. Segmentation of the market
  • Start-up phase
  • First financial round
  • Subsequent financial round
  • Initial and unorthodox sources
  • Public Support
  • Debt finance


  • Indirect supports
  • Integrated actions
start up phase
Start-up Phase
  • Seed capital fund
  • Loans without interest and/or guarantee
  • University and research centres spin off funds
  • Micro-credit
  • Public or parapublic funds for creation or innovation
  • Public grants
  • Reimbursable loans
  • Proof of concept
first financial round
First Financial Round
  • Business Angels
  • Seed capital fund
  • Banks loans/Overdraft
  • Guarantee funds
  • Public or parapublic investment funds
  • Regional Public venture capital
  • Public grants
  • Corporate venturing
subsequent financial round
Subsequent financial round
  • Private venture capital
  • Bank Loans
  • Share subscription bonus
  • Mezzanine


  • Leasing
  • Factoring
initial an unorthodox ways
Initial an unorthodox ways
  • Entrepreneurs savings
  • FFF
  • Profit reinvestments
  • Second mortgage
  • Personal credit cards
  • Customer advance
  • Delay of payments
  • Premises sharing
  • Employing relatives at below market salaries
debt finance
Debt finance
  • Bank credits:
    • Short term
    • Long term
    • Unsecured
    • Micro
  • Commercial debt (papers)
  • Public/semi public loans
  • Bonds
public finance
Public finance
  • Grants
  • Reimbursable advances
  • guarantees
3 sources of finance all money is not the same
3. Sources of finance All money is not the same!
  • Business angels (informal risk capital): private individuals investing part of their personal assets in businesses and contributing their managerial skills and experience.
  • Business Angels Networks (BANs): regional platforms that match business angels with businessmen.
  • Buyouts: existing investors’ shares in a business are bought by the latter’s own management team (MBO-Management Buy Out) or by another management team supported by a venture capital fund.
  • Corporate venturing: venture capital supplied by existing companies for the purpose of financing innovative businesses set up by their own personnel or active in industries considered to be of strategic importance.
Development or expansion capital: financing provided for the growth and expansion of a company, which may or may not break even or trade profitably. Capital may be used to: finance increased production capacity; market or product development; provide additional working capital.
  • Early-stage finance/Start-up: funds invested downstream of research and development, in businesses that need additional finance to start marketing their products and services.
  • Equity: Ownership interest in a company, represented by the shares issued to investors.
  • Expansion: growth, bridging or restructuring capital.
  • Factoring: a technique whereby SMEs sell invoices to specialised firms.
  • Financial package: a combination of various sources of finance.
Grants: subsidies paid - without an obligation to refund – by public authorities to companies investing in a region for the purpose of facilitating their establishment or expansion.
  • Leasing: hire/purchase of capital goods.
  • Loans and debt: the main sources of funding for SMEs.
  • Mezzanine: intermediate layer of financing products (between equity and debt). Interest rates are often quite high.
  • Proof of concept: fund provided by public bodies to a research team in order to assess the viability of a new enterprise.
  • Quasi-equity investment instruments: instruments whose return for the holder (investor/lender) is predominantly based on the profits or losses of the underlying target company, are unsecured in the event of default and/or can be convertible into ordinary equity.
Replacement capital (also called secondary purchase): purchase of existing shares in a company from another private equity investment organisation or from another shareholder or shareholders – an investor buys another’s stake.
  • Risk capital: equity and quasi-equity financing to companies during their early-growth stages (seed, start-up and expansion phase) in the hope of a return on investment (ROI) that is both large and speedy, on a par with the level of risk taken. It includes: informal investment by business angels; venture capital; alternative stock markets specialised in SMEs and high-growth companies.
Seed capital: capital required for the purpose of financing projects upstream of product or service marketing. Seed capital is often essential for hi-tech projects in order to allow businesses to study, research and develop prototypes of the products that later come to constitute heir core business.
  • Start-up capital: financing provided to companies for product development and initial marketing. Companies may be in the process of being set up or may already exist, but have not sold their product or service commercially and are not yet generating a profit.
  • Venture capital: assets temporarily invested as stock by specialised firms expecting return on investment that is both fast and very substantial, i.e. commensurate with the level of risk. Such specialised investors play a role during both start-up and development.
proof of concept
Proof of concept

AIM: helping innovative enterprises to develop their products or services until their introduction to the market.

Average of amount provided: 40 to 400.000 €

Mixture of grants and equity


Pre-commercial support to university

    • To prove “market potential” for research idea/invention
  • Delivery format
    • Up to £200k per award (max 2 years)
    • University team includes academics and commercialisation practitioners
    • University owns IP generated
    • Only pre-commercial activity permitted
    • £28m spent to date
  • Programme performance to date
    • 85 projects completed
    • 400 jobs created to date
    • 17 companies formed
    • 22 licensing deals
    • £22m investment into companies

Funded in part with ERDF support from the EU

Source: Scottish Enterprise


AIM: to improve the balance sheet of an enterprise by a combination of subordinated loans or participating loans and equity.

The loans might be either reimbursed or transformed in shares at a given moment.

Average size of deals:

at regional level: 100.000 to 350.000 € in Wales (UK)

up to 2.225.000 € in Berlin (D)

at private equity level: 20 to 50.000.000 €

N° of deals in Europe: ± 100/year

university spin out off funds
University spin out/off funds

AIM: to support universities staff & students to start their own businesses. Good tool to support the commercialisation of research results.

Size of funds: in Belgium between 5 and 15 mio €.

all money is not the same
All money is not the same

Start-ups are funded from different sources

Ex.1: SuperSonic Imagine (F)

creation date: 2005

n° of staff members: 15

founder investment: 50.000 €

1st Round:

VC (Auriga Partners) = 500.000 €

Sponsorship from:

- National awards = 450.000 €

- Regional grants = 550.000 €

2nd Round:

4 investors = 10.000.000 €

- Crédit agricole Private Equity

- Auriga Partners

- NB6I Ventures

- BioAm


Creation: 2004

Turnover: 1 mio €

1st Round: Founder + BAs 220.000 €

2ndRound: Grants from Regional

Innovation Agency 50.000 €

3rd Round: Loan on trust 20.000 €

4th Round: Loan on trust 20.000 €

5th Round: V.C. (Galileo Partners) 1.000.000 €

(March 2006)

non financial tools
Non-financial tools
  • Investment readiness schemes

Aim: improve the quality of Business plan and business presentation in order to

attract the attention of potential investors (B.A. – V.C. – …)

Content: - business plan review

- knowledge of funding sources

- understanding timing and amounts to be expected

- needs & expectations of the various potential investors

- how to submit a business proposal.

  • BA academy

Aim: helping potential B.A. to become active angels

Content: - enterprise evaluation

- taxation

- exit route

research to revenue pipeline
Research to Revenue - Pipeline


Success in marketplace

National High Growth Start Up Unit

Enterprise Fellowship

Proof of concept



Idea/Invention based on research output

Source: Scottish Enterprise

christian saublens eban

For more information

Christian SAUBLENS


Avenue des Arts 12 Bte 7 1210 BRUSSELS – BELGIUM