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To know Baybars Altuntas is not only to like him, but also to respect and admire him. I cannot remember exactly when I first met Baybars but by gosh I am glad I did. He is someone who started almost single-handedly to bring the global angel scene into one frame, through his patronage of the World Business Angels Forum. The news this month that another 10 High Commissioners have been appointed to WBAF for Bahrain, Brazil, Ghana, Iceland, Jordan, Macedonia, Morocco, Ukraine, USA and Zimbabwe, is further evidence of his determination to see angel investing as a global not a national activity. This is so important at a time when far too many people are looking to build walls and barriers around their physical borders.
To understand Baybars I recommend you not only read his autobiography Off the Bus, Into a Supercar, but try to meet him either at the event we are organising on behalf of ISTANBUL SEHIR UNIVERSITY that has been on 23rd October in London (let me know if you want to come by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) or possibly at EBAN in Munich on 16 17 October. His dynamism will impress and he has a deep understanding of both entrepreneurship and investment.
One of the reasons you should befriend Baybars is that he is Turkish and therefore sits at the juxtaposition between East and West. This gives him a perspective that few of us have, but one that is going to become more and more important especially to UK investors as we look to a time beyond Brexit. The smartest investors have already clocked the potential of Turkish entrepreneurship and are backing companies coming from there. I recommend that you should too. I have been remarkably impressed by the quality of the businesses looking for backing during my two recent visits to Istanbul.
Another date for your diary is the WBAF Annual Congress in Istanbul 18-20 February 2018. http://www.wbaf2018.istanbul/wbaf-annual-congress-2018/about/. By attending you will see for yourself that no angel these days can afford to just look locally or even nationally for opportunities.
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