A new manager of Connect, Anna Wilkens, starts Nordic BAN – a new marketplace to bring together 1,500 business angels in five countries of the Nordic-Baltic region, reports 8till5.

Previously Anna Wilkens has been living in San Francisco for the last six years and managed a start-up grocery service company there. That was not easy to find an investment for the company, which made it finally merge with another bigger one.

“It needs so much passion, perseverance and long time to find an investment. You should meet perhaps a hundred of investors before you finally find the one you match with,” – says Anna Wilkens

With the acquired experience she is back to Sweden to lead the development of the Connect’s business angel networks at regional and national levels.

Connect is a nonprofit organisation, which brings together entrepreneurs and investors. The organisation was founded in San Diego in 1985 and nowadays is active in 20 countries all over the world. It came to Skåne in 1998 and has already established 120 business angel networks here.

Even though Connect Skåne has facilitated an investment process for 15 companies during the last year, Anna has greater targets to achieve. She wants to include more industries, younger investors and more women into the networks. Moreover, she has an aim to strengthen national and international cooperation. To achieve the goals a new investment platform Nordic BAN is going to be launched already this month.

Nordic BAN is a collaboration between the Connect unions in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and its sister organisations Fiban in Finland and in Estonia. Together they have about 1500 angel networks. Anna hopes that Nordic BAN will create even more favorable business environment for the entrepreneurs and investors of the region to meet each other. It is estimated that the total sum if the investments would be between 200 000 and 2 million EUR, which is quite a promising figure.