How to Invest in Early-stage Startups


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Why Invest In Early-Stage Startup?

If you had invested a thousand euros in Amazon in early-stage, today you would have € 162.6 million.

Until yesterday, these opportunities were reserved for a limited group of US-based investors, often in Silicon Valley.

Today, however, the opportunities are open to angel investors around the world. Not only can American startups be reached today, but Europe itself creates its unicorns every year – startups that exceed $ 1 billion in value – with as many as 52 European unicorns in 2019.

Of course, Amazon is not an occasion that happens every day. But many startups have brought a return of 10x or even 100x to investors, profoundly changing the lives of consumers, the way of banking, purchases and health. These are the startups that an experienced early investor learns to recognize while meeting some of the brightest people on the planet, and other investors who like him want to make a mark.


The startup ecosystem is fast-growing and is changing the economy in a significant way.

Moreover, FinTech, Blockchain and Tech Startups are spreading rapidly, influencing the finance world – and our daily lives – in ways that we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago.

As an investor, you have many incredible investment opportunities that this ecosystem offers and also many challenges.

Our speakers will give you exclusive insight into the early-stage startup world, in the core of this amazing ecosystem itself.

Join us to learn how to invest in the best early-stage startups, choosing the new entrepreneur leaders of the future and seeking the next Unicorn.

Why is this a unique opportunity?

You’ll be in the heart of FinTech startups in Europe, in the best ever environment for investment:

The event is hosted by Level39, Europe’s largest technology incubator for FinTech and by FinTech District, the gateway to the Italian FinTech ecosystem.

The workshop was created in partnership with FinTech Institute – CDP certified service provider – specialising in FinTech and Blockchain events, conferences and workshops, with high level speakers and experts.

London & Milan: the best places to be as a startup investor

London’s explosively growing tech sectors are on course to attract record levels of investments this year, sealing the capital’s status as Europe’s dominant silicon city.

Venture capital investment into tech has already hit £4.5 billion, surpassing last year’s total of £4.3 billion, according to data from London’s mayor’s promotional agency, London & Partners.

Sightings of the mythical unicorn have become more common in the U.K. The country has been the birthplace of over 70 startups, valued at over £1 billion and trails only the U.S. and China in the global ranking, according to data from Tech Nation and Dealroom.

Milan startup capital: With 1700 startups, Milan is the Italian capital of startups, with the most companies with high technological value registered in the business in 2019.

“In 2018, about 213 million euros were raised in investment rounds by Italian FinTech startups and, in particular, by FinTech scale-ups. If, on the other hand, we consider that all the last rounds, announced by the Italian world of FinTech, reach over 395 million, it means that, in 2018, there was a significant leap forward both in the attention of investors to the Italian FinTech sector and in the ability of Italian FinTech to attract capital, thanks to clearly interesting business models – Bebeez FinTech, report, March 2019


Investing in startups is exceptionally different from any other kind of investment.

Before starting to invest in startups, we need to answer some essential questions:

– What is the main difference between other types of investment?

– What is the expectation of the return of investment, and how long it will take?

– How do the rounds of investments work?

– When is the best time to invest?

– What are the risks and opportunities?

– We are going to answer these and many other questions about investing – in early-stage startups.

– In the workshop, we will talk about how to avoid SCAM; in particular, in Blockchain and FinTech and the tools that can be used to make a conscious investment.

– We will also talk about the legal aspects of investing: tracking down all the information you need to legally validate a project when it comes to new technologies.

– We will bring examples of jurisdictions that are working to allow innovative startups to grow, while maintaining transparency and legality.

We will go into detail on:

– How to choose a startup

– How to evaluate a pitch

– How to manage investment risk

– What are the key questions to ask the founders

– Who can help the investor to choose the right project, especially in the first investments

We will help the investor create a network of people:

– Who can help you in finding the best deals

– Who can help you to evaluate startups

– How to create opportunities for co-investment

We will evaluate the repercussions of Brexit on the world of startups; in particular, those related to FinTech, without forgetting the social impact and how it is possible to invest in startups for a better future.

Finally, we will bring concrete examples of startups into the FinTech world.

This workshop is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.



Location: Milan – Fintech District

Date: 6 March

Time: 2 pm – 6 pm

2:00 pm – Registration

2:30 pm – Interactive Welcome – Elisa Giudici

2:45 pm – Introduction Fintech District – Alessandro Longoni – Head of Fintech District

3:00 pm – “From Zero to Unicorn” – Elisa Giudici (Keynote) – ABC of startup investment, how it works, timing, the return of investments, opportunities and challenges.

3:20 pm – “Choose the best investments, diversify the risks” Gianluca Guerra – Advice and insights from the co-founder of Purple Hat Capital, the Angel Syndicate that, in just a few months, invested in 16+ startups.

4:00 coffee break – networking

4:15 – “How to Scam People in Blockchain (and How to Avoid being scammed)” – Rosbeh Zakikhani

The cryptocurrencies and blockchain ecosystem is fast growing and is affecting the economy in a great way. However, this ecosystem is consistently marked by non-transparency, dubious practices and scams. Learn the techniques used by scammers to manipulate us and which are the innovative and effective techniques and tools to recognize and avoid scams, invest more securely and lower the risk of fraud. At the end of the session, we will do together an interactive practise with A.I. system that helps to catch scams.

4:45 – Case histories

5:15 – Q&A

5:45 – Closure and greetings


Location: London – L39

Date: 13 March

Time: 2 pm – 6 pm

2:00 pm – Registration

2:30 pm – Interactive Welcome – Elisa Giudici

2:45 pm – Introduction Level39 + Tour L39 – Elisa Giudici

3:00 pm – The Seven Strategies of Top Tech Investors – Stefano L Tresca

How Peter Thiel (PayPal, Facebook), Chris Sacca (Uber, Twitter) and the other top tech investors found 100x ROI startups.

3:20 pm – London’s tech scene and investment landscape – Emily Hoble – London&Partners

3:40 pm How to evaluate a pitch deck & how the network can help your investment – Elisa Giudici – How to evaluate a pitch deck and its founders, what kind of research you need (e.g. due diligence, legal aspects). The importance of networking to catch the best deal and evaluate the startups, where to meet the best investors, the events, the associations and the places to be.

4:00 Coffee break – networking

4:15 – “About Social Impact, the Future of Impact Investing in Tech” – Peter Lazou

The cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems are fast growing and are affecting the economy in impact investing – and is growing faster than ever and leading social, economic and environmental transformations in ways that are ‘unthinkable.’ But is it bringing people and global communities together and helping to solve the greatest problems of a generation?

4:45 – Case histories

5:15 – Q&A

5:45 – Closure and greetings

The Workshop Locations

Day 1: Fintech District

Fintech District is the gateway to the Italian Fintech ecosystem and attracts the most relevant national and international stakeholders. The Fintech District community now has over 120 startups and many collaborations with public institutions, investors, professionals, financial institutions, international innovation hubs, universities and corporations.

Day 2: Level39

Level39 is Europe’s largest technology incubator for FinTech and cybersecurity, home of 250+ startups, including two unicorns.

About FinTech Institute

FinTech Academy is a non-profit organisation to advance the education of the public on the subject of financial innovation and its impact on society. We organise FinTech training and events at Level39, Europe’s largest startup incubator for FinTech. We are the organiser of Expanse – The Annual Summit for FinTech and Blockchain Investors. We are CPD certified provider.

>> Important <<

This workshop will be held in English, and it takes place in two different locations.

The price of the workshop includes both days.

Day 1

Date: 6 March

Time: 2 pm – 6 pm

Location: Milan – Fintech District – Via Filippo Sassetti, 32 – 20124 Milano MI – Italy

Day 2

Date: 13 March

Time: 2 pm – 6 pm

London – Level39 – One Canada Square – Canary Wharf, London – United Kingdom

This workshop is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

The price of the workshop does *not* include any travel and accommodation expenses.

Speakers – Day 1

Alessandro Longoni

Head of Fintech District

Alessandro has worked on digital innovation and business development at a global level in companies like Samsung and Vodafone. Before joining the Fintech District coming back to Milan, he has lived and worked in London for 5 years. His last project was bringing Samsung Pay to Europe. He proudly decided to dedicate 1 year of his life to traveling in 8 different countries. He loves practising sports and playing with anything digital.

Elisa Giudici

Serial entrepreneur, tech investor in 20+ startups, and public speaker. Member of the board of Fintech Institute, and founder of Expanse, the annual summit of FinTech and Blockchain investors.

Elisa is a board member of Fintech Institute, and founder of EXPANSE – the annual summit of FinTech and Blockchain investors, where business angels, family offices, HNWIs, and VCs from all over the world meet in London. She’s a serial entrepreneur with two exits, a tech investors in 20+ startups, and a mentor for aspiring business-women at Cherie Blair Foundation and with TechItalia Labs. Today, Elisa invest a good part of her time to bridge the tech and the business community, especially in FinTech, Blockchain and e-Commerce, providing training, mentoring, and events.

Gianluca Guerra

General Partner of Purple Hat Capital | Founder & CEO of Virgilius Wealth | Startup/ICO/STO Fundraise

Gianluca is General Partner of Purple Hat Capital LLP, the first A.I. & Mentors Powered Angel Syndicate for #FinTech and #Blockchain. Founder and CEO of Virgilius Wealth, an Independent Italian family and corporate office. 15 year board member of Gruppo Giovani Confindustria, and in the last 2 years, first President of Gruppo Giovani Confindustria Romagna. Everyday, Gianluca works as investor on Fintech and Blockchain startups, alternative investment asset and as advisor of many startups in fundraising, focused on professional and institutional investors.

Rosbeh Zakikhani

Founder & Director at DeepHound and AskSteven A.I. , co-Director at Founder Institute Rome Chapter – Early-stage accelerator Silicon Valley.

He’s deeply involved in Startups & A.I. Deephound introduces ARTIFICIAL ANALYST, a next-generation AI solution helping humans to find, gather and understand complex and scattered information from Online and Open Sources, providing Answers. Through AskSteven A.I. he brings the SCAM investment hunting at the next level. He’s also co-director of the Rome chapter of the Founder Institute, the World’s Largest Startup Accelerator, born in Silicon Valley in 2009 and now operating in 200+ cities worldwide.

Speakers – Day 2

Dr. Stefano L. Tresca

The Future of Money. FinTech & Blockchain advisor & investor. Founding member L39

Emily Hoble

Senior Inward Investment Manager – London & Partners

Working at London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s economic development agency, Emily promotes London as the best place in the world to invest. This involves working with clients on a one-to-one basis to streamline their experience of setting up and scaling in London, as well as playing an active part in the London tech ecosystem.

Emily is a born and bred Londoner, who studied International Relations and has spent time working in the Far East. Working with people from all four corners of the world, and exploring these places along the way, fits well with Emily’s passion for travelling.

Peter Lazou

Co-Founder at Otherdots

Advises early-stage startups, scale-ups, as well as venture-builds and invests in meaningful and enduring technology companies that aim to improve the lives of millions of people. He is genuinely passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, creating stories that bring alive the power of tech startups. He has a catalytic focus of inspiring and stimulating change in the way people think and do by pushing the boundaries of innovation and design, with a focus on shaping the future of connected convergence and along his journey across 4 different continents, he has designed groundbreaking & award-winning technologies in FinTech, Automotive, IoT/Wearables, with three successful company exits. He’s an advisor to the Cyprus Research and Innovation Centre and Gravity incubator in Cyprus, mentor at StartupBootcamp Singapore, London and Milan, Qatar Sports Accelerator, B-Sprouts, among others, managing director for the Founder Institute Chapters in Milan and Cyprus. He is also currently working on a fascinating project called the Virtual Bank Game, the intersection between finance, learning, and gaming. An unparalleled, immersive and real-life financial learning experience through digital gaming, creating a framework to turn financial data into a global time-lapse view in motion. In addition he’s founding partner of SportScientia, a data analytics company that brings to the world of sport the first mobile force plate in a smart insole that monitors and feeds back the risk of lower-limb injury accurately from ground reaction forces at foot level to help reduce musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, and founding member at Otherdots foundation, a new breed of grassroots venture building and action-based investing, the first-ever social impact fund on the blockchain, to provide a digital identity and voice to the unbanked while also improving human conditions across rural areas and emerging countries.

Get tickets for this event on: EventBrite.