Sophia Business Angels News

SBA 20th Anniversary Year !

Dear SBA Friends, Colleagues, and Partners around the world,

 This year, the Sophia Business Angels celebrates its 20th Year!  It is a time of celebration of accomplishments, be it investments, events, supporting innovation, and entrepreneurship.  It is also a time of reflection and how we can do better in the next 20 years!

We will be marking our anniversary with a grand celebration in the fall (the date will be announced shortly) as well as the establishment of an innovation fund honoring our founder, Senator Pierre Laffitte. The details will be announced shortly.

And just before we go to press, we would like to invite everyone who may be in the Cote d'Azur region to our first StartUp Factory of the year on the "Metaverse and Immersive Technologies" taking place with our partners, the Cannes Pays Lérins region Tuesday 07 June at 6:30 pm. with international experts from France, Europe, and California and 6 great startups from the region.

We are also excited to introduce our new SBA Blog, (  Our first contribution is by our SBA Board Member and Deal Flow Director Patrick Kedziora on a topic we know is dear to all angels' hearts and pocketbooks, "A short guide to financial reporting for Start-Ups"


 Building on our skills and experience, to continue to serve those dreamers who build our future

How do we build on the achievements of the founders and builders of SBA? How do we fulfill new members expectations and how do we really contribute to the success of entrepreneurs? These are the questions that will be put to members and to some stakeholders in the coming few months, with the hope of presenting later a series of strategic choices to the board and to the membership.

We are now working on the questions which we want to help us generate new ideas. Let us give you here a few examples without any order of importance: should we have different classes of membership, such as a membership for junior investors? Should a percentage of funds invested be paid to the club? How much do I plan to invest in the next 3 years? Do members value the help and support we give startups with events like the International Venture Academy and mentoring or would they prefer we just focus on investments? Do entrepreneurs value our advice, or they just want our money? Would a regional or sector specialization add value and make SBA more attractive and recognizable as we compete with larger organizations in European capitals? What 3 adjectives should SBA we labelled with? What type of relationships we want with other clubs? Rather than being close to regional clubs should best value be found in partnerships with a club in San Francisco and another in Sao Paulo?  What value do we derive from being part of EBAN and other organizations and what value do we bring them? What is the optimal club membership size we should aim for? Should we lobby governments? Should we raise a 100M fund? How do we deal with ethics and diversity?

To make the next 20 years a success as the previous 20s we must bring together the same boldness, and energy demonstrated by those who build SBA, and we also must bring new creativity and innovation to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

The board has asked Jerome to be the coordinator of this project, working for all members, meaning his role is to hear your wishes and visions about what it means to be a Sophia Business Angel. Please make your voice heard (or your words read). Let’s trace our next 20-year adventure together!

WhatsApp: +16178557773 Tel: +33782821707 

Note: photos from with our thanks

SBA International Venture Academy Winner and Portfolio Company, Interstellar Lab ranked No. 2 as "Best StartUp to Invest in" by French Business Magazine, Challenges


Interstellar Lab Ranked 🥈 as 2022 Best Startup to Invest In


Interstellar Lab was selected among 10,000 startups in France and ranked #2 in the 2022 Top 100 Startups to Invest In by business magazine Challenges. We are glad to be at the top of one of the most prestigious ranking in France since 2014, alongside previous year’s award winners such as unicorns Qonto, Alan, and Back Market. This proves Interstellar Lab’s mission statement—to build closed-loop technologies that can solve Earth’s most pressing environmental challenges and help humanity become a multi-planetary species, is powerful and shared with the jury and public. Find out more about our mission and vision here.

EuropIA Capital and Sophia Business Angels Partnership: 

EuropIA Capital (EIAC) launched officially on Thursday 14th of April at the World Artificial Intelligence Cannes Festival! President Emeritus of the Sophia Business Angels, Jean-Louis Brelet is the president of EIAC, the brand-new association that combines a new Business Angels club and an investment fund. Innovation in artificial intelligence being the focal point, EIAC was present at the first edition of the WAICF, where the official announcement was made next to Marco Landi, President of EuropIA Institute, Jacques Meler, copresident of France Angels and top partners.

 EuropIA Capital responds to the much-needed demand of early stage (seed funding) investment with the Business Angels club doing average investments of €500.000-€1M; which would be followed by the series A rounds of €1M-€2M done by the fund. The goal for fundraising is set at €100M, which is planned to do 30 investments, mostly series A. 

EuropIA Capital is set to become one of the most specialist funds on the European market within the AI space, backed by industry and university experts.



SBA StartUp Factory

Join us at the StartUp Factory 6:30 p.m. Tuesday 07 June at Campus Georges Melies for a truly stimulating tour of "The Metaverse and Immersive Technologies”.

Please use this link to sign up for the StartUp Factory. Registration is mandatory as seating is limited:

New Members:

The advisors at Sophia Business Angels are a team of successful men and women who previously enjoyed careers as entrepreneurs or corporate executives and bring international expertise from diverse disciplines, industries and countries. We will be using this column to highlight a member to learn a bit more about them.

This month, please meet SBA members Jean-Marc Royer and Jean-Claude Goldenstein.

Jean-Marc Royer :

Q. Do you have a favourite song or piece of music that inspires you?

I decided to tell you about my favourite Motto, I rely on this a lot in my life. 

Marc Twain: They didn’t know it was impossible, so they did it. When you start a project as an entrepreneur, it usually looks quite impossible for other peoples. So, to be an entrepreneur is believing that doing impossible things is possible.  It requires to be a little bit crazy.

My second favourite quote come from a great philosopher : Batman: It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you. What matters is the good or bad actions you actually do. It does not matter what you think of yourself, or what you think you may potentially do, only your real actions defines who you are eventually.

A thinker must also be a doer if he does not want to stay a dreamer. 


 Q. Are there any specific industry sectors or product categories you prefer? 

Since the start of my career, 30 years ago, I have been involved with products that allow people to interact with each other. Tools that allow them to communicate remotely from far away. I have always liked this kind of products, as they go beyond communication – it’s interaction. I believe that humanity is strong through human collaboration and acting together.


Q. Can you tell us about an interesting startup you are involved with now?

Teleportis: A way to visit the world without moving from your home. Its connecting with people all around the world on a video platform. You can visit the pyramids from your sofa, with a person that shows you around there. It is remote reality (I don’t like the word ‘virtual’), it’s teleporting your mind in another place ! 

I like all new concepts, that didn’t exist before, something all new. And I believe that today companies need to start internationally / globally right away. Starting locally and growing later: Is blast from the past.

I feel like a Citizen of the world. Before being French, I am human – part of humanity. I used to work with people across the world (all remote), had more than 1.000 employees, 99% worked from their home located all around the world. For the past 20 years, my company was global, based in more than 20 different countries


Jean-Claude Goldenstein: 

Q.  What is the most amazing place you have traveled too (in the world)?

Maybe the Himalaya, or Big Sur in California (where I recently spent 10 years after 20 years in New York). I live in the moment, wherever I am.


Q. What made you want to become a startup advisor and angel investor?

I enjoy working with  entrepreneurs who make an impact. They tell me they benefit from my unique perspective in solving complex technology challenges (from 15 years in aerospace R&D at Boeing and GE, and in consulting for Ernst & Young). I also appreciate when fellow angel investors help me! 


Q. What is the most interesting startup you are currently involved in?

absolutely CREOpoint. It may sound self-serving since I founded the company. I’ve been deeply involved in the humbling fight to filter out disinformation and social media noise. The mission is vitally important at this time. Between COVID, the many election interferences, and now sadly the war in Ukraine, fake news and manipulated videos are even bigger threats to not just our democracies, but also organizations. Businesses can't afford not to prepare ahead of time. Decisive intervention is key. Otherwise new technologies make rumors and disinformation spread like wildfire, and the harm is done.

Our patented innovations use the best of artificial and human intelligence to manage reputational risks and help restore trust quickly. CREOpoint clients include EY, LVMH, IEEE, KPMG, SNCF, and several well known personalities. I lead CREOpoint with a few good friends from around the globe, former executives at EY, Facebook, Financial Times, GE, Orange, and WPP. It’s been wonderful for me to spend more time in “sur la côte d’azur”, where I grew up. CREOpoint also has people based on the West and East coasts in the U.S., in Lausanne, Paris, Tangiers, and Tartu, Estonia. 

Please check out for illustration on the work that we do. I thank you for talking with me, and I can be reached at if you’d like to hear first about our ideas for Cannes & Sophia. I also look forward to more with SBA!


SBA AGM 28 January 2022:

The SBA AGM was the occasion to elect a new board of directors to guide and direct our 20th Anniversary year activities. Elected were:  Candace Johnson and Eric Cokini as co-presidents, Cyrille Flament as Treasurer, Barbara Saxby as Communications and Marketing Director, Patrick Kedziora as Deal Flow Director, Edgardo da Fonseca and Marcel Dridje as SBA President Emeriti, and Jerome Nollet, Charlie Sidman and Audra Shallal.  The SBA has two resident USA board members to assure our international and transcontinental presence.


Besides two very successful StartUp Factories with Cannes Pays-Lerins, the Europe-China GreenTech SBA International Venture Academy with the Shanghai government and BGTA, 8 SBA Invest Meetings, we invested in the following 8 companies from 4 countries for a year total of 450 K Euros: 

Gomecano - Follow on Investment in 480 K Euro Round, (France)

EMPE - First Investment in 180 K Euro Round, (Sweden)

Trust Place - First Investment in 450 K Euro Round, (France)

Azuvia - First investment in 450 K Euro Round, (France)

HOLIVIA:  First Investment in 800 K Euro Round (France)

EquiSafe - First Investment in 100 K Euro Round, (

Interstellar Lab - First Investment in 1.5 million Euro Seed Round, (USA/France) 

Umnai - First investment in 1.5 million Euro Seed Round,  (USA/Malta) 

We would like to stay connected with you!


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