Business Angel of the Year 2020: Nikolaus D. Bayer

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Business Angel of the Year 2020: Nikolaus D. Bayer

2020 marks the 20th year that the Business Angels Network Germany (BAND) is awarding the “Golden Nose” to the ‘Business Angel of the Year’, thus making it the oldest award of its kind in the world.

This year’s award winner is Nikolaus D. Bayer from Friedrichsdorf in the greater Frankfurt area. Nikolaus D. Bayer should actually have received the award from the Federal Minister of Economics, Peter Altmaier, who was also chairman of the nine-member jury that presided over the award. The ceremony has now been postponed to next spring due to the pandemic.

“Nikolaus Bayer is an example of a new, young generation of business angels. First, he successfully built his own start-up. Now, with his experience as a start-up founder, he is investing as a business angel in young start-ups and is proving a ‘golden nose’ “ said Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier in a tribute to the award winner.

Before founding his start-up, Bayer held managerial positions at large IT companies and IT security companies. He holds a degree in computer science and founded a successful start-up, IRIS Analytics, in 2007, a company that specialized in security analysis to prevent payment fraud. The company grew rapidly, but then it became clear that the next step would be more successful with the help of a global player. In 2015, IRIS Analytics was sold to IBM.

Today Bayer invests in innovative start-ups with a focus on software, artificial intelligence, digitization, and process optimization. He currently holds a total of 10 investments and has successfully completed two exits.

Bayer says of himself: “I have professional standards for myself as a business angel. For my founders, I pay particular attention to an intensive exchange, high availability, and a short response time whenever my founders need me. And I’m also very good at the “advocatus diaboli” and the driver. ”He always attaches importance to“ impact investing ”, i.e. sustainability. That becomes clear when you look at his holdings.

Among the start-up founders that have benefited from him is Max Hofmann, managing director of BidX GmbH from Darmstadt, which enables online retailers to fully automate and optimize their marketplace advertising.

Hofmann suggested Nikolaus D. Bayer for the “Golden Nose” and says: “Regardless of whether it is strategic, sales-related or VC-related topics, Nikolaus is characterized above all by his high level of commitment and entrepreneurial expertise.”

Another one is Peter Eulberg, CEO of Anyblock Analytics GmbH from Mainz, which operates as a blockchain solution provider. Also Tobias Lochen, CEO of sigo GmbH , Darmstadt, who rents fully automatic e-cargo bikes nationwide, which is available 24 hours a day and can be booked via the app.

From start-up founders to angel investors, that is the role that more and more angel investors are embodying in Germany as a start-up country. They know the inner workings of a start-up from their own experience, know where the pitfalls lie and can help the start-ups in which they have invested over many risks with their extensive know-how and with intimate knowledge of the industry and technology. It is ideal if you — like Bayer — also know the industry and support it.


Business Angel of the Year 2020: Nikolaus D. Bayer was originally published in FrankfurtValley on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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