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Julie Maples (FYRFLY Venture Partners): We invest in data, intelligence and enterprise software that is not really sexy part of the market.

Julie Maples (FYRFLY Venture Partners): We invest in data, intelligence and enterprise software that is not really sexy part of the market.

Julie Maples is Co-Founder and MD at FYRFLY Venture Partners. She has over 20 years of venture experience as both an investor and operator. She is founder of two venture firms in the seed stage arena achieving top percentile returns. She is Founder and Chairwoman of the Wine Celebration, Board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, V Capital Campaign Committee. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Actually, I entered the venture capital world right out of college. I came to California between my junior and senior years from Philadelphia, where I studied for an undergraduate degree. As I did a summer internship, I found my passion for this career that I just loved. I just love being in the industry. I always thought I would be working in the consulting, financial, maybe banking industry in New York. Finding VC world in Silicon […]

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Sergey Gribov (Flint Capital): Nobody in the normal mind would invest in a company that has more chances to fail than to succeed, but that’s what we do

Sergey Gribov (Flint Capital): Nobody in the normal mind would invest in a company that has more chances to fail than to succeed, but that’s what we do

Sergey Gribov is a partner at Flint Capital with a rich experience of being a tech entrepreneur and investor for more than 20 years. He was a founder and a top manager in more than 10 startups across Israel, USA and Russia. Sergey has an expertise in IT, namely in cybersecurity, software development, VoIP, finance and bioinformatics sectors. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? My original background is technical, I graduated in Computer Science. While I was in university, I started to work for a company called Compugen, which is in Israel. It’s one of the success stories of Israeli startups that appear in the “Start-up Nation” book. I was an employee №1 at Compugen where I did a bunch of different things. But I realized I could never work for a big company and liked startups. And at some point […]

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Phil Nadel (Forefront Venture Partners): We’re not working to hit Grand Slams every time we invest, we’re happy with hitting doubles and triples with occasional home runs.

Phil Nadel (Forefront Venture Partners): We’re not working to hit Grand Slams every time we invest, we’re happy with hitting doubles and triples with occasional home runs.

Phil Nadel is Founder and Managing Director at Forefront Venture Partners. He has been a serial entrepreneur for many years, having founded and exited several startups. He is also a published author, frequent conference speaker, and one of the co-hosts of “The Pitch” podcast. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Over the years I have started and sold several businesses myself, and when I exited a few businesses, friends and relatives had asked me if I could help them with their startups – both in terms of advice, but also with investment. So I started investing in startups on casual basis with people I knew. And that quickly grew to investing on more professional and full-time basis over the last 10-15 years. Because I started as an entrepreneur and a founder, it gave me a really good basis for understanding of other businesses […]

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Matthew C. Le Merle (Fifth Era & Keiretsu Capital): We are working very hard on supporting teams that are transitioning the world to a digital world

Matthew C. Le Merle (Fifth Era & Keiretsu Capital): We are working very hard on supporting teams that are transitioning the world to a digital world

Matthew Le Merle and his wife Alison Davis are co-founders and Managing Partners of Fifth Era, which manages Blockchain Coinvestors. Matthew is also Managing Partner at Keiretsu Capital, the most active early-stage tech investors in America, Chairman at CAH and Securitize (Europe), Vice Chairman at SFOX, and an advisor at Warburg Pincus. Matthew has been an advisor on growth and innovation-related issues for giants like Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Cisco, eBay, and HP.  He is an expert in a broad range of industries. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? My wife and I grew up in England, and we started our careers as management consultants with McKinsey & Company. We came to California more than 30 years ago to attend business school at Stanford and then had careers as senior partners at other big consulting firms including Kearney and in my case […]

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Sasha Mirchandani (Kae Capital): VC is pretty much like basketball: there are only 6 people playing, but there are always a bunch of people involved.

Sasha Mirchandani (Kae Capital): VC is pretty much like basketball: there are only 6 people playing, but there are always a bunch of people involved.

Sasha Mirchandani is Founder & Managing Director at Kae Capital. He is a Co-founder of Mumbai Angels, India’s first Angel Investment group. Prior to this Sasha was the Managing Director for the India operations of Blue Run Ventures. He is passionate about working with startups and also interested in the development of entrepreneurship in India. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I made my first investment during the dotcom era somewhere around 2001. The first company I invested in was a comparison-shopping site. I realised within a few months that the  idea didn’t make any sense. However I liked the team a lot and told them that we should immediately shut operations and try to come up with a new idea that was more fundable. They came up with an interesting business plan for Analytics. Though Analytics was very early in 2001, I […]

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Hernán Fernández Lamadrid (Angel Ventures): I think that this COVID crisis will be a very important test for many founders, and a capability to survive will guide them through the rest of their founding life

Hernán Fernández Lamadrid (Angel Ventures): I think that this COVID crisis will be a very important test for many founders, and a capability to survive will guide them through the rest of their founding life

We had an opportunity to talk to both Hernán Fernández Lamadrid and Camilo Kejner from Angel Ventures about their fund and their preferences in investing. Hernán Fernández is a founder and a managing partner at Angel Ventures, the leading Angel Investment Network in Mexico. Hernán started out as a lawyer but got fascinated by entrepreneurship, which resulted in him becoming one of the most influential investors in Latin America. Camilo Kejner is a managing partner at Angel Ventures. Prior to raising AV’s first fund, he was a board member, a chief operating officer, and a consultant for several startups in the technology and retail sectors. Camilo has also held several management positions in the entertainment industry. How did it all start? How did each of you decide to enter the venture investment business? Hernan: We started back in 2008 as the first professionally managed angel investor network. So, between 2008 […]

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Venktesh Shukla (Monta Vista Capital): In Silicon Valley we don’t say “failures,” we say “valuable learning opportunities.”

Venktesh Shukla (Monta Vista Capital): In Silicon Valley we don’t say “failures,” we say “valuable learning opportunities.”

Venktesh Shukla is General Partner at Monta Vista Capital. He has been involved with numerous start ups as an executive, investor, board member, or adviser. As President of TiE Silicon Valley and Chair of TiE Global, he has had transformational impact on the organization in Silicon Valley as well as at TiE Global. As the founding President of Foundation for Excellence for the first 17 years of its 20 years existence, set the stage for its current success in providing scholarship to thousands of talented but poor students pursuing engineering and medical education in India. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I used to be an entrepreneur myself, and I had some successes and some failures. In Silicon Valley we don’t call them “failures,” we call them “valuable learning opportunities.” So my last startup was a valuable learning opportunity. One learning I took […]

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Keith Teare (Accelerated Digital Ventures): A startup has to be a believable transformative idea, that is practical now.

Keith Teare (Accelerated Digital Ventures): A startup has to be a believable transformative idea, that is practical now.

Keith Teare is US Partner at Accelerated Digital Ventures. He is serial entrepreneur over the last three decades (RealNames, EasyNet and TechCrunch). Spent more than 20 years in Silicon Valley building companies and angel investing. Keith is experienced in helping European companies prepare for US expansion and approaching top tier US VC firms. He helps our portfolio companies think about their unit of value; their narrative; and their follow-on fundraising plans. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? The truth is I got too old to do startups. The startup ecosystem is pretty ageist, and when you get to the age of 60 and you walk to a VC and say, “I’ve got this great idea,” the chances of you walking out with the check are very low. They assume that your company is going to take 10, maybe 15. years, and you’ll be […]

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David Hornik (August Capital): Startup is a group of people, that hopefully gets bigger, so you need people who can inspire, pursuing something big and interesting that hopefully gets bigger

David Hornik (August Capital): Startup is a group of people, that hopefully gets bigger, so you need people who can inspire, pursuing something big and interesting that hopefully gets bigger

David Hornik is General Partner at August Capital. For the last 20 years, David has worked closely with technology companies to help them grow and prosper. David joined August Capital in 2000 to invest in a broad range of software companies. Since that time, he has invested in dozens of companies across the software spectrum, including a number of enterprise software and SaaS (Splunk, Fastly, GitLab), consumer services (Evite, Ebates, Drop), and financial technology companies (WePay, Bill.com, PayNearMe). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It’s a kind of luck and it wasn’t direct, wasn’t planned. I grew up as a kid who thought he was probably going to be a lawyer. I did end to be a lawyer for a period of time, but along the way I did a lot of things interesting to me. I didn’t think there were career things, […]

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