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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
Ira Weiss (Hyde Park Venture Partners): “Entrepreneurs need to know their market really well and have a compelling value proposition”
Ira Weiss is a partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners and a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (he holds a Ph.D. in accounting), where he teaches MBA students. Ira has a rich experience as an angel and venture investor and is primarily interested in tech-enabled services in the Mid-continent. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’m an academic professor by training. I had a Ph.D. in accounting and I’ve started teaching at Columbia Business School in New York in 1999. A lot of my students were going off to work at technology startups, and together with my colleague, I started investing in technology startups on the side of being a professor. I just really fell in love with early-stage companies, with entrepreneurs, with the excitement of working on the next great thing. I was thinking of […]
Patrick Polak (Newion Investments): I am a very optimistic person and I always look for the opportunity and growth, because growth is in my DNA
Patrick Polak is co-founder of Newion Investments in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is jointly responsible for managing the company. His tasks include defining the firm’s overall investment strategy, investing, managing portfolio companies, fundraising and investor relations. Patrick is closely involved in Newion’s investments and is holding various board positions to help portfolio companies accelerate their growth. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’m in this business for 23 years already, since 97. Before that I ran a company active in high performance computing in the US and got in a contact with venture capital back in 1996, quite a few years ago. When I sold my company, I was 30. And I’ve got very much intrigued by VC world, all those venture things, the hint of a flavor of which I’ve got. I tried to get into the industry, and through an introduction […]
Vijay Tirathrai is a Managing Director of the Techstars Dubai Accelerator called Hub71 which was created to support entrepreneurs through special mentor-driven programs that help them succeed. Vijay is an angel investor and a serial entrepreneur, so he has a rich background to lead the growth of selected startups. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 30 years and I’ve built many companies, some successful, some not so successful. And as an entrepreneur, I’ve gone through different scenarios in a startup skilling up as well as in building sizeable business mostly in the brick-and-mortar business rather than in the tech career. One of the things I was very keen on is how can I channel my experience, my skills into helping others grow and succeed in a productive way. So, of course, mentoring comes to mind, […]
Enis Hulli (500 Startups): “We only invest into entrepreneurs who we feel like they are smarter than us”
Enis Hulli is a General Partner at 500 Startups Istanbul. Educated as an engineer he has a firm grasp of the technological aspect of the startup world and the ambition and knowledge to see the global potential in the regional startup scene. That is why, rather than venturing on the civil engineer path, he founded firstseed, a network of investors focusing on early stages investments He aims to cultivate and grow the Turkish startup ecosystem, help talented entrepreneurs of the broader region and the diaspora in building explosive businesses that will integrate with Silicon Valley. His goal is to position 500 Startups Istanbul as the leading actor in the region in order to re-shape the future of innovation at EMEA. 500 Istanbul is an early-stage VC fund within the San Francisco based 500 Startups network, a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator with over 2,200 investments in […]
Sanjay Nath (Blume Ventures): We are focused on the India market, but we welcome various opportiunities.
Sanjay Nath is co-founder of Blume Ventures in Mumbai, India. He is also a board member on the Draper Venture Network (DVN), an affiliation of global venture firms. He also represents Blume as a founding partner-member of Arka Venture Labs, a cross-border B2B seed fund along with Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’ll just tell you a bit of my background. Blume Ventures was started by Karthik Reddy and me. We were both Indian engineers and then we were in San Francisco in the US. We’ve spend between about 5 to 12 years in the US respectively and then came back. I have a management consulting background, foreign marketing background. I’ve spent time with Sun Microsystems. It was around the turn of the century. Then I was with Price Waterhouse and IBM. Karthik had financial background, […]