Basil Moftah (Global Ventures): We look at companies in the Middle East and Africa. Sometimes we look at the US, Asian, and European companies expanding into the region.
Basil Moftah is a general partner at Global Ventures. He was the President of the Intellectual Property & Science (IP&S) division at Thomson Reuters. He repositioned IP&S as a platform business by integrating its content and technology into a single micro-services architecture. He then prepared the business for sale to Onex PE in Canada. Prior to this position, Basil managed emerging markets for Reuters. He successfully grew the business organically, through strategic acquisitions, including the purchase of Zawya in the Middle East. He was a founding advisor for Reach Mentoring. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It’s an interesting story. When I first started my career in 1997, I joined the company that I guess I didn’t know very much then, called Reuters, which was a news agency and seemed to be very interesting to me, global, etc. I was on the […]
Marc Penkala (Mountain Partners): Never go alone. Surround yourself with people which are better than you
Marc Penkala joined MP in 2013. He is responsible for the international deal flow as well as the execution and the global roll-out management. Prior to his time with MP, Marc gained more than five years of entrepreneurial experience by founding two companies. Previously, Marc worked as the assistant to the executive board of Bilfinger Berger AG and assistant to the CEO of Rollbo Transport GmbH. Marc studied business administration at Freie Universität Berlin, University of New South Wales Sydney, LSE PKU Beijing and CBL Business School Dubai with a focus on international taxation, strategic management and entrepreneurship. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’m coming from an entrepreneurial background. I founded two companies before I actually started doing venture capital. The first company was completely offline, which I actually managed to sell in the first year of university. I was very […]
Damien Lane (Episode 1 Ventures): Hire ahead of the growth of your company. Hire business leaders earlier than you think you should do, because you need people with experience of managing 50 people
Damien Lane has spent the last 20 years investing in private companies, both in Private Equity where he was a partner with Electra Partners, then at Octopus Ventures where he was a senior member of the investment team. Having made a number of angel investments, Damien co-founded Episode 1 with Simon and Adrian in 2012. While at Episode 1, Damien has led investments in Carwow, Scurri, Touch Surgery, Attest and Zipcube and loves working with early-stage teams of entrepreneurs; helping them develop their early-stage startup into fast-growth enterprises capable of raising more funding from later-stage investors. When he is not trying to help businesses to implement an optimal approach to growth, Damien can mostly be found running around Hampstead Heath or the Coastal paths of Great Britain. Having trained obsessively to run a 2:52 Marathon in 2015, he is now trying to dip below 2:50, in the spirit of continuous […]
Raphael Christian-Roy (Front Row Ventures at Real Ventures): We have AI companies that are optimizing drug development, and we have a startup that develops a new type of fuel to send microsatellites in orbit.
Raphael Christian-Roy is Director of Front Row Ventures at Real Ventures. He is one of the three co-founders of Front Row Ventures, Canada’s first student-led venture capital fund. He joined the Real team in 2017 to build and grow the FRV fund across Canada. He is an entrepreneur since childhood, he went from owning a car garage to a window-cleaning business to a tech startup — all before he hit twenty. Before FRV, he spent two years working as a Product Manager at Volume7, a digital product agency that partners with forward-thinking startups and companies. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I have actually come from an entrepreneurial background. I’m a software engineer, I graduated in software engineering in Montreal, Canada, and studied also at Stanford in the US in California. So it was both an entrepreneurial and VC journey. When I […]
Václav Gregor (Soulmates Ventures): If people are seeing things as negative, then it’s time to step back and think about why do they feel like things are bad. Because they never are
Václav has discovered that even though the amount of information and options available can be overwhelming these days, we are still much better off than we were 10 or 15 years ago. Today, despite his young age, Václav have skills and experience that people in the past had to wait decades to gain, due to the relatively restrictive structure of the traditional corporate world and its limited opportunities. If he’d have to list the most important skill he’s gained, it would be that he get things done. As simple as this sounds, it is an invaluable asset for him when working in/with 8 or 9 figure companies and it has allowed him to skyrocket in his career, both as an executive and as an entrepreneur. This experience has given him a whole new outlook on life. He’s also been able to create a network of top business professionals and industry […]
Jason Peterson (Godigital Media Group): We have 3 pillars – core intellectual property investments, where we are buying the underlying copyrights in music, then we have a networks division and e-commerce division.
Jason Peterson is Chairman at Godigital Media Group. He is an experienced entrepreneur, attorney, and producer – named as one of the ‘Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30’ by The Los Angeles Business Journal and a ’40 under 40 Power Player’ in the music and video industries by Billboard and Media Play News, respectively. He has worked in the entire media value chain from production and post through marketing and distribution. His business GoDigital Media Group and its subsidiaries Cinq Music, ContentBridge, AdShare, VidaPrimo, and Distribber build and collect revenue from a media market transforming from ownership access rights. How did you enter into investment activities in your business space? I’m an entrepreneur, and as an entrepreneur or investor, you want to be in large and fast-growing markets. It does not matter how well you execute, if you are in a small and/or shrinking market, it is unlikely that you’re going […]
Oh-hyoung Kwon (FuturePlay): We always look not for what customers might look for in the next month or two above, but for what will change our lives in the next 5-10 years
Oh-hyoung Kwon is a growth-oriented individual who is part of a rapidly growing company builder/venture capital firm. He is passionate about connecting dots between people and resources. Oh-hyoung is always eager to connect with startups, blockchain enthusiasts, capital market professionals and creative thinkers. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? How I became a venture investor? I don’t know, it just happened. I started my career as an accountant at Deloitte. After graduating from college, I thought accounting was something you need to understand to be in the business world because it is the language of the business. I did that and I’ve got a little bored. Then I transferred myself into a more business-oriented position, moved from the US to Vietnam and spent there about 2,5 years developing businesses. After that I came back to Boston and joined a fintech startup. From […]
Hsien-Hui Tong (SGInnovate): The first thing we look at is not even technology – it’s the market opportunity
Hsien-Hui Tong is Executive Director at SGInnovate. He brings his in-depth knowledge and experience in the Business Development and Venture Capital spaces across Australia, Europe, Singapore and the US. Prior to joining SGInnovate, he was the Managing Partner, Asia Pacific for Wassax Ventures. He has also served as the CEO of the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) and Vice President at Staples. In the early 2000s, he co-founded a data mining company, which was sold to a global bank two years later. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started from the entrepreneurial side of the table. About 15 years ago I was the founder of a data-mining company. It was a huge opportunity at that time when we came to the market. We sold that company, and for a number of years, I worked for multinational companies. When I came […]
Dmitry Chikhachev (Runa Capital): We mainly enter at Series A, when a company is making some first revenues which solve a massive and painful problem.
Dmitry Chikhachev is General Partner and Co-Founder at Runa Capital. He co-founded Runa in 2010 and has led many early-stage investments in deep tech companies, including Nginx (acquired by F5 Networks for $670M; read the story), Capptain (acquired by Microsoft), and MariaDB, as well as many B2B SaaS companies, including Ecwid, Critizr, and Simplifield. He is based in Luxembourg and predominantly focuses on startups from France, Benelux, and the United Kingdom. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Well, that’s a long story starting back in the fall of 2009. I exited my previous project, Uvenco; it was manufacturing and operating vending machines. I took a month off to think about what I’ve got to do next. As usual, I sent emails to my contacts that they shouldn’t write to my corporate email anymore, but use my Gmail account. One of the first […]
Stephen Chandler (Notion Capital): The qualities that we’re looking for in teams are some real ambition and a desire to change the world.
Stephen Chandler is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Notion Capital. He is an entrepreneur, investor and company builder with 20 years experience founding, funding, running, advising and investing in technology businesses. He is Winner Investor of the Year 2020 at the Investor Allstar Awards (and shortlisted in 2019). How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? The team at Notion is a team of ex-entrepreneur operators who turned investors. Prior to setting up Notion we founded, built, and exited a number of tech businesses together, some of the early success stories in the SaaS. We were passionate about that business model, about the opportunities it represented around the world, and how disruptive it is going to be. We’re also very passionate about Europe beginning to create some large category-leading outcomes in the technology sphere. Europe always had tremendous entrepreneurial and design talent, but there […]