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Kartik Desai (Asha Impact): VCs look for disruptive innovation that can be delivered profitably with reliable execution

Kartik Desai (Asha Impact): VCs look for disruptive innovation that can be delivered profitably with reliable execution

Kartik Desai leads Asha Impact, an impact investment platform for Indian HNIs and family offices, and a not-profit trust to engage with the government on development finance. Prior to Asha, he was a Vice President at Lok Capital and Aavishkaar, the two largest impact funds in India, and before this an investment banker with Merrill Lynch. He has also done consulting work for organizations including the UNDP and the Rockefeller Foundation and launched a social enterprise providing a co-working and culture center for underprivileged youth in New Delhi. Kartik was born in Delhi and raised in Geneva and New York, studying at Wharton and Columbia, before he returned to India in 2005 to begin his career journey as a pioneer in impact investing. What is your story of coming back to India and joining the venture investment business? I was born in India and raised in Geneva and the United […]

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Jeffrey Stewart (Global Public Offering Fund): It’s important to have advisors who are going to disagree with your thoughts, but that you respect. The key here is a respect

Jeffrey Stewart (Global Public Offering Fund): It’s important to have advisors who are going to disagree with your thoughts, but that you respect. The key here is a respect

Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Investor focusing on technology-enabled business. At GPO Fund they back visionary Founders who want to accelerate their aspirations to disrupt and dominate global industries. Fund believes the private venture capital markets are broken, resulting in unnecessary fundraising cycles, a lack of transparency, misalignment of incentives across funding rounds, inflexible holding periods for investors, and outcomes that are often suboptimal. GPO Fund invest in rapidly scaling, growth-stage global tech firms whose strategy can substantially benefit from access to international capital markets. Interested in technology-driven business models in the fields of emerging markets, education, clean-tech, network effects, B2B SaaS, blockchain, big data, and financial services. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I was a technology entrepreneur. My co-founder and I started our first businesses in the mid-nineties at the early days of the world wide web. Since then we started several […]

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Ravi Belani (The Alchemist Accelerator): We are looking for distinctive teams

Ravi Belani (The Alchemist Accelerator): We are looking for distinctive teams

Ravi Belani is Managing Director & Founder of the Alchemist Accelerator. He is also a Fenwick & West Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Alchemist is a venture-backed accelerator focused on accelerating the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises. CB Insights rated Alchemist the top accelerator in 2016 based on median funding rates of its grads. The organization provides seed investment into companies it admits (typically $36K) and provides founders a structured path to traction, fundraising, mentorship, and community over the course of a 6-month program. Their backers include many of the top corporate and VC funds in Silicon Valley and Europe — including Khosla Ventures, DFJ, Cisco, GE, Next47 (Siemens), and Salesforce, among others. The accelerator seeds around 75 enterprise-monetizing ventures/year. Notable alumni include LaunchDarkly, Rigetti Quantum Computing, mPharma, Matternet, and MightyHive. How’s it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture and investment business? […]

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Niklas Hebborn (Freigeist Capital): Have a big vision and look for investors with smart money

Niklas Hebborn (Freigeist Capital): Have a big vision and look for investors with smart money

Niklas is an ESCP Europe Master graduate. He worked for digital and high-tech companies as a Roland Berger consultant and gained experience in Private Equity with Quadriga Capital. As a Head of International Business with PEC Group, he scaled up the company from 50 to 120 employees and accompanied the M&A sell-side process to Hilti AG. In his role as Junior Partner at Freigeist, he sources new deals and supports portfolio companies to realize their strategy. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Freigeist was started by three founders. Frank, Marc, and Alex have been building up and investing in companies over the past 20 years. After selling their own company to Fujifilm in 2008, they wanted to invest part of it back into the startup community. When the investments started to pay off, they discovered their new business model. Then, Marcel and […]

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Juan Arango (Keiretsu Forum Rockies): We review absolutely everything and can do due diligence on whatever you throw at us

Juan Arango (Keiretsu Forum Rockies): We review absolutely everything and can do due diligence on whatever you throw at us

Juan Arango is Executive Director of Keiretsu Forum Rockies at Keiretsu Forum Northwest. He builds Angel Groups. He is passionate about fueling emerging technology companies by helping them build and fund their new ventures, while providing professional angel investors tailored deal flow that fit targeted funding strategies. Juan sources a network of 55 chapters worldwide within the Keiretsu Forum angel group organization, 40+ angel groups within the Angel Syndication Network (ASN), and a growing number of brand name national accelerators to locate deals and syndicate for funding. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? The idea behind the creation of Keiretsu Forum was that in the year 2000 Randy Williams, a big real estate investor in the Bay area in San Francisco was pitched left and right by people that had interesting companies, but he didn’t know what was good and what was […]

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Dr. Marcel van der Heijden (Speedinvest): Follow the money and just not die is a key thing. Make sure you take care of your mental and physical health

Dr. Marcel van der Heijden (Speedinvest): Follow the money and just not die is a key thing. Make sure you take care of your mental and physical health

Marcel’s long-term, versatile, and international experience in the IT, internet, and mobile industry has challenged him to take on leading technical roles in business development. Both (his own) startups and global market leaders have benefited from his expertise and dedication. Marcel holds a Ph.D. in Physics, which shapes his highly analytical way of contributing towards outstanding success stories in the industry. Before joining Speedinvest in 2012, Marcel managed the EMEA-hosted applications business and a partnership with a global operator within Microsoft. As a Partner at Speedinvest, Marcel provides hands-on cooperation and support to portfolio companies in the complex field of technology. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It was really a serendipity. When I was in university during my PhD I founded some companies. With one of them, we managed to raise quite a bit of money at the end of the […]

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Maarten ter Keurst (PureTerra Ventures): Focus more on who you need to know rather than what you need to know

Maarten ter Keurst (PureTerra Ventures): Focus more on who you need to know rather than what you need to know

After leading a successful turnaround for a large direct marketing organizations Maarten moved to Shanghai in 2013, where he has consulted foreign SMEs in the water technology sector on market entry strategy in China as a run-up to PureTerra. Maarten is an expert in deal structuring, financial modeling, managing Chinese networks, partner selection and has an intimate knowledge of the global water technology sector. He holds a MSc in Economics from Tilburg University and has attended executive courses at London Business School. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came to China more than seven years ago. Very quickly I joined the mother company of PureTerra Ventures, which was founded by two Dutch entrepreneurs who came to China 25 years ago. They set up a number of businesses and did very well for themselves. With one of their businesses they organized the […]

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Jacqueline van den Ende (Peak Capital): We look at 4 main criteria, we call it T-Score. We evaluate Team, Thesis, Traction, and Timing.

Jacqueline van den Ende (Peak Capital): We look at 4 main criteria, we call it T-Score. We evaluate Team, Thesis, Traction, and Timing.

Jacqueline van den Ende is Partner at Peak Capital. She is an entrepreneur and investor passionate about building high impact ventures. In the Philippines she founded Lamudi Philippines and over the past 3 years grew it to be the clear market leader in online real estate. Prior to that she worked as an investment professional in a leading private equity firm. Prior to HAL Investments she founded a non-profit company which now employs over 200 students in three countries. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I personally have a bit of a mix career as an investor and a venture builder. As a student, I started my first company and then I accidentally ended up in private equity. I wasn’t looking for a role in investing, but I’ve got an opportunity to join HAL Investments. I worked there for 3.5 years and […]

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Jessica Rameau (Wellstreet): I don’t think you should do what you love. I think you should do what you are good at

Jessica Rameau (Wellstreet): I don’t think you should do what you love. I think you should do what you are good at

Jessica Rameau is a British-French investment professional, with experience in supporting fast-growing businesses. She’s currently a Partner at Wellstreet, a Stockholm-based super-active early stage investor, which has been part of creating successes like Tibber, DanAds, Regily, Scrive, and roughly 30 more companies. Lately, they have been recognized for opening The Factory, the 14,000+ sqm glass building on the outskirts of Stockholm, becoming the biggest innovation and tech hub in the Nordics. Jess is the Fund Manager for Wellstreet’s first Ventures Fund, Wellstreet’s early stage investment fund. She oversees the portfolio of over 30 companies and is responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities. Previously, Jessica managed Synergy Growth LLP’s startup portfolio, has co-founded Five Years Time, an educational platform for entrepreneurs, and has acted as an advisor to the UK’s Department for International Development on innovation. She has actively supported the London and Stockholm tech ecosystems, where she has mentored hundreds […]

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Rick Segal (Rethink Capital Partners): We favor technology SaaS companies because we want the impact that we make to be scalable, and technology solutions are the ones that scale the most from the smallest investment dollar

Rick Segal (Rethink Capital Partners): We favor technology SaaS companies because we want the impact that we make to be scalable, and technology solutions are the ones that scale the most from the smallest investment dollar

Rick Segal is CEO at Rethink Capital Partners and Managing Partner at Rethink Education. He has a long history of investing in real estate and venture capital investments. Prior to Seavest, he was a partner at Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn where he managed the firm’s private investments. He has served on the boards of many public companies including Hudson General Inc., Air Express Int., and Penn Traffic. He also has served on many private company boards including Schoolnet, Civitas, Wireless Generation and Smarterer. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I entered the VC world in early 1980s – mostly because I was hired by a money management firm and, as a young kid on the block, when the idea of alternative investment strategies was emerging, I was asked to learn something about opportunities that we as a money manager could be offering to […]

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