Bill Trainor (Mutual Capital Partners): Even with the best technology, you have to have a world-class management team and a board of directors around them
Bill Trainor is a co-founder of Mutual Capital Partners who leads b2b practice there. He is also a co-founder of Access Ventures Fund and has been an angel investor for over 20 years. Before starting his two funds, Bill held a position of Senior Vice President-Head of E-Commerce Investment Banking at McDonald Investments, where his area of expertise included retail, healthcare, consumer, and service companies. He also serves on several non-profit boards, including Flashes of Hope and the Pennsylvania Venture Capital Association Board of Directors. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Back in the 1990s, I was an investment banker at a small regional firm called McDonald Investments that later became KeyBanc Capital Markets group, their investment banking group. Before that, though, in 1997 I made my first angel investment, and I didn’t put a lot of money in, but to […]
Gerard Casale (TYLT Ventures): We’re really interested in anything that’s got great momentum, big enough market and best people.
Gerard Casale is Managing Member/Co-Founder at TYLT Ventures. He is an Angel investor and securities lawyer that has led over $1 billion in capital formation over the past 28 years. Formerly Founder and CEO of X-Laboratories, VC-backed tech spin-off at Hughes Research Labs that partnered with Boeing, GM, and Raytheon; Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Law at Pepperdine University School of Law and Founding Member of Crown Preparatory Academy [now www.stem-prep.org]. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I practiced law as a corporate M&A attorney in Los Angeles and really enjoyed that. I’ve practiced in different areas while I was doing that having started as a litigator and then moving fully into corporate/transactional and M&A work– I’ve been in a bigger firm, smaller firms, and I had my own firm for a while. In the midst of it all, I co-founded a […]
SC Moatti (Mighty Capital): Don’t try to be different because what is going to make you stand out is the quality of your team, the size of the problem you’re solving, the defensibility of your solution and your revenue traction
SC Moatti is the founding partner of Mighty Capital and of one of the biggest networks of product managers in the world, Products That Count. She is also the author of the bestseller “Mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology”. SC is a technology visionary and entrepreneur. She has a rich experience of building great products for Facebook, Electronic Arts, and Nokia. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve spent a dozen years building products and companies as an entrepreneur and an executive. I’ve built products for Facebook, Nokia, and Electronic Arts. And then, after I sold my last company and spent a few years at Facebook, I left Facebook because I was invited to write a book on what makes a great product, it’s called “Mobilized: An Insider’s Guide to the Business and Future of […]
Csaba Konkoly (Tiller Partners): Mostly we want to see domain expertise. I’m looking for cognitive diversity, for people that play nice together.
Csaba Konkoly is General Partner at TillerPartners. He was Partner and Co-CIO at the global macro hedge fund Commonwealth Opportunity Capital where he focused on asset allocation and risk management. Before that, he was co-founder of GATKO Partners, a global, top-down equity hedge fund with offices in London and Singapore. He is also President of Capital (captec.io)). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? My background is in traditional finance. I was a hedge fund manager for tMy background is in traditional finance. I was a hedge fund manager for the first 15-16 years of my career. By 2010-2012 it was obvious to me that the hedge fund industry has changed and the return aspects of public markets are significantly worse than the private markets. I was very constructive on world economy, probably, back in early 2010. I was looking for the highest leverage, […]
Bernard Moon (SparkLabs Group): We’re a global firm. We have 10 accelerators: in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, Singapore, US.
Bernard Moon is a Co-founder & Managing Partner at SparkLabs Group since 2013. He was a Director at iRG, a leading boutique investment bank in Asia, VP of Business Development & Marketing at HeyAnita Korea, Co-founder & CEO of Vidquik, Managing Director at the Lunsford Group, Co-founder & VP of Business Development of GoingOn Networks. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It started when my co-founder Hanjoo Lee approached me to start an accelerator back in 2012. It was SparkLabs Korea. I thought it was a good idea to start an accelerator and then a year later we started our first venture capital fund. That’s where I went completely full-time in a year later, at the end of 2013. It wasn’t that much of a stretch because I was an entrepreneur, already co-founding four startups. Our first one was such a difficult experience, […]
Ash Fontana (Zetta Venture Partners): We enter at the seed stage. We like to be the the first and most important partner of the company.
Ash Fontana is Managing Director at Zetta Venture Partners. Ash launched syndicates at AngelList – the biggest startup investing platform in the world that now manages over $2B. He previously co-founded Topguest, a Founders Fund-backed company that built customer analytics technology for companies like United, Virgin, and InterContinental. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I was always very interested in investing and in computers, so I just combined these interests. When I started a company I worked in finance, in law, because I’ve studied law. This idea was a sort of coming about in lots of different ways. I’ve built the relevant skills and experience as an entrepreneur. I came my way to Angellist, that, obviously, is a pretty interesting place to be in the ecosystem. And I started investing. What was the most unusual startup you ever supported? Or, maybe, your favorite? […]
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (Social Venture Circle): Our criteria are very strong on impact, but we also expect the financial return, this is not a philanthropic giving
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, of Cherokee ancestry, is the Executive Director of Social Venture Circle, a network of impact investors, entrepreneurs, and capacity-builders that solves big problems. Valerie is the owner and a founder of Red-Horse Financial Group, Inc. and has a reach in-depth experience in finance and investment banking, but also in the tribal government sector. She holds seven FINRA registrations. In more than 30 years Valerie has raised more than $3 billion in capital for tribal nations. She teaches Entrepreneurialism for Racial Equity and Social Impact at Stanford and is the founder of several non-profit organizations. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started in finance many years ago. I am Cherokee Indian, so that means I’m part of the tribe, and there are over 500 nations indigenous to America. And I started years ago, when I was young, working […]
Anurag Chandra (Fort Ross): We’re not conservative, we’re not aggressive, we’re Fort Ross, we’re no different today than we were before COVID started
Anurag Chandra is a Venture Partner at Fort Ross Venture, who has been a member of the Silicon Valley tech community for about 20 years. His experience includes investing (NXT Capital Venture Finance, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Galleon Crossover Fund) and operating (senior executive roles at venture-backed companies). Anurag Chandra serves on the Board of Directors at Upaya and is a mentor at accelerator Imagine H20. He is also a Trustee and Investment Committee member for the San Jose Federated Employees Pension Fund. Anurag Chandra has also been a coach to Astia (women’s technology cluster) companies. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It’s one of these things that’s more organic. I had been doing some stuff in my mid-twenties. I tried to raise money for various types of form direct investment projects in India. And I was struggling to get any of […]
Peter Rojas (Betaworks Ventures): We are really focused on people who can build. We are builders and we build products and lead teams who build products to scale.
Peter Rojas is a partner at Betaworks Ventures. He is a successful four-time entrepreneur with deep operating experience. He was VP of Strategy at AOL and co-director of AOL Alpha, co-founder of Weblogs Inc. He created and was the founding editor of tech sites Engadget and Joystiq, music discovery site RCRD LBL, gdgt, and gadget blog Gizmodo. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started as a technology journalist. In the late nineties I worked in a magazine in San Francisco, called Red Herring, which was a magazine that covered the business of technology, but very focused on venture capital. The idea behind the magazine was “If you want to see the future of the technology industry, you need to look at the companies which venture capitalists are investing in.” And 20 years ago that was a very novel idea; I think, at […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Riyad Abou Jaoudeh (MEVP): Our fund is focused on the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey region.
Riyad Abou Jaoudeh is Managing Director at Middle East Venture Partners VC (MEVP). He has more than 6 years of strategy and management consulting experience in the telecom and media sector in the Middle East. Prior to joining MEVP, Riyad was a Senior Associate with Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company). Riyad also helped launched an e-commerce platform focusing on toys, was country manager for Qatar at Careem, and launched a mini-burgers restaurant in Beirut. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It was a funny story because I did not make that decision. This opportunity came to me through my network. I went to do an MBA at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, and about a year and a half later I was at the alumni event for the School and met there Walid Mansour, who was – and is – a […]
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 […]
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, […]
Tarek Assaad is a managing partner at Algebra Ventures, and he holds the same position at Ideavelopers. He has a rich experience in technology development and managing investments, including some of the most famous Egypt’s startups. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? My background is in technology development. I used to be a software developer and actually started that career in the San Francisco Bay Area. That was a great experience for me to see startups in action and the impact of how entrepreneurs can really build great companies in a very advanced environment, and how success can inspire other early-stage entrepreneurs who are trying to do the same thing. After that, I went to business school in the same area and I also got to produce so more of that in the Silicon Valley context. I’ve always wanted to do something […]
Brian Dixon (Capital Innovators): We are looking for companies solving something a lot of people really challenged with, even while it is not a sexiest business
Brian Dixon is COO and Managing Director at Capital Innovators. He has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for investment funds and assisted portfolio companies in raising over $330m. He became an avid investor and advocate of blockchain and cryptocurrency in early 2012 and his expertise and knowledge has landed him in over 50 features in publications such as Forbes, Inc., TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I was coming out of a law school and early while studying there I’d learned about cryptocurrency. It was a time when only Bitcoin existed back in 2011-2012. I found it completely fascinated and knew I’d want to be involved with that one way or another. When I started to look at cryptocurrency companies, everybody was hiring engineers, and I didn’t have computer science background and wasn’t a fit. And I learned […]
Chad Stender (Seventysix Capital): Seventysix Capital is a Venture Capital Fund focused on Esports, Sports Betting and The Digitalization of Sports
Chad Stender is the Managing Director at SeventySix Capital. He is known as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and connector. He oversees business operations, investments, finance and administration at SeventySix Capital. Chad also runs their internship program, which has over 100 alumni to-date. As a Partner, he handles investor relations, fundraising and company investments. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’m the Managing Director at SeventySix Capital. We are Venture Capital Fund focused on sports and based in Philadelphia. As for me, I’ve always been a big sports fan. I excel at soccer but played every sport growing up and have always been a fan of all sports. After the college I was seeking a career in sports and entertainment. After graduation I went down to Orlando and got an internship with The Walt Disney Corporation. Following that I went back to grad school […]
Wael Amin (Sawari Ventures): “We are looking for self-aware teams that have a realistic view of what they know and what they need to improve”
Wael Amin is a Partner at Sawari Ventures, a VC firm that invests in seed and growth-stage companies in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. He is an experienced entrepreneur who at the age of 18 had co-founded ITWorx, which became one of the largest and most influential IT companies in the Middle East. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started off as an entrepreneur myself. I started my first startup when I was attending college at 17. Then, a year later, once I graduated, I started my second company, ITWorx. This was a software and services company that became the largest IT service provider in Egypt, and at some point – in the Middle East. I’ve remained as a founder and CEO of ITWorx for 20 years, at the end of which we had become a one thousand person company with subsidiaries […]
Walid Mansour is Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP). He has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and new media industries. Prior to joining MEVP in 2010, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and before that he worked as a strategy manager at the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office focusing on public policy initiatives. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Ten years ago we entered this business because we saw a need for SMEs and startups in fundings. We saw VC as a way to close this equity gap. Also we saw an opportunity in technology. Ten years ago the opportunities in Mobile Tech, Internet, Software businesses started to be an existing business opportunities, so we decided to invest in it. […]
Dr. Jeffrey Chi (Vickers Venture Partners): We find technologies that make a difference and solve very big problems
Dr. Jeffrey Chi is a vice chairman of Vickers Venture Partners, and he has been a member of the investment committee since 2005. He has also served as the Chairman of Singapore Venture Capital Association between 2013 and 2017. He is interested in startups that offer breakthrough technologies and are going to make a difference to the world. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Vickers started 15 years ago when I came together with my partner back in 2005 and started this firm together. We both have technical engineering backgrounds, we both have worked in finance before, and venture capital seemed to be at the intersection of engineering and finance. In both our cases, this was a mid-career decision. Personally I was a management consultant before and I had a lovely idea of working with young entrepreneurs and building something, so it […]
Marcin Szeląg (Innovation Nest): A sweet spot for us would be a company with 10 to 20 people, product is already on the market, and there is some initial traction in customers and sales.
Marcin Szeląg is Partner at Innovation Nest in Krakow, Poland. He is focused on European early stage SaaS companies. He is mostly interested in martech and vertical SaaS. As he sasy: “We do not have flying cars yet, we do not travel to Mars on a regular basis but we are definitely getting closer.” How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It’s all started almost 10 years ago. In 2007 or 2008 I was working in a startup here, in Krakow; it was building social networking sites for teenagers. At that time Facebook wasn’t that well known in Europe, and we were pretty successful. Then the company was acquired by a German media corporation. After the acquisition I was looking for a new opportunity. I always wanted to work in VC, as I was always interested in tech and startups. I met a friend […]
Carman Chan (Click Ventures): We invest starting from the seed stage. For a few companies we follow up to Series B.
Carman Chan is Founder and Managing Partner at Click Ventures. She is one of the top 5 Women to watch in Asia Tech (Nikkei Asian Review). She is a veteran in the technology industry with decades of experience as an entrepreneur with multiple exits, a tech columnist and a globally recognized venture capitalist. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I think, it is all started 20 years ago when I studied in university. I was writing a column for a computer magazine to review a software. When internet started taking off, I also wrote about internet business models and internet marketing. After that I felt a growing interest towards internet, and after graduation I founded my own startup and got a PhD offer from the Imperial College. I’ve made 3 startups in the next 17 years. Six years ago I exited my last […]
Paolo Pio (Joyance Partners): We have infrastructure and algorithms to scrap the web for interesting projects.
Paolo Pio is managing director of Joyance Partners. He has 13 years of experience in the technology industry, with expertise in product development and strategy, international business development, and enterprise sales. He most recently ran Cisco’s Data Center Networking business development team for the region of Asia Pacific. He is an Angel investor and serves in various startup advisory roles, including mentoring at Virgin Startups and TechItalia Lab. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started my career as a software engineer at Cisco. Then I moved into product management at one of big data centers, so I lived in San Jose, California, for 6 years (2006-2012). Then I moved back to Europe, to Geneva and then Zurich, where I ran product development team for EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia), later took Asia and Australia regions, built a team in Singapore […]
Marc Rougier (Elaia): Venture capital is like a game of go: you start with an empty board, make early investments, win something, lose something and at the end create something new
Marc Rougier is Partner at Elaia. He has over 30 years of entrepreneurship by successfully launching : Logic Controller Management, Meiosys (acquired by IBM), Goojet and Scoop.it (acquired by LinkInfluence). Prior to Elaia, he joined Thales as an international business developer in Australia, Asia, Africa and America and then spent two years at corporate development department at IBM. Marc is very active in the startup ecosystem, both as mentor and business angel. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Prior to being a VC, I was an entrepreneur for many years, and I really enjoyed it! As an entrepreneur I really loved early stages – when you have to create a team, access a market, create a product out of your ideas and watch your minimum valuable product starting to be alive. You have to speculate a lot, and try a lot, and put […]
Sergiu Negut (Fintech OS): A startup has to be something concrete, with specific client in mind and having clear business traction sense
Sergiu Negut is Co-Founder, CFO & EVP Corporate Operations of Fintech OS. He has a proven track record of business growth in different roles (adviser, board member, angel investor, manager) and across different industries (healthcare, IT&C, financial services, HR, consulting). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I had an opportunity to run a pretty large healthcare organization. Today it is called Regina Maria, and this is the largest private healthcare chain in Romania. When I started working there it was a small chain of clinics. And it was on the wedge of raising private equity finance and to grow to become a market leader. For me this was a journey of about 7 years of coming from multinational position to Romania based semi-entrepreneurial company and semi-entrepreneurial position (I was a hired manager there). I hoped the owners grew the company, got the finance, […]
Bill is General Partner at SOSV, supporting, mentoring and investing in companies and start-ups at all stages of growth. Bill founded SOSV’s life sciences practice in Europe running the world’s first complete life sciences accelerator in Cork in Ireland SynBioaxlr8r (later IndieBioEU Cork and then RebelBio at Imperial College London) . Bill serves as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitt’s and Nevis, with an emphasis on sustainable development and the environment, and founded WeForest, an NGO that has planted over 5 million trees globally. The author of three books, Bill is a speaker at events such as The World Economic Forum, The Globe Forum in Sweden, TED and TEDx and also at major institutions such as The London School of Economics and The House of Commons. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’m a start-up entrepreneur myself. I co-founded two unicorns and […]
Alexander Kölpin (seed + speed Ventures): The startups usually need to be at the game for half a year before they get the first money.
Alexander Kölpin is Managing Director at seed + speed Ventures. He is a preseed and seed stage startup investor, investing in software companies in Berlin and Germany. He is the Managing Director of Seed+Speed Ventures (part of the Maschmeyer Group) in Berlin, Germany. Prior to that, he was for 6 years Partner at the SeedVC WestTech Ventures, before that COO and Co-Founder of the German Startups Group, a SeedVC in Berlin. How it happened you decided to enter the venture investment business? It was time when I had a lot of startups coming to Berlin. I travelled – mostly to Silicon Valley, but also to other regions, – looking for interesting startups and I did found them. So I created a network of startup founders and, obviously, other VCs from all around the world. At that time I tried to develop my own startup, but I had a wish to […]
Sergey Toporov (LETA Capital): We try to support Russian-speaking IT-professionals, it is our sweet-spot.
Sergey Toporov is partner in the LETA Capital fund. He studied Math and cyber security in university and then made up his expertise in business development, project management, market analysis and finance modeling. He is former COO at ASK labs – Advanced Process control systems development company. Since 2012 as an Investment manager he has created an inbound pipeline with more than 1,000 projects per year. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? We have a pretty long history. I work in a VC fund called LETA Group. This group of companies operates at ex-USSR markets and India. We have several IT-companies in areas such as anti-virus distribution, data management, corporate software development, system integration, etc. It was co-founded by Russian entrepreneur Alexander Chachava 18 years ago. Eight years ago the group was considering its future moves and best direction of its growth, and […]
Eamonn Carey is the Managing Director at Techstars London. He was previously MD at Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev in New York, and has been a long term mentor, advisor and angel investor in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. In the past, Eamonn started, succeeded and failed with several startups in Europe and the Middle East – including Farmvillain – an app which some described as the ‘South Park of Facebook’. He first started building games (as an eight year old) to impress girls in the late 1980s. His efforts were unsuccessful. His love for games lived on in spite of that fact. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? As many investors, I started as an entrepreneur. I think, it was 2004. I was always interested in business, startups, technology. So I created my own company, scaled it, […]
Bernhard Ungerböck (aws Gründerfonds): In our day-to-day business with a bunch of portfolio companies you need to show up with all your knowledge and ideas every day.
Bernhard Ungerböck is Investment & Portfolio Management at aws Gründerfonds, his duties are Deal Origination/Evaluation, Financial Modelling, Negotations, Due Diligences, Deal Closing, Support of Portfolio Companies, Management Reporting, Structuring of Follow-on Rounds, etc. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started as a trainee a few years ago and had the chance to evolve into the position of an investment manager. I was attracted by the fact that the fund was a start-up itself at this point of time. It was a good possibility for me to contribute to the success and growth from the beginning and learn about the venture business in its overall context. And do you like where you are now in terms of your current business situation? Or, maybe, you would like to try something new to apply your knowledge and ideas to? In our day-to-day business with a […]
Gonzalo Tradacete (Faraday Venture Partners): I’m very excited about our perspectives, because we are becoming an international company
Gonzalo Tradacete is Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer of Faraday Venture Partners, a private investor network interested in participating in the best startups in Spain and accross the world. Before he founded FVP he worked in the mergers and acquisitions department of KPMG, Financial Analyst at Ecofin Ltd., as a technology consultant for alternative investment funds, and as auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers Investment Funds Ltd. How you decided to enter the venture investors World? Here, in Spain, the VC industry that didn’t exist 10 years ago, when we were born. We thought that it would be very important to attract private capitals to young companies – not just to young entrepreneurs, but to people, who want to innovate and can do it, those with new ideas. There was a big crisis at that time in Spain. And there were just a few VC investors. Many people wanted to do their […]
Augustin Sayer is started his career in finance in NYC: first as an M&A analyst at Lazard Frères, then as a Private Equity associate at Colony Capital. Most recently, he started Rescata, a mobile refurbushing company in Mexico, opening 30+ stores in 12 months. Augustin got his BA at New York University and MBA at London Business School. His vision: a World where consumers placed ahead of shareholders will always benefit will always benefit shareholders in long run. How did you become an investor? My first encounter with investing was right after the university. I worked in a bank, in M&A, and after two years there it was a natural evolution to move to a private equity or hedge fund. So, when I was 25, I joined a private equity in New York. And it was the time I became an actual investor. After a few years I became a […]
Gigi Levy-Weiss is a business executive and angel investor who works primarily with internet, software and gaming companies. Early in his career Levy-Weiss worked with his own startup company and hold a number of management and consulting positions with various technology companies. He was Vice President and later Division President of Amdocs Limited. He joined 888 Holdings as Chief Operation Officer (COO) and then CEO. After leaving 888 Holdings Levy-Weiss worked as an investor to a number of technology companies. He first invested in Playtika later acquired by casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment. He also invested in startups such as Kenshoo, Crossrider, Plarium, R2Net, Eyeview, RealMatch, Lovelive.tv, NonoRep, Gooodjob, Superfly, SpeakingPal, Ekoloko, TradeO, Zoomd, Moovu, Moolta. He is partner in co-founded NFX Guild. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Like many people in the investment world who started by building their own companies, when […]
Igor Shoifot founded and co-founded several successful startups, such as Fotki.com, a top 500 internet Website in mid-2000, was CEO of Microsoft WebTV’s largest entertainment portal, Epsylon Games (over 70 games), founded and sold vInternship, and founded profitable startups in digital video, VoIP and software development. His articles and interviews were published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Venture Beat, and many other publications. He is partner at TMT Investments venture capital company, where he’s an investor in over twenty successful startups, such as ScentBird, Backblaze, Wrike, ShareThis, Sixa, Vinebox, etc. Igor is the chairman of the largest internet incubator in Ukraine, Happy Farm, and an investor in numerous startups with combined valuation of over a billion dollars. He taught at New York University, UC Berkeley, UCSF, and lectured at Stanford and other leading schools in several countries. Igor writes for Forbes, Ukraine and for San Francisco Examiner, and has […]
After graduation from Boğaziçi University with BS in Engineering, he pursued a career in marketing with The Bosch Company. In 1999, he received a scholarship from the Cass Business School and moved to London, where he was awarded an MBA degree. Between 2000-01, worked as a new media consultant in London and served clients such as WPP’s Hill & Knowlton, on assessing and forecasting the impact of digital media on marketing communications industry. In 2003, Can Saraçoğlu co-founded Litespell, a next generation interactive marketing communications agency with full-service capabilities. The agency designed and developed the first viral marketing campaigns of Turkey for Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Honda, Henkel, Red Bull, Allianz, Opel, Nokia, The Coca-Cola Company, Kimberly-Clarke, Group SEB, L’Oréal, Microsoft and Nissan. The agency also functioned as a Technology Holding Studio, which invested in online gaming, new media platforms and social networks. One of the spin-offs, a social site […]