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 […]