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Keith Teare (Accelerated Digital Ventures): A startup has to be a believable transformative idea, that is practical now.

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 […]

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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 (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, […]

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Ira Weiss (Hyde Park Venture Partners): “Entrepreneurs need to know their market really well and have a compelling value proposition”

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 […]

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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 (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 […]

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Vijay Tirathrai (Techstars): “We don’t incubate ideas, we accelerate a proven viable product”

Vijay Tirathrai (Techstars): “We don’t incubate ideas, we accelerate a proven viable product”

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, […]

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Enis Hulli (500 Startups): “We only invest into entrepreneurs who we feel like they are smarter than us”

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 […]

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What we tweet vs what we invest

What we tweet vs what we invest

Nowadays there is almost no startup left that would work in one narrow field. All the successful cases appear at the intersection of different industries. Therefore, the task of each fund is to determine in its strategic direction the set of industries that will not only be required separately in the future, but also within the interaction between its elements that will cause a synergistic effect for the entire portfolio. At the same time, the apparatus for making key decisions of the fund consists of employees (partners), each of whom has a unique set of skills and past experience that gives this employee expertise in a particular area. In this article, we analyzed how widespread are the differences between the fund’s strategy for selecting industries for its portfolio compared with the industries that its key employees are interested in. To accomplish this task we compared the top 10 most popular […]

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Sanjay Nath (Blume Ventures): We are focused on the India market, but we welcome various opportiunities.

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, […]

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Tarek Assaad (Algebra Ventures): “In the context of Egypt we like businesses that are very local”

Tarek Assaad (Algebra Ventures): “In the context of Egypt we like businesses that are very local”

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 […]

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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 (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 […]

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