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 […]
In light of recent events, many startup owners are thinking about how to survive in times of crisis and how to raise money. We recommend listening to Denis Dovgopoliy, who during his career managed to be both on the side of startups and the side of investors. Also, he witnessed the global financial crisis of 2008-09 in Silicon Valley How it was in previous crises Of course, the current crisis is very different from the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, and from the Great Recession of 1999–2000, but it is worth paying attention to many significant trends. In particular, the fact that those investors and entrepreneurs who successfully survived the 1999–2000 recession, when the entire industry collapsed, worked much more efficiently. As soon as the crisis came in 2008, the sub-primes collapsed and the market experienced a shock, startups who raised money shortly before the crisis were in absolute gain. […]