Lucius Cary (Oxford Technology Management): It is possible to make good returns by investing small sums into science startups
Lucius Cary is Founder and Managing Director at Oxford Technology Management. After forming and raising finance for his first business in 1972, he founded “Venture Capital Report” in 1978 and was its managing director for 17 years. In 1996 became Chairman of VCR in order to concentrate on Oxford Technology Management’s investment activities. Oxford Technology Management raised its first fund to invest in start-up and early-stage technology companies in 1983. In 2003, he was awarded an OBE for services to business. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? After school, I did an engineering apprenticeship with the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell. And I then went to Oxford and I read Engineering for 3 years. Then I went to Harvard Business School to try to learn something about business. When I came back from there, I decided that I wanted to start my […]
Roman Scharf (capital300): Start with co-founders, continue with key hires and hires in general and get the best people you can
Roman Scharf is co-founder and partner of capital300. Roman has worked in various leadership positions in European companies until he landed his first coup in 2005 with his own VoIP startup Jajah, the first European company to be funded by Silicon Valley powerhouse Sequoia Capital. Through Jajah Roman lived and worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years, before returning to Vienna for capital300. Jajah was acquired by Telefonica (BME:TEF) for USD 270 million. Before Jajah, Roman co-founded and lead Ecotech Software in Germany until it has been acquired by Rockwool International AS (CPH:ROCK-B). After Jajah, Roman co-founded Talenthouse Inc., the World’s leading creative collaboration platform for brands & agencies. In December 2019 Talenthouse merged with Ello and Zooppa to become TLNT Group now connecting marketeers with 50 million aspiring creators in 175 countries. Roman has valuable contacts with the Silicon Valley ecosystem and experience in the areas of branding and […]
Peter Pham is Founder and Managing Director at Phoenix Capital. He is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came from a finance background. As you can see now, at these pandemics times, many people were affected, in some places you can see things like riots and uprising. What happens for finance people, when they witness something like that, is basically 2 pathways. One is they continue to trade stocks and invest in stocks. The other way is that people could be drawn into real businesses, operating businesses. And when people from […]
Alain le Loux (Cottonwood Technology Fund): My recommendation number one would be to manage fundraising as a fulltime project, especially in the high-tech where you always need to prepare for the second round
Alain le Loux has 20+ years of experience in technology on board level positions (former member of the Executive committee of corporate Getronics PinkRoccade) and as CEO at startups. Alain studied at the Technical University of Twente and graduated in 1994 with a double degree. He became a successful angel investor before the Cottonwood period. Now he is an expert in strategy, marketing, product launching, pricing, and international business acceleration. In the past, Alain was one of the founders of the European Accelerator Program for the European Institute for Technology and Innovation and coached more than 200 high-tech startups in Europe. Alain has a huge network and direct access to a lot of corporates and all relevant ecosystems in Europe (Paris, Berlin, London, Helsinki, Stockholm, Leuven, Munich, etc.). Alain graduated in 2001 cum laude for an Executive MBA at Business School Nederland. How it all started? How did you decide […]
Mitra Lohrasbpour (South Park Commons): There is no time or space to waste on people that are a drain on our happiness
Mitra joined South Park Commons from Nava Public Benefit Corporation, the software company responsible for the improved healthcare.gov insurance marketplace. At Nava, Mitra spearheaded business development efforts and won contracts also to build new VA benefit appeals and Medicare incentive payments systems. Prior to Nava, she led revenue analytics and international expansion efforts at Dropbox. Mitra began her career at Bain as a management consultant and is on the board of LeanMarket. She graduated from MIT How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ll describe both my journey and how our fund was formed because they are merged. We have a bit longer of an origin story than a traditional venture fund. In 2015 Ruchi, the head of our fund was rapping a decade-long career at Facebook and Dropbox. She wanted to push pause on, going back to the grind and catch up […]
The number of exits of portfolio startups is one of the core metrics of a venture fund. To generate revenue for their LPs and attract investors in the future, VCs try to come up with smart and viable investment strategies. It requires finding a balance between portfolio diversification and limited expertise of funds’ partners.
Marcelo Astrachan (Darwin Capital): You should define what are your business objectives, what are you looking for, what are your interests, and based on that you restrict what you should read
Financial intelligence combined with a deep knowledge of business operations: Darwin Capital brings together the best of both worlds to bring new air and innovate the capital market. With a long experience in leading international ventures and projects, the founding partners bring to each case an understanding that only hands-on executives can have about conducting business. These resources are placed at the service of our customers through a complete advisory service. From companies looking for financial support to acquisition projects, Darwin Capital is ready to treat every new project as unique, attentive to its specificities. The final objective, however, is one: to do everything so that our customers multiply their value, properly prepared for mergers and acquisitions. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? First of all, I’d like to thank you for the invitation. It is an honor to participate in your […]
Jean Sini invests as General Partner at venture firm Partech. He’s been investing since 2011, and has backed Treasure Data (sold to ARM in 2018 for $650m+), Canva (currently valued at $6b), People.ai (backed by Lightspeed Ventures, a16z, and Iconiq), Antheia, ProdPerfect, Clubhouse, Datakin, Firefly and Medigate amongst others. A repeat founder with 20+ years of software engineering experience, Jean’s held CTO roles at Activeweave (sold in 2007), Mint.com (acquired by Intuit for $175m in 2010), One Kings Lane, Fountain (acquired by Porch in 2015) and Cadre. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? A very gradual process. I started investing in startups, as an individual, close to 10 years ago, long before joining Partech. At the time, I had been living in San Francisco for 15 years, and was busy building startups, typically as VP of Engineering or Chief Technology Officer. For […]
Samuel Harrison (Blockchain.com Ventures): Our fund is focused on blockchain technology and our purpose is to figure out which sectors are going to use blockchain fast enough to make a good financial return for investment
Samuel Harrison is Founding Partner at Blockchain.com Ventures, a Venture Capital Fund anchored by Blockchain.com & Lightspeed Venture Partners. Previously he led Naspers Ventures early-stage tech investments and blockchain efforts, was Apple featured iOS app publisher and Angel investor in 30+ companies. If you’re raising capital for a blockchain project, please reach him out. Invested in Origin Protocol, Theta.tv, DappRadar, Nodle, Securitize, Zerion, Enjin, Amber, Wintermute, Blockdaemon & more. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started my career at Morgan Stanley in London, with a finance background. But I found myself spending quite a lot of time in the tech world. I was building apps on iOS during my spare time and Bitcoin was also new dabbling that was discovered by accident. My housemate at that time was paying me his share of our rent for the house in Bitcoin. And […]
Stephen Socolof (Tech Council Ventures): We love to partner with corporates on developing new venture opportunities!
Stephen Socolof is Managing Partner at Tech Council Ventures. He has been a technology investor for over twenty years. His interests are in enterprise software (particularly applications of AI/ML), infrastructure required to collect, store, and process data, internet of things, wireless, and environmental and materials technologies. He is currently on the board of StratIS IoT, SunRay Scientific, and Vydia as well as the public company Everspin Technologies, an investment of his prior fund. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I had been a consultant for large companies on the topic of innovation and on how to improve the productivity of research and development. I was recruited from that job to Lucent Technologies in 1996, when it was formed, to help with the efforts that were going on – to drive more innovation out of Bell Labs and do more commercialization. I was […]
Scott Lanphere: (TLNT Holdings): The advantage of investing is that you can switch industries if you want just by changing your investment focus
Private equity investments in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East spanning 30 years ranging between growth capital, small, medium and large buyouts and later stage growth investments. Private Equity Investment Experience:28 Investments, €9 billion cumulative Enterprise Value (€7.5 billion pre add-on acq.), €1 billion cumulative Equity Investment (2.62x & 50%+ IRR (source: KPMG)) Deal Origination, including Cold Call platform in Environmental, Healthcare and Specialty Chemicals industry. Further direct investment experience in Crypto, Blockchain, FinTech, Gambling, Retail and Media companies Geographic Experience: Europe, US, Middle East, SE Asia & ChinaMember of the Investment Committee since 1998,Member (or past member) of the Board of Directors of 39 companies across Europe and the US Financing Experience:• €5.7 billion of debt capital raised, including 9 public debt issuances (among these were the first non-Sovereign debt issuance in Poland (1997) and the first corporate High Yield issuance in France (1999));• 4 PIK-note / preference placements […]
Alejandro Gonzalez (Redwood Ventures): a rule that should be in a mind of every entrepreneur – do not raise capital if you don’t like accountability
Redwood Ventures is an industry-agnostic venture capital fund that seeks to invest in the early stages of technology-based startups How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem my whole life. I started my first company 15 years ago when I was at university. I didn’t know about venture capital, but we wanted an uprising from the university to be accelerated in a university accelerator. So when I was in the process of the accelerator we met with some investors and they told us about the venture capital business and I liked it a lot. Then when the time came up, like 3 years after that I sold the company and I wanted to start my first venture capital fund. I raised a little bit of money to invest Mexican capital into Silicon Valley companies. That was my […]
Dr. Carlos S. Baradello (ALAYA Capital Partners): You have to strike a balance between being a dreamer and a doer
Dr. Carlos Baradello is an investor, corporate advisor, university professor, and public speaker. A leading innovation and entrepreneurship practitioner, Carlos draws his understanding from his broad global business and academic experience, deep technical knowledge, and understanding of the reality innovators encounter in organizations both large and small. His experience working with hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world has enabled him to gain key lessons in the creation of sustainable social and economic value across multiple sectors, and their global growth. Carlos’s interests include new global business creation, venture funding, business acceleration for “born global” startups, and global scaling for “foreign-born” startups in emerging economies. He is the founder of the University of San Francisco’s (USF) groundbreaking Silicon Valley Immersion programs and former Associate Dean of its Global and Executive Programs. In addition to his teaching responsibilities across four continents as a member of the faculty at the Hult International Business […]
Startups often underestimate their chances to find cross-border investments and receive funding for the required purposes. UN decided to learn more about the reasons and consequences of such decisions and interviewed 230 funds around the globe to find out how cross-border deals work for them, what spheres of interest attract VC-funds, where they prefer to invest, on what stages, and much more information. This research aimed to be useful both for startups and for investors to see key directions for cross-border deals and might help to review the investment strategy. Cross-border is a new black According to the research, only 6% of funds are going to reduce the number of cross-border transactions, while 36% are going to increase it. This means COVID-19 crisis might have a short-term impact on investment plans now, but ⅓ of funds will increase their investments in the nearest future. Funds from Latin America, Western Europe […]
Mark Linao (AET Fund): We’re focused on investing in the future of entertainment – Gaming, Interactive content, and things like that in Media.
Mark Linao is Partner at AET Fund (Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund). He was a senior multi-disciplined engineer at aerospace and defense firm Raytheon. He has also worked at the Rubicon Project and Amazon. After that, he was an Associate at Technicolor Ventures eventually transitioning to Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Technicolor. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been working in мenture for almost 7 years now; I’ve started off as an associate in another firm. And before that, I worked at a startup. While working at the startup and meeting with a lot of venture investors, I started to think that it might be a good role. I became interested in investment as a career, because being an investor in an emerging company, be with entrepreneurs and partner entrepreneurs was always very appealing to me. That’s how my passion […]
Itamar Novick (Recursive Ventures): As a founder, you should think long and hard whether you want to build a business or build a VC backable startup
Itamar Novick is the Founder & Partner of Recursive Ventures, a micro Seed fund backing amazing tech entrepreneurs,working with over 40 Mobile, IoT, and SaaS companies. His portfolio includes companies like Peerspace, MileIQ, Honeybook, Zendrive, and Airdog. Itamar was previously a venture capitalist at Morgenthaler Ventures and a Venture Partner at UpWest Labs, the Israeli accelerator in Silicon Valley. Before moving to the “dark side” of VC, Itamar was head of product at Gigya, the leading social tools provider for web and mobile publishers, and spent several years in product and engineering management roles at a variety of companies big and small. Itamar also serves as Chief Business Officer at Life360, the biggest mobile Family Network, with over 80 million registered families globally. The Life360 app keeps families safe when they’re out and about, in their car, or at home He holds an MBA from Berkeley-Haas and a Computer Science […]
Remy de Tonnac (ETF Partners): You must identify in your network 1-2 well-intended people who know and like you, who understand your business and have no conflict of interest.
Remy de Tonnac is Partner at ETF Partners in London, UK. He was CEO at Inside Secure, Gemalto and so on. He was also Venture Partner at Vertex Ventures. He joined ETF Partners in 2016. He is driven by the desire to demonstrate that technological innovation offers compelling answers to one of the most pressing problems of the world – achieving sustainable prosperity. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? So I am over 60 years old which is considered to be very old in the new technologies world. A long time ago I was a co-founder of the company Gemplus, in 1987. In those days venture capital did almost not exist in Europe. It was starting in the UK. It was quite difficult for us to raise money; we were talking to banks which did not understand that business. And I remember […]
Amitabh Sinha (ah! Ventures): If you’re looking to be a really successful startup founder, and this may seem strange, I would say read fantasy. It gives you one thing – impossible is a state of mind. It’s not a fun
Amitabh Sinha is a serial entrepreneur, start-up evangelist, advisor, mentor, ecosystem builder and facilitator active in the start-up domain since 1999. In a career spanning more than 21 years, Amitabh has worked across domains as diverse as Petroleum, Consulting, Chemicals, International Trading, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Brand Communications, Venture Capital, Financing, and Industry representation. He has been associated with SME Chamber of India, Start-Ups Council of India & Packaging Industry Association of India in honorary roles evangelizing industry, creating facilitating networks, expanding small industry footprint, and representing small businesses. Amitabh is a frequent speaker at various fora and talks on a variety of subjects including business logic, business building, scaling, funding and financing, professionalization, small business growth, organizational culture building, and lateral thought. Amitabh also actively consults with businesses in a professional capacity on scaling, growth hacking, business strategy, and customer experience. How it all started? How did you decide to enter […]
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 […]
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 […]
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? […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Venture industry itself is risky, full of surprises and requires attention. Information is a new air, but it can be used in different ways, and sometimes might be harmful for the market. COVID-19 is a perfect example that happened only half a year ago: internet and media were overdosed with materials predicting the future of all VC industry and startups market. Eventually, all this data could influence a company with premature decisions and intensify the crisis. That’s why it is crucially important to define and understand the media landscape. For this purpose, one of the methods of automatized linguistics is being used. It is called sentiment-analysis and together with the UN we will discover how big is its power. Meet the basis Sentiment-analysis already entered your life, starting from Barack Obama election campaign back in 2008. There are definitely a lot of examples even before, but Obama’s social media campaign […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Jessica Liu is a partner of AppWorks, leading the company’s efforts in Southeast Asia and the region’s burgeoning blockchain ecosystem. Specifically, she has been closely watching the development of consumer Internet applications, especially as they intersect with the increasing ubiquity of deep technologies. Jessica loves helping visionary founders realize their full potential. She holds B.B.A from the University of Southern California. Jessica, how did you find yourself in the venture investment business? I have been active in the digital industry since 2010, starting my career managing online marketing for Standard Chartered Bank’s cross-selling strategies before joining AppWorks in 2014. Here I served as an Associate in charge of the company’s Accelerator and Southeast Asia initiatives amongst many other major projects before becoming a Partner in 2019. At what stage you prefer to enter and what’s the geography of your projects – Southeast Asia or maybe other countries? Our company provides […]
Shigeru Handa is Director at Asia Africa Investment and Consulting Pte Ltd. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years in business development consulting experience in the private sector as well as in international development. He has extensive experience in leading multi-national management teams even in fragile states. He has worked at Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Boston consulting group (BCG: Japan), Natural Lawson and United Nations Development Program. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been working in international business development and finance, both in public and private sectors. I helped to evaluate business opportunities and have been working with an aim of creating opportunities financially or job creation. Unlike others, I’m not an entrepreneur. Once I joined a team to develop and grow new convenient stores, and we managed to expand from 10 to more than 100 stores. There […]
The number of cross-border venture capital investments has increased by 5 times since 2000, and it continues to grow. At Unicorn Nest, we decided to examine the trends in cross-border investments in the latest period, since 2014, and here are some of the key takeaways. But firstly, let’s clarify what we are writing about. Cross-border investing refers to a financing arrangement that occurs outside a country’s borders and could help to find resources beyond domestic borders. Cross-border venture capital investments play an important role in scaling up high-growth companies. Policymakers express concerns that foreign VC investments transfer the majority of economic activity to the investor country. The startups however welcome foreign capital, expertise, and networks that usually go along with cross-border investments. Startups are often wary of international investments, especially from VC-funds located far from a startup’s incorporation country. This article also explains geographical connections between VC funds origins and […]
Vanessa Larco (New Enterprise Associates): Before investing I have to play with a product, I have to believe there’s a real strong focus on the customers and their needs and those people will love using it.
Vanessa Larco is Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA). She joined NEA as a Partner in 2016 and focuses on enterprise SaaS and consumer investing. She is passionate about well-designed products and services that enable people to be more productive and fulfilled at work and at home. Prior to joining NEA, she was the Director of Product Management at Box where she worked on building the next generation of productivity apps across web and mobile. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I fell into it. I’d never really thought about going into VС. My background is in product, I went to School for Computer Science at Georgia Tech. I thought I meant to be a software developer. When I was interviewing for internships at Microsoft, they recommended me to look for a PM position there, told me about the role and what it […]
How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came into Venture investment from the telecom industry. In 1995 I started working for the startup of Omnitel-Vodafone, in 2000 I started working for the Fastweb. Then I left Italy and from 2002 to 2010 I contributed to the launch of HanseNet Telekommunikation Gmbh in Germany and was working as a Member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Supervisory Board. So, I had more than 15 years of experience working in startup companies when I came back to Italy and join Earlybird Italia. I wanted to establish a center that could work and could spread knowledge about social innovation. Earlybird invests in all development and growth phases of technology companies. Among the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources but also strategic and […]
Fabian Westerheide (Asgard): I consider companies who do customer support and customer communication.
Fabian Westerheide is Managing Partner at Asgard. He advises governmental institutions including the European Commission, European Space Agency, German parliament, Chinese ministry of technology, etc. He is also founder of Rise of AI, the European network for 30,000 leaders in AI. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I always say that I failed to become a consultant. While I was at university I wanted to become a strategy consultant to learn how to run companies and then to go to private equity and to learn how to buy companies. When I was in University I didn’t know anything about startups and venture capital, and no one was talking about this. I didn’t get accepted. So I joined a young company of friends in Berlin, which was a company for building companies at this time, it was one of the first company builders we […]
Herty Tammo (Startup Wise Guys): We invest at early stage, where the team is the most important feature of a startup.
Herty Tammo is Co-Founder and General Partner at Startup Wise Guys. He started as entrepreneur in 1995 and established 5 companies with 150 investors involved. He started investing in the technology sector in 2007. He co-founded Startup Wise Guys business accelerator and helped to raise funds and develop 185+ companies accross CEE. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1995. And I have made some mistakes. I have been always very passionate about entrepreneurship, so I just wanted to show young entrepreneurs how to avoid these mistakes. This is how we established Startup Wise Guys accelerator in 2012 – we wanted to go and find the new ambitious founders from Baltics and Central and Eastern Europe. I am looking for a technical founders and we help them to realize how to scale their software companies globally. This is our […]
Laura Orestano (SocialFare Center): Social innovation is not only designing new models, products and services, but also creating social enterprises and social changes.
Laura Orestano is CEO at SocialFare Center in Torino, Italy. She helps start-ups from Italy and other countries to develop and scale. She was a key player in many strategic projects: from automotive to sports, from tourism and entertainment to FMCG, in large companies as well as in start-ups. Because you are involved in social investment activities, could you please explain the difference between ordinary charity and social impact investment? The main difference is that charity is a grant making, meaning that you actually support good projects aiming for social good, of course. You give money away – not waste – and do not expect any return. Impact investing means that you invest your money into an entrepreneurial initiative that is expected to bring back not only social return, but some financial return as well. I would say that both charity and impact investing share the vision of supporting or […]
Alain Dib (Knuru Capital): We like serial entrepreneurs, and we tend to invest in companies that have an unfair advantage, something that gives them an edge.
Alain Dib is Founder & CEO at Knuru Capital. He has 25 years of experience in Investment Banking, Capital Markets, Private Equity and Venture Capital. He has held senior positions with Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas across multiple asset classes and more recently was COO/CIO of Waha Capital. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been in investment banking and private equity all my career, doing leveraged buyout, financing leveraged buyout. I decided to go into VC because my latest investment, when I was a CIO in an open investment company Waha Capital, was a tech company. I decided that was very successful investment. I decided to partner with the founder of that company to launch Knuru Capital. What was the most unusual startup you ever supported? I would say that somehow it is the nature of the startups, in which we invest, […]
Jorge Dobon Montagut (Demium): We have created from scratch 450 teams in 7 years, about 180 – the last year.
Jorge Dobon Montagut is CEO and co-founder at Demium. His aim is to match the best local talent with global business opportunities to create startups from scratch. He helps to create over 100 startups per year across 6 countries in Europe with 11 incubation hubs in fast-growing markets: Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Portugal, Greece, and Spain, and investment hub in London (UK). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I am 30 years old right now, so it started when I was 23. I’m from Madrid, where I started my first company when I was 20. But I failed. It wasn’t a startup, just a traditional company in the food and beverages with my two friends. I was in the university by that time, and it failed, with personal debts when I was 22. It became the tipping point in my professional career. I found […]
Andreas Winiarski is Chairman & CEO at awesome capital Group. He was Managing Partner at Earlybird Venture Capital, one of the leading VC funds in Europe with about 1.5bn USD capital under management. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director & SVP for Rocket Internet. Furthermore, he served asManaging Partner and Senior Advisor at Hering Schuppener, the #1 strategic comms consultancy in Germany, and is a digital advisor to the German government. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I got an offer by the Samwer brothers, founders of Rocket Internet, in 2012 to become their first spokesman. I had luck and honor to build up the communication structure for Rocket Internet over the years – not only for the company itself, but also for the portfolio companies. This was my beginning, as I’m originally a media guy. Over the time it turned […]
Great lockdown recession is often compared with 2009 crisis and predicted to be the worst economic downturn since The Great Depression. According to IMF report in June, global growth will fall by 4,9 percent; global economic recovery is expected to be 5,4 percent in 2021, but this forecast might work only if pandemic fades in the second half of 2020. All three IMF scenarios infer negative dynamics for 2020 and uncertain growth in 2021, depending on COVID-19 possible outbreaks. Venture capital investments is being on a list of sensitive spheres instantly responding on every economic turmoil. However, the research, provided by EXPERTORAMA in partnership with Unicorn Nest, displays that investment funds are more optimistic about the end of crisis, comparing to IMF data. Losses and reduction Based on research provided with surveying 250 funds mostly in North America, Europe and Asia, almost 19% of representatives decreased number of deals. […]
Andrew Romans (7BC Venture Capital & Rubicon Venture): Our basic rule is if we cannot add value, we will not invest
Andrew Romans is a General Partner at 7BC Venture Capital and Rubicon Venture Capital. During his career, he was a founder and the CEO of several VC-backed tech ventures as well as a successful investor. By the age of 28, Andrew raised $48m+ for the startups he founded. Andrew Romans is also an author of books on VC, FinTech and digitalization of workflows. He also serves as an advisor to governments and corporates on VC, CVC as well as FinTech. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. I had little businesses running in high school and college. And then I stumbled into the computer business where my first job was in the Unix industry. And then I got into telecom. I was even building telecom networks in places like Bosnia and Herzegovina right after the […]
Giusy Cannone (Fashion Technology Accelerator): We invest only in the fashion industry vertical, and we are looking for digital startups, introducing B2C and B2B innovations.
Giusy Cannone is CEO at Fashion Technology Accelerator. She has 10+ years experience in the investment and startups area. In the last 4 years she has been active in the Fashion and Luxury industry, investing in several digital startups across different countries. She has been Investment Manager at Italian Angels for Growth. Before, she was innovation specialist at Intesa Sanpaolo bank. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started working with the startups right after my degree in engineering, and I had that experience in the United States, in the Kauffman Foundation. I’ve got an opportunity to see how entrepreneurship ecosystem works in the United States. Also I spent 2 months in the Silicon Valley. I am really passionate about it. When I came back to Italy I continued with these activities. After 2 years I was working at the business angels group […]
Whitney Sales (Acceleprise): We want people who have indicators of perseverance and who are passionate about the space and the market
Whitney Sales is a managing partner at Acceleprise and an angel investor at Mapped. She is the founder and creator of a consultancy The Sales Method, which helps businesses find their target markets, get products to those markets, and build really efficient sales teams. She has over 10 years of experience in the startup sales area and successfully led four of the companies she worked with to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. How did it all start? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It was kind of by chance actually. I was running a b2b SaaS consultancy (I’ve worked in early-stage venture most of my career, specifically working with founders on go-to-market) and I’ve met my business partner Mike about 3 years prior to when I’d started the business and he’d started Acceleprise. And over those years we’ve spent a lot of time getting […]
Seth Levine (Foundry Group): We occasionally start businesses ourselves, when we have an idea we like and can find a management team for realisation.
Seth Levine is Managing Director at Foundry Group. His career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional and advisory roles at both public and private companies. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Seth began his venture capital career at Mobius Venture Capital. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? For me, it was a long time ago. I had lived in New York City for a little while and had been an investment banker. When I was still around 23, I decided that I want to have a life change. And I moved to Colorado and worked for a couple of companies here, including .COMs. After .COM burst, I end up in a company I was running pretty large portion of the business. That company was moving into some different direction, and I wasn’t excited to stay. It was part in being manager […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]