Wael Amin (Sawari Ventures): “We are looking for self-aware teams that have a realistic view of what they know and what they need to improve”
Wael Amin is a Partner at Sawari Ventures, a VC firm that invests in seed and growth-stage companies in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. He is an experienced entrepreneur who at the age of 18 had co-founded ITWorx, which became one of the largest and most influential IT companies in the Middle East. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started off as an entrepreneur myself. I started my first startup when I was attending college at 17. Then, a year later, once I graduated, I started my second company, ITWorx. This was a software and services company that became the largest IT service provider in Egypt, and at some point – in the Middle East. I’ve remained as a founder and CEO of ITWorx for 20 years, at the end of which we had become a one thousand person company with subsidiaries […]
Walid Mansour is Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP). He has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and new media industries. Prior to joining MEVP in 2010, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and before that he worked as a strategy manager at the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office focusing on public policy initiatives. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Ten years ago we entered this business because we saw a need for SMEs and startups in fundings. We saw VC as a way to close this equity gap. Also we saw an opportunity in technology. Ten years ago the opportunities in Mobile Tech, Internet, Software businesses started to be an existing business opportunities, so we decided to invest in it. […]
Dr. Jeffrey Chi (Vickers Venture Partners): We find technologies that make a difference and solve very big problems
Dr. Jeffrey Chi is a vice chairman of Vickers Venture Partners, and he has been a member of the investment committee since 2005. He has also served as the Chairman of Singapore Venture Capital Association between 2013 and 2017. He is interested in startups that offer breakthrough technologies and are going to make a difference to the world. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Vickers started 15 years ago when I came together with my partner back in 2005 and started this firm together. We both have technical engineering backgrounds, we both have worked in finance before, and venture capital seemed to be at the intersection of engineering and finance. In both our cases, this was a mid-career decision. Personally I was a management consultant before and I had a lovely idea of working with young entrepreneurs and building something, so it […]
Marcin Szeląg (Innovation Nest): A sweet spot for us would be a company with 10 to 20 people, product is already on the market, and there is some initial traction in customers and sales.
Marcin Szeląg is Partner at Innovation Nest in Krakow, Poland. He is focused on European early stage SaaS companies. He is mostly interested in martech and vertical SaaS. As he sasy: “We do not have flying cars yet, we do not travel to Mars on a regular basis but we are definitely getting closer.” How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? It’s all started almost 10 years ago. In 2007 or 2008 I was working in a startup here, in Krakow; it was building social networking sites for teenagers. At that time Facebook wasn’t that well known in Europe, and we were pretty successful. Then the company was acquired by a German media corporation. After the acquisition I was looking for a new opportunity. I always wanted to work in VC, as I was always interested in tech and startups. I met a friend […]
Carman Chan (Click Ventures): We invest starting from the seed stage. For a few companies we follow up to Series B.
Carman Chan is Founder and Managing Partner at Click Ventures. She is one of the top 5 Women to watch in Asia Tech (Nikkei Asian Review). She is a veteran in the technology industry with decades of experience as an entrepreneur with multiple exits, a tech columnist and a globally recognized venture capitalist. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I think, it is all started 20 years ago when I studied in university. I was writing a column for a computer magazine to review a software. When internet started taking off, I also wrote about internet business models and internet marketing. After that I felt a growing interest towards internet, and after graduation I founded my own startup and got a PhD offer from the Imperial College. I’ve made 3 startups in the next 17 years. Six years ago I exited my last […]
Paolo Pio (Joyance Partners): We have infrastructure and algorithms to scrap the web for interesting projects.
Paolo Pio is managing director of Joyance Partners. He has 13 years of experience in the technology industry, with expertise in product development and strategy, international business development, and enterprise sales. He most recently ran Cisco’s Data Center Networking business development team for the region of Asia Pacific. He is an Angel investor and serves in various startup advisory roles, including mentoring at Virgin Startups and TechItalia Lab. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started my career as a software engineer at Cisco. Then I moved into product management at one of big data centers, so I lived in San Jose, California, for 6 years (2006-2012). Then I moved back to Europe, to Geneva and then Zurich, where I ran product development team for EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia), later took Asia and Australia regions, built a team in Singapore […]
Marc Rougier (Elaia): Venture capital is like a game of go: you start with an empty board, make early investments, win something, lose something and at the end create something new
Marc Rougier is Partner at Elaia. He has over 30 years of entrepreneurship by successfully launching : Logic Controller Management, Meiosys (acquired by IBM), Goojet and Scoop.it (acquired by LinkInfluence). Prior to Elaia, he joined Thales as an international business developer in Australia, Asia, Africa and America and then spent two years at corporate development department at IBM. Marc is very active in the startup ecosystem, both as mentor and business angel. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Prior to being a VC, I was an entrepreneur for many years, and I really enjoyed it! As an entrepreneur I really loved early stages – when you have to create a team, access a market, create a product out of your ideas and watch your minimum valuable product starting to be alive. You have to speculate a lot, and try a lot, and put […]
Sergiu Negut (Fintech OS): A startup has to be something concrete, with specific client in mind and having clear business traction sense
Sergiu Negut is Co-Founder, CFO & EVP Corporate Operations of Fintech OS. He has a proven track record of business growth in different roles (adviser, board member, angel investor, manager) and across different industries (healthcare, IT&C, financial services, HR, consulting). How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I had an opportunity to run a pretty large healthcare organization. Today it is called Regina Maria, and this is the largest private healthcare chain in Romania. When I started working there it was a small chain of clinics. And it was on the wedge of raising private equity finance and to grow to become a market leader. For me this was a journey of about 7 years of coming from multinational position to Romania based semi-entrepreneurial company and semi-entrepreneurial position (I was a hired manager there). I hoped the owners grew the company, got the finance, […]
Bill is General Partner at SOSV, supporting, mentoring and investing in companies and start-ups at all stages of growth. Bill founded SOSV’s life sciences practice in Europe running the world’s first complete life sciences accelerator in Cork in Ireland SynBioaxlr8r (later IndieBioEU Cork and then RebelBio at Imperial College London) . Bill serves as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitt’s and Nevis, with an emphasis on sustainable development and the environment, and founded WeForest, an NGO that has planted over 5 million trees globally. The author of three books, Bill is a speaker at events such as The World Economic Forum, The Globe Forum in Sweden, TED and TEDx and also at major institutions such as The London School of Economics and The House of Commons. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I’m a start-up entrepreneur myself. I co-founded two unicorns and […]
Alexander Kölpin (seed + speed Ventures): The startups usually need to be at the game for half a year before they get the first money.
Alexander Kölpin is Managing Director at seed + speed Ventures. He is a preseed and seed stage startup investor, investing in software companies in Berlin and Germany. He is the Managing Director of Seed+Speed Ventures (part of the Maschmeyer Group) in Berlin, Germany. Prior to that, he was for 6 years Partner at the SeedVC WestTech Ventures, before that COO and Co-Founder of the German Startups Group, a SeedVC in Berlin. How it happened you decided to enter the venture investment business? It was time when I had a lot of startups coming to Berlin. I travelled – mostly to Silicon Valley, but also to other regions, – looking for interesting startups and I did found them. So I created a network of startup founders and, obviously, other VCs from all around the world. At that time I tried to develop my own startup, but I had a wish to […]
Sergey Toporov (LETA Capital): We try to support Russian-speaking IT-professionals, it is our sweet-spot.
Sergey Toporov is partner in the LETA Capital fund. He studied Math and cyber security in university and then made up his expertise in business development, project management, market analysis and finance modeling. He is former COO at ASK labs – Advanced Process control systems development company. Since 2012 as an Investment manager he has created an inbound pipeline with more than 1,000 projects per year. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? We have a pretty long history. I work in a VC fund called LETA Group. This group of companies operates at ex-USSR markets and India. We have several IT-companies in areas such as anti-virus distribution, data management, corporate software development, system integration, etc. It was co-founded by Russian entrepreneur Alexander Chachava 18 years ago. Eight years ago the group was considering its future moves and best direction of its growth, and […]
Eamonn Carey is the Managing Director at Techstars London. He was previously MD at Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev in New York, and has been a long term mentor, advisor and angel investor in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. In the past, Eamonn started, succeeded and failed with several startups in Europe and the Middle East – including Farmvillain – an app which some described as the ‘South Park of Facebook’. He first started building games (as an eight year old) to impress girls in the late 1980s. His efforts were unsuccessful. His love for games lived on in spite of that fact. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? As many investors, I started as an entrepreneur. I think, it was 2004. I was always interested in business, startups, technology. So I created my own company, scaled it, […]
Bernhard Ungerböck (aws Gründerfonds): In our day-to-day business with a bunch of portfolio companies you need to show up with all your knowledge and ideas every day.
Bernhard Ungerböck is Investment & Portfolio Management at aws Gründerfonds, his duties are Deal Origination/Evaluation, Financial Modelling, Negotations, Due Diligences, Deal Closing, Support of Portfolio Companies, Management Reporting, Structuring of Follow-on Rounds, etc. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? I started as a trainee a few years ago and had the chance to evolve into the position of an investment manager. I was attracted by the fact that the fund was a start-up itself at this point of time. It was a good possibility for me to contribute to the success and growth from the beginning and learn about the venture business in its overall context. And do you like where you are now in terms of your current business situation? Or, maybe, you would like to try something new to apply your knowledge and ideas to? In our day-to-day business with a […]
Gonzalo Tradacete (Faraday Venture Partners): I’m very excited about our perspectives, because we are becoming an international company
Gonzalo Tradacete is Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer of Faraday Venture Partners, a private investor network interested in participating in the best startups in Spain and accross the world. Before he founded FVP he worked in the mergers and acquisitions department of KPMG, Financial Analyst at Ecofin Ltd., as a technology consultant for alternative investment funds, and as auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers Investment Funds Ltd. How you decided to enter the venture investors World? Here, in Spain, the VC industry that didn’t exist 10 years ago, when we were born. We thought that it would be very important to attract private capitals to young companies – not just to young entrepreneurs, but to people, who want to innovate and can do it, those with new ideas. There was a big crisis at that time in Spain. And there were just a few VC investors. Many people wanted to do their […]
Augustin Sayer is started his career in finance in NYC: first as an M&A analyst at Lazard Frères, then as a Private Equity associate at Colony Capital. Most recently, he started Rescata, a mobile refurbushing company in Mexico, opening 30+ stores in 12 months. Augustin got his BA at New York University and MBA at London Business School. His vision: a World where consumers placed ahead of shareholders will always benefit will always benefit shareholders in long run. How did you become an investor? My first encounter with investing was right after the university. I worked in a bank, in M&A, and after two years there it was a natural evolution to move to a private equity or hedge fund. So, when I was 25, I joined a private equity in New York. And it was the time I became an actual investor. After a few years I became a […]
Gigi Levy-Weiss is a business executive and angel investor who works primarily with internet, software and gaming companies. Early in his career Levy-Weiss worked with his own startup company and hold a number of management and consulting positions with various technology companies. He was Vice President and later Division President of Amdocs Limited. He joined 888 Holdings as Chief Operation Officer (COO) and then CEO. After leaving 888 Holdings Levy-Weiss worked as an investor to a number of technology companies. He first invested in Playtika later acquired by casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment. He also invested in startups such as Kenshoo, Crossrider, Plarium, R2Net, Eyeview, RealMatch, Lovelive.tv, NonoRep, Gooodjob, Superfly, SpeakingPal, Ekoloko, TradeO, Zoomd, Moovu, Moolta. He is partner in co-founded NFX Guild. How it’s all started? How you decided to enter the venture investment business? Like many people in the investment world who started by building their own companies, when […]
Igor Shoifot founded and co-founded several successful startups, such as Fotki.com, a top 500 internet Website in mid-2000, was CEO of Microsoft WebTV’s largest entertainment portal, Epsylon Games (over 70 games), founded and sold vInternship, and founded profitable startups in digital video, VoIP and software development. His articles and interviews were published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Venture Beat, and many other publications. He is partner at TMT Investments venture capital company, where he’s an investor in over twenty successful startups, such as ScentBird, Backblaze, Wrike, ShareThis, Sixa, Vinebox, etc. Igor is the chairman of the largest internet incubator in Ukraine, Happy Farm, and an investor in numerous startups with combined valuation of over a billion dollars. He taught at New York University, UC Berkeley, UCSF, and lectured at Stanford and other leading schools in several countries. Igor writes for Forbes, Ukraine and for San Francisco Examiner, and has […]
After graduation from Boğaziçi University with BS in Engineering, he pursued a career in marketing with The Bosch Company. In 1999, he received a scholarship from the Cass Business School and moved to London, where he was awarded an MBA degree. Between 2000-01, worked as a new media consultant in London and served clients such as WPP’s Hill & Knowlton, on assessing and forecasting the impact of digital media on marketing communications industry. In 2003, Can Saraçoğlu co-founded Litespell, a next generation interactive marketing communications agency with full-service capabilities. The agency designed and developed the first viral marketing campaigns of Turkey for Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Honda, Henkel, Red Bull, Allianz, Opel, Nokia, The Coca-Cola Company, Kimberly-Clarke, Group SEB, L’Oréal, Microsoft and Nissan. The agency also functioned as a Technology Holding Studio, which invested in online gaming, new media platforms and social networks. One of the spin-offs, a social site […]