VentureFriends: Supporting Ambitious Tech Entrepreneurs

Apostolos ApostolakisSeptember 8, 2016

Having been among the first entrepreneurs and angels in the Greek tech ecosystem, we can’t be more excited about the launch of VentureFriends in February this year.

While just 5 years ago there were few tech entrepreneurs eager to go after big markets, this is not the case anymore. We see many capable people who are willing to start from scratch or leave well-paying corporate jobs in order to pursue a tech startup. Having been in their position when we were involved as co-founders or first investors with e-shop, Taxibeat , e-food, doctoranytime and many other startups, we felt there was a need for an entrepreneurial Venture Capital fund that could support those ambitious, internationally looking tech entrepreneurs at a larger scale and scope.

George, Stefanos, and I are very happy to be involved with VentureFriends and undertake the role to support promising entrepreneurs, who are fighting this uphill battle for international market entry. In a society where many people hope to get more than they deserve, we believe tech entrepreneurship sets a positive example, that true success happens with hard work.

We aspire to the notion of 1% inspiration — 99% perspiration and we believe in meritocracy, responsibility, and fairness.

What we look for

We look for exceptional founders who are looking to create a technology company in the e-commerce, e-marketplace, or SAAS sector. We want to invest in need to have rather than nice to have products that solve a significant tangible problem.

We believe that before approaching investors the founding team has first to show its commitment by having created a product. We need to see proof of concept before considering an investment meaning small revenues or 2–3 months of transactions that exhibit a first product-market fit. The addressable market has to be significant (over 100 million) so that the startup can aspire to have minimum 10 million euros revenues in 5–6 years.

What we offer

Entrepreneurs are accountable for their part (the most difficult one) but we as advisors also feel responsible and work hard for our part.

We do not just help entrepreneurs get capital, but rather serve as active supporters of the business.

We help by providing relevant input on business, finance, product development and marketing. We are brand ambassadors to clients, potential employees, media and new investors. We connect founders with other successful tech entrepreneurs, so that they learn from each other and exploit marketing synergies. We finally link them with international contacts and investors to facilitate their entrance in new markets.

Apart from supporting capable and ambitious entrepreneurs we also want to help the entrepreneurial community in general. Therefore, we will also share lessons learnt and be open about our decision making process when investing in startups.

We are very happy to be active and supportive of the tech ecosystem by capitalizing on the (informative but sometimes painful) experiences and rich connections we have formed for more than 10 years as entrepreneurs and angels.

Let the quest begin or rather continue in a new form.

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Supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

Attention! This investment falls outside AFM supervision. No licence and no prospectus required for this activity!