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They say that the day Facebook was listed, ten thousand new millionaires appeared in Silicon Valley. They were the early employees of Facebook that held options in the company.

Nevertheless, the concept of options is little understood in Europe. In many countries in Europe, the law did not keep pace with the tech market realities, and setting up an options plan is impossible or very complicated. The local culture is also more conservative and assumes that employees work for a salary, not for a stake in the company.

So, let’s start by defining the term:

An option is a right…

About late product releases and late fundraising

Back in the days when I started BASE jumping*, I learned something that blew my mind. Unlike the many rules in skydiving, in BASE jumping, all was simple: “No matter what happens, do something!

What do you mean? What should I do if my parachute opens the wrong way?”, I asked.

Do anything. Just don’t freeze,” the answer came.

BASE jumping in Brento, IT, October 2017

Connecting my BASE jumping days to my current investment activity, I notice that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who freeze in front…

The brain-children of unreasonable founders

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Definitions of terms

At EGV, we believe in Focus and Intensity. Focus is when you do one single thing. Intensity is when you do it sixteen hours a day.

When working with early-stage founders, we try to help them get Perspective and Clarity. Perspective is rapport: with the market, with the competition, with the industry, and so on. Clarity is (self)awareness.

Our role as seed investors is to provide startups with Support and Capital so that they validate their model. Support is coaching, knowledge, and connections. Capital is money (and money is a commodity).

After Product-Market fit is…

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From pitching yourself to pitching your company

I noticed something while watching founders pitch their early-stage startups: when raising their first investment round, the founders “sell” themselves as the main assets of the new venture. Everything revolves around their previous experience, their educational background, their many talents, and skills. It’s everything about them — probably it’s only normal as the idea of their startup is still to be validated by the market.

Later on, when pitching again to raise their second investment round, the founders start “selling” the company. …

Dissecting the startup pitch deck slide by slide

This article is part of a series dissecting the startup pitch deck slide by slide, in no particular order. The intent is to help founders create brief, relevant, and well-structured presentations for their ventures. Read our other article about what NOT to include in the competition slide here.

Nowadays, too many founders seem to build solutions that solve no problem and address no need.

At first glance, it may look like a no-brainer. But there are some startups that are completely disconnected from the market realities. They are the brainchildren of founders…

Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash

Travel-dedicated digital distribution service

Everything is a story: the history of the world, the news on TV, the jokes we laugh at, the memories we have. Our life is a story and any trip just as well. The human mind needs stories to make sense of everything around. It’s the way we function, and it’s woven deep inside us to turn chaos into a narrative.

Questo productizes stories and sells them to travelers through a mobile app. The resulting quests, or city exploration games, help travelers discover cities and sites by themselves, without the need of a local guide.


Photo by Precondo CA on Unsplash

What not to sign as a founder

Some time ago, I wrote a piece on “What matters most in an investment term sheet.” That article can be found here and was focused on the delicate balance between clauses governing control and valuation.

I revisit the subject of the term sheet now, this time trying to touch on those clauses that founders should simply walk away from. …

Infrastructure for events and conferences

Organizing conferences or corporate events usually takes months of preparations with booking speakers, syncing agendas, hiring suppliers, engaging in marketing, and PR. But the pandemic struck at once, freezing all activities in the field and leaving the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) in full disarray, with clients canceling everything, tossing months of efforts, and asking for refunds.

When all this is over (and it will be over sooner or later), the industry will need proper tools to reboot and start anew.

Enter InstantSpace.

InstantSpace builds a technology platform that enables hotels to provide…

Cybersecurity for all

The complexity of cybersecurity threats has been increasing in the last years and all analyses show it will increase even more in the future. Clients of all sizes, but small and medium enterprises especially, need solutions that are both effective and simple to use, to manage, and to understand. The complexity of the problem needs to be balanced by the simplicity of the solution.

Such small businesses use managed service providers (MSPs) for all their digital needs, from Internet access to cloud storage, processing, and hosting.

CODA FootprintEGV’s latest investment — brings value to small…

Dissecting the startup pitch deck slide by slide

This article is part of a series dissecting the startup pitch deck slide by slide, in no particular order. The intent is to help founders create brief, relevant, and well-structured presentations for their ventures.

The competition slide is a key component of any startup deck. Surprisingly, this slide actually tells us more about the startup itself, rather than the competition.

Here’s why: it reveals how founders think in terms of market opportunities, competitive advantage, and business defensibility. …

Cristian Munteanu

Blogging about Startups and Venture Capital

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