Clint Nelsen is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Startup Labs. Clint is also Co-Founder of Startup Weekend where he worked as a Director for 4 years. Through the course of his work he has been featured in many publications around the world including the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, Glamour Magazine and has spoken at Stanford University and serves as a mentor to many startup accelerator programs. Currently, he and Kathleen Kennedy serve as the two board members building an organization called “The Common Good”. Based in Seattle; Clint is obsessed with startups. In his spare time Clint is a pilot, enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, camping, and photography. Prior to Startup Weekend Clint was a finance analyst valuing privately held companies; he received his degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin in 2006.
Tugce Ergul works as a Managing Director at Startup Labs and was the Southern Europe Manager of Startup Weekend. Her investment focus is on new web technologies, mobile applications, and innovative application of technology to existing markets. Tugce is also the Chapter Lead of Girls in Tech Italy, an international organization focused on the empowerment, engagement and education of women in tech. She started her career as an investment banker and was working at Young Turk Ventures, a Turkish VC fund, before joining Startup Labs. Tugce received her undergraduate degree in Finance from Sorbonne University with honors, and holds a master’s degree in International Management from Bocconi. She actively works with startups and entrepreneurs in cities around the world and regularly speaks at events around Europe regarding entrepreneurship and startups. Tugce is an active member of the European VC network. She is fluent in English, French, Turkish, Azeri, Spanish, Italian and speaks some Portuguese.
Hrish works as a Managing Director at Startup Labs. He joined the firm in 2013 and specializes in designing, building and scaling transformative consumer products and companies. Hrish is also a founding Managing Partner of EastLabs, a seed stage venture capital fund based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is a Supervisory Board Member at TechMinsk, the first international pre-accelerator tech entrepreneurship school based in Minsk, Belarus. Prior to Eastlabs, Hrish Lotlikar served as Vice President for Spencer Trask Ventures, where he sourced, analyzed, and executed investments in internet, biotechnology, health care, consumer/retail, telecommunications, and media. Previously, he was an investment banker at HSBC Securities in New York, and at UBS Investment Bank in investment banking/M&A and in global business development at management consulting firm Aon Hewitt. Hrish earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Pre-Med from Rice University, a Master of Public Health and MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A U.S. Congressional Scholar, Hrish Lotlikar served as a Board Member of the New York Executive Forum, and is a member of the New York City Venture Connection and the New York Private Equity Network.
Marcus works as the Director of Startup Labs in Latin America. Prior to this he served as the Managing Director of Wayra Mexico - Telefónica's accelerator arm -, focused primarily on IT and Communication high-impact businesses. By the end of 2012, Wayra already accounted for 13 offices in 12 countries, both in Latin America and Europe, becoming the largest high-tech incubator/accelerator worldwide.
Marcus is a recognized serial entrepreneur with eighteen years as an executive manager and entrepreneur in both Mexico and the US, heading startups in the telecom, internet, software and life sciences sectors. Previously he was the CEO of Innovamedica/Abdeo, a medical device research & development outsourcing firm based in Mexico City with sales offices in Silicon Valley. The company was acquired by Alandra Medical in 2010. Marcus also served as the CEO and Founder of Simitel, a VoIP developer, and Peerant, Inc. Mexico´s first ITC spinoff in Silicon Valley.
Marcus has taught entrepreneurship at CENTRO, Mexico´s premier arts and Design College where he also led the entrepreneurship incubator. He has been an active speaker at several industry, academy and government events including Latin America´s private equity forum, Latin America´s Venture Capital Association, MIT and many other venues. He has also won several entrepreneurship and innovation awards including the Intel Entrepreneurship Award in 2004 with Simitel and in 2008 with Innovamedica. Marcus remains committed to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Mexico. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989.
Rami Al-Karmi is a Venture Partner at Startup Labs where he primarily focuses on early-stage investments across Middle East. He is the Founding Partner of Arcoten Holdings - the pan-arab entrepreneurship development and venture foundry, and a regular lecturer at the region's leading universities and enrepreneurship centers. Rami currently serves on the boards of trustees at Elia Nuqul Foundation, and as a Partner at FastForward Accelerator in Palestine. He acts as an advisor to management / board member to more than 30 successful ventures in the region.
Prior to joining Startup Labs, Rami served as the CEO of N2VLabs (the early stage investment arm of the N2V Group - the largest internet investment holding company in Arabia). Rami holds an Electrical Engineering degree from University of Jordan and previously attended the Venture Capital Executive Program at HAAS UC Berkeley, the LOA Program at Harvard Kennedy School and the Executive Education Program at UC San Diego.
Rami is a passionate advocate of the Lean Startup methodology and is a regular judge, mentor & keynote speaker at the region's important entrepreneurship & technology events.
90 days from beginning a new city:
- We identify prominent local investors in a given geography.
- We take a community approach to investing the more partners the better.
- Typically we partner with 1-5 investors consisting of VCs, angels, accelerators etc.
- Set a date 90 days into the future to start the event
- Open applications for teams and begin to spread the word in the community that teams should apply.
- There is no minimum or maximum deal size we will do. This is based on the teams that apply and investment partners we have.
- Historically we've done deals from $10,000 - $250,000 and are open to this changing.
30 days from start date:
- Partner investors individually review the applications and make a short list of startups they are most interested in.
- Generally there is a natural consensus on which teams we want to invite to pitch.
- As a group we narrow the field of applicants and invite teams to come in and pitch us face to face.
- We identify the how many cities we as a group will listen to pitches in. (In Mexico we traveled to 3 cities over 4 days for 3 pitch sessions)
- Teams are invited, venues are booked for a day and dates are set for one or more cities for pitching.
- Teams come in and pitch
- We want to learn about the problem the team is solving, view their demo, meet the team, get info on users, revenue, past investors, and meaningful metrics the startup is tracking.
- We ask the startups to share the deal they are offering to us (Amount they are raising / valuation)
- At the end of the day we identify teams we are interested in as a group.
- All investors are invited to participate equally in each deal, however investors are able to commit varying amounts of capital or not participate at all in any given deal.
- Typically we invest in companies in which we or one of our partner investors have a value add core competency.
- (We repeat this process in multiple cities as needed based on density of applications)
One week after the program:
- Offers are communicated to teams, as a group we will often make counter offers to teams.
- Typically we aim to do 5 deals, however there is no minimum or maximum.
- Start the legal process
- Start the process of funding deals
- We contact portfolio teams monthly after investing and constantly work on solving problems teams are facing as a group as well as evaluate later stage deals as a group with portfolio companies based on traction.
- Investing as a group early makes it easier to finance a series A as a group later on especially as we get to know the company and see them grow.
- Investment partners benefit by pooling capital, combining networks, aligning interests and leveraging collective networks for the benefit of the startups.
- Startup Labs is a mini fund of a larger fund. We can finance a series A acting alone or in partnership with our local investors.
- Most importantly we value relationships with partner investors over any given deal.