Current Roles: Member of the Investment Committee at LBAN, Board member at NGO, Angel investor in Lux, EU and US
Hails from: Luxembourg
Education: Computer Engineer (EPFL), MBF
(Luxembourg School of Finance)
First Job: Computer Engineer (Switzerland)
Work Attire: Jeans
Hobbies: Running, DIY, angel investing
Most admired entrepreneur or investor, and why:
Jeff Bezos, how to scale from 1 employee to 1 million while innovating.
How did you begin angel investing?
How did you get involved with angel investing?
I have been interested in start-ups since early entrepreneurship courses at university. The training at LBAN allowed me to learn the basics of angel investing.
What was your first angel investment?
What was your most meaningful investment?
Probably the ones I did not do.
What is your almost unmentionable secret as an investor?
Trying to stay objective and not getting carried away by good intentions.
You & LBAN
Why did you decide to join LBAN?
To learn and get exposure to a deal flow.
What benefits did you find in LBAN?
Meet interesting people that became then co-investors.
How do you find the companies for investments as a business angel?
Which ways works best for you?
By benefiting from the deal flow that members bring through their network and through attending pitching events organized by other organizations.
How do you evaluate deals?
What are your investment criteria and the qualities you are looking for?
As member of the investment committee, I benefit from being part of a thorough due diligence process that is composed of talking directly to founders and analysing documents provided through a shared data room. We also have a template for documenting the key elements including green, yellow and red lights. For a company to be investible a number of criteria needs to be met, including the people, the product, scalability and traction.
Has the company proofed they can sell to customers beyond their network at a price that will lead to profitability?
Depending on the product or service, this could be 5, 50 or 50.000 customers.
Can you explain the motivation behind your investments?
I want to support entrepreneurs who believe in their idea and are willing to take the risk and try it out. The can be in the form of sharing experience, asking the right questions and of course financial support.
As a business angel, how do you support your portfolio companies?
In which ways do you help start-up further accelerate their growth?
Every startup faces different challenges. Support can be in the form of making an introduction to an expert, reviewing growth plans, brainstorming solutions for unexpected challenges or discussing a profile to hire. It happens in general either during regular check-ins or on request.
Tips & Advice
What were your lessons learned from previous investments?
Be patient. It always takes longer. Listen to your gut feelings and ask the questions early.
Do you have any advice for new angel investors?
Try to find a buddy who has some experience for co-investing. It will help to accelerate the learning curve and reduce your risks.
Which are the most important qualities of a good business angel?
Social skills, you will deal with founders, their teams, co-investors, but also lawyers, notaries, incubators and many other people to make things happen.
In your opinion, is it better to become a business angel investor and not just invest in a VC fund?
I think this really depends on the interests of the investor. Are you interested to work directly with founders? Do you have spare time to invest into angel investment? There are also many intermediary concepts like funds for angel investors.
Do you have any other pieces of advice?
Enjoy giving back!
Thank you very much for such insights! It was a pleasure speaking with you.