"I am the consultative/coaching type of investor, the most actively involved investor possible. My sweet spot is early-stage B2B as well as DeepTech, EdgeTech, and in general, tech stemming from science with a crystal-clear purpose of serving people."
Dimitris Matsakis is a cross-border angel investor and tech team advisor, leveraging hands-on international business experience in more than 50 countries. Three times co-founder and consultant to 40+ innovation-driven teams, Dimitris, member of several angel groups including Tech Angels, has been a fan of Romania for many years and he is increasingly and more actively involved in helping promising startups.
Hello Dimitris, thanks for this talk! What does it mean to you to invest?
For me, it’s part backing up and supporting creative and innovative people coupled with a feeling of excitement.
For how long have you been investing in startups and how many companies do you have in your portfolio?
Since 2016, I have been in charge of providing EU money to high-tech startups across the continent and I started investing three years ago. At this moment I have 10+ companies in my portfolio.
What lessons have you learned from your first investment experience?
To trust your due diligence as well as your gut feeling.
What motivates you to invest in startups?
To bring change and innovation to a world that is gradually losing its ethical principles and the sense of life itself.
How would you describe your investor profile?
I am the consultative/coaching type of investor, the most actively involved investor possible. My sweet spot is early-stage B2B as well as DeepTech, EdgeTech (high-advanced tech such as photonics, sensors, even space tech, 5G, and so on), and in general, tech stemming from science with a crystal-clear purpose of serving people.
What was one of the best or most impactful investments you have made so far?
I am proud to back up and advise Carbonspace.tech, an Ireland-based thriving team made of people of diverse nationalities and profiles.
What do you look for when evaluating a startup - what are the most important aspects for you?
I look for the human side, the team, creativity, the ability to interact with people, and tech which is not only great or unique, but it can also serve a real market. I am not a unicorn hunter – and quite a heretic for detesting the concept. I prefer to build sustainable businesses.
How involved are you in the development of a startup (and how)?
I support the startups in internationalization and partnership development, tech commercialization, and access to finance. I am usually heavily involved but only in some carefully selected startups; there’s no point in being an advisor in 20 companies at the same time.
Do you think it is important to have a diversified investment portfolio?
I have heard many diverse opinions on the matter; people often invest in what they understand best, so they can be biased. Diversifying after carefully doing research, due diligence and syndicating can be successful.
Do you have any advice for a startup investor who is at the beginning of their journey?
Be prepared to lose money and do not ignore the red flags.
What trend / vertical technology excites you and why?
I do not have a particular trend, but many new and old-new technologies are coming up, offering an image of the world of tomorrow. And that world is much different from today’s world.
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By Bianca Iulia Simion
PublishedNovember 09, 2021
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