"I have been investing in startups for 2 years; it's unfortunate that I did not start earlier. Right now I have 7 startups in my portfolio."
Utku Ogrendil studied business administration at the University of Hartford. He has over 15 years of experience in the financial-banking industry and has held, over time, management positions in important banking institutions. We had a short talk with him on investing in startups and SeedBlink, Utku being one of the platform's early adopters & supporters.
What does to invest mean to you?
Investing means for me to diversify my portfolio and not putting all the eggs in one basket.
How long have you been investing in startups and how many companies do you have in your portfolio?
I have been investing in startups for 2 years; it's unfortunate that I did not start earlier. Right now I have 7 startups in my portfolio.
What lessons have you learned from your early investment experiences?
What I’ve learned in the early stages of investing is that when you invest in startups, you are not necessarily investing in the numbers presented to you in the Excel spreadsheet. You are investing in an idea and, more so, in the person who has that idea. The idea can be great, but if the person is not the right one, it will not work.
What motivates you to invest in startups?
The idea of being part of something right from the beginning, and hopefully being successful, eventually.
How would you describe your investor profile?
I like to diversify. I do invest in IT, but I like more the manufacturing and online retail fields.
What do you look for when evaluating a startup - what are the most important aspects for you?
I look at the idea and consider if I would pay for it as a customer and if it really meets a need. I see a lot of nice ideas but many do not offer solutions and/or are very easy to copy. If I like the idea and its potential, I need to get to know the person behind it and see if we can work together.
How involved are you in the development of startups?
In some I am on the advisory board and fully involved, while in others I am more silent.
Do you think it's important to have a diversified investment portfolio?
Definitely. We all know the percentage of success of the startups, so it will be difficult until you find the winner.
Do you have any advice for startup investors at the beginning of their journey?
They should be aware that it is a high-risk business and that a big part of the investment will be lost. They should not invest the savings that they might need available in short term.
What about a founder looking for funding?
When you create your startup, it's not just the idea that's important, it's how you make money out of it. I have seen many presentations with great ideas but they did not have a concrete plan on how to make it profitable as well. They should also research their competition. Lately, I have seen many presentations in which they did not realize that they are trying something that already exists on the market; their only argument was that “their system is better”.
What do you think about SeedBlink's role in the ecosystem?
It opens up opportunities for small investors to participate in startups. Without SeedBlink, this would have been impossible for them.
SeedBlink is a full-service investment platform that enables everyday and accredited investors to access curated European tech startups through crowdinvesting and angel syndicates.
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By Bianca Iulia Simion
PublishedFebruary 09, 2022
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