Oana Opris is a development manager in education and an entrepreneur in the sustainable textile industry. After 10 years of experience in the real estate industry, she has focused on entrepreneurial education and building innovative educational programs with a focus on entrepreneurship. Her goal is to promote young entrepreneurship in Romania and improve the quality of education. She also holds a PhD in social innovation from public universities in Romania and is passionate about social-emotional learning. She was an advisory board member at NextGen as part of the CEO Club and is involved in educational and teaching activities with other NGOs.
What does investing mean to you?
To me, investing means acting wisely and finding passive ways for money to make other money.
Investing means believing that you can make money from other people's ideas, not just my own. I have learned to use part of my income to multiply other people's potential, which is huge.
When did you start investing in startups and how many companies do you have in your portfolio?
I started looking into the startup space 4 years ago. The first real investment initiative was in 2021, but I abandoned it at the last minute because I have a small child and I guess I was a bit scared about the future. In 2022, I decided to continue on this path and have already reached a portfolio of 3 startups.
What lessons did you learn from your early investing experiences?
I learned a lot about investing in my family, first by investing in real estate and then in the stock market. I think the 3 most important lessons are:
1.patience is key (whether it's patience in finding something that's right for you as an investment, patience in seeing the benefits, or patience in deciding to sell).
What is your investment thesis?
I like tech startups, whether Proptech or other industries (hybrids that bring technology in different dimensions and automation). I also keep an eye on startups that have to do with social needs, which will also be of interest in the coming decades and have to do with education or nutrition.
What motivates you to invest in startups?
I am attracted by the idea that I can believe in someone, support them and we can create value together. Investing is like growing together, with ideas you trust and entrepreneurs you believe have potential, staying power and resilience. It motivates me to be part of history and new beginnings.
What has been one of the best or most impactful investments you have made?
The best investment is in myself, in education and personal development so that I can summarize and understand more aspects of business, the psychology of money and most importantly myself as a human being.
What do you look for when evaluating a startup - what are the most important aspects for you?
I pay a lot of attention to the background of the entrepreneurs, their experience and how anchored they are in the industry they will be in, but also how anchored they are in the work they will be doing. I am very interested in how optimistic or pessimistic they are about their sales over the next 5 years and how much that affects their estimated market value. And of course, I look at how comfortable they are with the investment and how much the group still believes in the same business (I love that SeedBlink gives me this opportunity).
How involved are you in the development of a startup?
It depends on each individual investment. With some, I am involved at the advertising level, even filming testimonials. But there are also investments where I do not get involved. But I am always open to a mastermind or discussions in an advisory board, I think this kind of involvement is important.
How important do you think it is to have a diversified investment portfolio?
Very important, but not only from a risk perception, but also to learn and understand what suits me best.
Do you have any advice for early stage startup investors?
Read about these types of investments and start building your portfolio.
What advice do you have for a founder pitching for funding?
Show me who you are and what qualities you have so I know what you put into your company.
What is your greatest personal satisfaction since becoming a member of the SeedBlink community?
That I have access to people like me, to an educated community that has a desire to grow businesses. And even more, that I am starting to get involved with more than just Romanian startups, which is what I really wanted.