Kevin Monserrat
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Kevin Monserrat

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DeepTech Seed Capital and Acceleration

Kevin Monserrat – The best people look for equity

“The process of becoming an entrepreneur is a lot easier, but the process of winning in this market is a lot harder.”

ABOUT

Kevin Monserrat – former Head of Ecosystem of Microsoft Scale Up Europe. Kevin holds a Master’s Degree in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship from INSEEC Business School, France. Additional expanded studies were upheld in the Master’s program at the University of New England, Australia as well.

Born in France on March 25, 1988; Kevin made a grand accomplishment at the early age of 14 yrs. old, winning the French National Boxing Championship. Afterwards, he went on to serve as one of France’s youngest Fireman one year later. In 2006, Kevin was appointed to Aix-en-Provence, France’s largest Fire Station. This station responds to an average of over 200 emergency incidents per month, providing Kevin with over 400 answered incidents over the duration.

Kevin had to overcome personal tragedies at a young age, which taught him how to be highly resilient and independent. His professional development stems from this, and is coupled with his international experience (living and working in United Kingdom, USA, and Australia). This collaboration has made him an excellent Ambassador for Junior Chamber International; where he has held posts as Active Challenge Member and online Marketing Consultant.

Kevin is also a passionate spokesman of Immigration challenges, where he recently supported the Maltese Government in Malta. The success of the Erasmus Plus project was based on Kevin’s ability to decipher situations and bring together; certain teams in order and begin to discuss solutions.

Kevin developed a positive reputation with the Private Equity / Hedge Funds, such as Global Alternative Investment Manager (GAIM) and Alternative investment (CAIA) and helped to identify problems and recognize solutions.

Kevin continues to enjoy sports, particularly gym, fitness and mentoring startups from LBS, Oxford, HEC. In summary, Kevin has reviewed 700+ start-ups and mentored over 40 scale-ups in both marketing and fundraising strategy.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Kevin Monserrat

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Welcome everybody to OPN Ask an Angel. Today we’re with Kevin. Kevin’s awesome. As you can already tell, we’re having a great discussion about everything. Kevin comes across as being a British UK guy except for he’s a French guy who’s landed in the British UK side and he’s kicking ass. But over there and you’ve got a cool model and lots of great things going on. But, Kevin, I’m gonna turn it over to you. Maybe give us a quick introduction on your background on yourself and what you guys are up to and then one thing about you that nobody would know,

Kevin:
Right? So let’s start with the thing that everybody would know. After a few worlds, French grew up in north, kind of on the outskirts of Paris. First job was firefighter, then went to went on to many of the things such as a photography, logistic transport, and kind of we’re having my 1st 20 years in France. But when I looked at the clock and I looked at what I wanted to do with my life, I knew I didn’t want to stay in France because I was trying to do something else. I didn’t really know what that was. And I was super lucky because one of my best friend who was much older than me was married with a new amazing woman from Indianapolis in the U S. and she’s American. She comes in France I think it was around 28. 29… So 2008. 2009. And then what I was telling her was like well I’m looking at doing something else and I wanna — I want to see what the U S is like and then she says, well, why don’t you go and stay sometime in Indianapolis, you know, have you know, my family and my friends taking care of you. You go there. I did not speak English. I was just barely speaking French, I suppose. Anyway, so I learned up. I landed in London and in Indianapolis in 2010, and started to work for Remax in the US so in real estate and did this for a few months. Started to kind of pick up. You know, the keywords, to sell houses and some stuff. But it was very much kind off mind opening because the US mentality for me was completely different than the work environment I was used to. So I’ve literally kind of I came. I came completely changed when I was back to friends, and I knew I didn’t want to stay there still, So I went to Australia, applied to business school, went to Australia, and again, I was a bit far away from from the family and stuff, but it was amazing experience we’re working with. We’re studying alongside amazing students from all over the world. Ah, and you get addicted to it. You get addicted by being surrounded by people who come from all diversity background also off classes. And, you know, you just get, you know, so addicted to it. So in 2014, I land in London. It was for me two hours from where my family was. And I’m studying. I’m studying economics. And after two months studying, one of my lecture comes in and say, well, I’m starting a business right now. We are a media company working in in the financial services industry. You want to come and do it with me? So I started kind of taking off a small startup, basically taking the business off the ground, trying to raise a bit of money, building the network, doing business development, marketing. Kind of touching everything when you are doing a small startup and I under building a great network off active allocators. So typically, family offices, hedge fund managers, emerging hedge fund managers and so on. So I end up building this network, which was kind of almost like a gift for me because I knew nobody in London when I learned in 2014, I didn’t hear because I was following my — a love, or I will. I didn’t come here because I didn’t know what to do. I just came here and I was just building this amazing network bit in Monaco and in London. And so lucky as always. You know the case when you know in your career luck, he’s always, you know, a big part of your success. I met a guy who says, Look, I’m taking over the CEO of Microsoft Ventures role and I’m like, Wow, that sounds like an amazing place to be especially when you want 2015, when there are not a lot of incubators and accelerators. I mean, they’re just starting. I mean It becomes to flourish like mushrooms. It becomes to start like mushroom. But it’s still the very beginning. And there were no a lot of corporate venture arms and off corporate accelerators as well. So they need. He grabs me and say, Look, I’m looking for somebody who wants to come and build a network, uh, built the Bryans, build a network and support the portfolio companies for Microsoft. And that’s how I ended up in Microsoft at the end of 2015. Super lucky. Um, backed by an amazing man who just believe that I could do the job. Really? So I build a network for myself or for for four years at the back of this. So worked pretty much with, um, 200 companies for five years, Um, get to work alongside the leading VCs and get to understand a bit more about how that world works because I’m new to it. Right? I mean, starts in 2015, 2016. I’ve never rise money from VCs before. You know, I barely understand how that works. And for four years, I had the chance to put a microscope on how the city works, how they create their deal flow, how they do how they do their due diligence. how how what makes them choose the company. And I learned this for four years intensively. I just do crazy hours and, you know, and, you know, and working during the weekends and meet everybody I can, because for me, this is kind of a massive extension, you know, of my business degree, if you like. I’m learning so much from some of the best Angel Investors. VCs. And then, I enjoy it. You know, I create the ecosystem. I bring people together. I connect the dots that’s what I do. And then all of the sudden one of the research I’m involved at, one of the research piece, I’m involved, that Microsoft kind of led me to work with London School of Economics the Open University and let’s start innovation here in the UK And the goal of that research was to study the impact of incubators and accelerators, which is again it was for me, amazing opportunity to learn the limitations of incubators and accelerators because they’re so much of them right there is about. Back then there was 125 incubators in in in the UK and about 250 accelerators and so get to study how they all work and how you know, what’s the old limitations, what the different business models that goes with such models and whether they make money or not right and whether they are in line with the with the success of their portfolio companies and how they start to make money and all of the sudden for me then this picture became complete. I knew precisely how company would raise the 1st 50k check and what kind of terms that we should go for and where to find that money and what kind of investor you don’t want to take the money from right up to kind of, working with companies that close 110 120 million from large U S investors doing series B round so off covered all of this. And, you kn