Matan Hazanov
IMPACT INVESTING

Matan Hazanov

#74

Listen on

Apple Podcast
Spotify

Vice President at Verstra Ventures

Being Prepared – Matan Hazanov

“It’s our job to go find founders before they’re ready to raise money so that when they’re ready to raise, we’re there”

ABOUT

Experienced venture capital professional and entrepreneur looking to invest in early stage software companies and help take their business to the next level.

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Matan Hazanov

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Very good, very good. All right well just like we like to do we’re gonna jump right into things so welcome to our podcast Ask an angel and today, we’re with Matan and Matan just to jump right into it, love you to share a little bit about yourself, your background kind of where you are today where you’re going and then one thing about you that
no one would know

Matan:
oh gosh. so a little bit about me. I’m an entrepreneur and I come from a family of entrepreneurs, small business owners and the like. And I’ve always been around you know people trying to build businesses so it’s kind of obvious for me to go into a career of venture capital if I was ever ever able to pull it off it seemed like a dream career for me so i kind of built myself towards that goal very early on. Started a couple businesses when i was younger, always got involved in family businesses whenever i could, i actually worked for my from my family business since i was like 14 until i graduated from university and uh my first job my first real job after i graduated and came back from a year of traveling and let’s call it spiritual investigations, i landed an internship at a boutique toronto venture capital firm, unpaid internship. um did that for about four months and was fortunate enough to be hired full-time. and did that for several years before quitting to start my own startup. Did that for a couple years and joined Verstra Ventures about a little over two years ago now. Verstra is a pretty unique venture capital group. We’re very small, very very young, about three years old or the venture capital initiative of a much larger publicly traded company called Constellation Software. And constellation is by by many metrics one of canada’s largest tech companies publicly traded. Their business models to go around the world buying up uh software businesses. So over the last few years they’ve considered deploying capital in different ways and one of those ways has been venture capital which is now verstra ventures or one of the ways is now verstra ventures.

Jeffery:
i love it. that’s awesome and i and i believe um in what you got the your partner at uh Verstra Ventures and the gentleman’s name is going to is it Carl

Matan:
yeah

Jeffery:
Yeah i think i met Carl a couple years ago. So amazing, very small world and one thing about you that no one would know.

Matan:
Oh gosh. I keep the sabbath. I mean a lot of people know that but I guess in the professional world very few people know that. But I keep the Sabbath you know Sunday sorry Friday sundown i’m i’m out i’m not touching anything. Until Saturday uh Saturday night. And uh it’s quite great.

Jeffery:
Actually that’s amazing. I think i might do that. I think it’s a great way to get yourself out of the mix and decompress and get back into the swing of things back on Saturday night or Sunday

Matan:
Yeah. I actually saw a few years ago or maybe 10 years ago and something like that there was a movement in the US called a day of unplugged where they said just for like two hours or something in the evening on friday or saturday or something completely secular thing had nothing to do with religion, just stop using your phone. And people that adopted this saw a tremendous improvement in a lot of things including you know their ability to focus with friends and family and re-energize.

Jeffery:
Well the re-energize and and focus is huge. I used to and still do when i would travel i would always say that i need to climb a mountain in order to get myself off of the phone so i can disconnect and actually participate in something where i can’t be connected to which is the same as my background and why i was actually climbing a mountain. But over the years i just love climbing but it does it helps you refocus re-energize so all great things. And my last travels was in israel and i got to experience i guess it would have been 18 months ago, i get to experience the sabbath because again you’re used to sunday’s kind of in north america that you don’t really do anything which is now more now than ever but before every day the week was busy. So being in israel for a couple of months was pretty amazing. So i got to see that the startup community and learn about just a different way of lifestyle which is shutting things down, and not being so active and i think that’s pretty amazing.

Matan:
Yeah. What took you to israel? Was it was it the startup scene?

Jeffery:
Specifically every year i actually take four to six weeks and i travel. So i grab a backpack and i just bounced through countries. And this year i was in the middle east so i was in egypt, israel and jordan and at a couple spots in between. But through that while i was going around i certainly want i go and see startup scenes everywhere. So i’ve been in the startup scene all over the world, so i got to see some amazing startups and one of our major centers is actually Israel. so we get a lot of deal flow from Israel. A massive, massive, amazing startup scene.

Matan:
That’s great, it’s great i hope you enjoyed your time there, it sounds like you did

Jeffery:
Oh totally. To me, Israel in certain pockets is like Toronto was probably 15 years ago. in a massive rebuild everything’s kind of going through this new design new architecture new look which is kind of what toronto went through so connor toronto’s on that middle ground of that change i guess but very similar in that uh that instance. So in tel aviv that is. The other cities aren’t really going through that type of change but tel aviv certainly is and it’s pretty much the epicenter of israel, right?

Matan:
Yeah, yeah certainly the commercial center. I mean if you go to i spent about a year living in the old city of jerusalem, I think they have like zoning bylaws that you can only build buildings with a certain stone it’s probably not going to change for a long time but it’s a whole it’s amazing you can go to like tel aviv which is a completely different culture than jerusalem and really the same country and they live in harmony it’s pretty it’s prettyamazing.

Jeffery:
oh agree. Jerusalem was very orthodox. Very more calm, less crazy buildings less anything just everything is very well nicely built. Really impressive. And then tel aviv is active. Totally different scenes everybody’s having fun, people walking around, playing guitars like it literally is completely different but it’s uh they’re both amazing for culture.

Matan:
So i don’t know i hear i i remember the first time i went after i moved. I was born in israel
and went a couple back a couple times with family when i was younger. But the first time i went as like a, let’s call it cognizant adult, i was 18 so not really an adult but legally an adult i remember going to the beaches in tel aviv and it was such a culture shock. You see people with like rifles and bikinis like you have people — it’s an amazing scene

Jeffery: