VC | Entrepreneurship | Impact | Emerging markets
Tiziana F. Bombassei

"Do things because you believe in them"

- Tiziana F. Bombassei

– Tiziana F. Bombassei


I’m the Global Partnerships Manager for Seedstars, a Swiss investment holding with a presence in 80+ emerging and frontier markets.

We are on a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The group is organized around two key activities:

(1) Investing in impactful high-growth technology companies (VC)
(2) Working in partnership with public and private entities to develop emerging market entrepreneurship ecosystems, create jobs, and fuel economic growth.

I am always happy to connect with those that believe in the potential of innovation by, in and for emerging markets. If you want to get in touch about collaborating please feel free to connect.

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Transcription for Tiziana F. Bombassei

Jeffery: Welcome to the supporters fund ask an investor I’m your host Jeffery Potvin and let’s please welcome Tiziana F. Bombassei I hope I said that correct Global partnership manager at seed starts our investor for today welcome Tiziana it’s a real pleasure having you join us today.

Tiziana: Thanks a lot it’s my pleasure to be withyou today thanks for the invite and congratulations.

Jeffery: It actually uh kind of reminded me of uh um when going through Kenya it kind of reminded me of Mombasa uh one of the Cities there so I was like okay if I can say this correctly then I’m off the races so and that’s a great City I’m not sure if you’ve been there but uh in Kenya in Nairobi all the way to Mombasa you can take a fantastic train that drives you to Big open train with big windows and you get to see all the landscape for about 11 hours I think it was if I remember correctly all the way into mom Boston so you haven’t checked it out you’re gonna have to.

Tiziana: That’s definitely put that on the roadmap for 2023.

Jeffery: Well I’m excited to have you here today there’s lots of great things that we’re going to dive into and chat about but the way we kind of like to start our show is that we want to learn more about yourself so perhapsum we can kick it off by giving a little bit about your background all the way from even when you were in the United Nations the junior consultant side to your own startup because there’s so much cool stuff that we can dive into fromall the great experiences that you’ve had the schooling and then one thing about you that nobody would know.
Tiziana: Yeah sure um so let me start off by giving you abit of background about myself so I am a Belgian Italian uh citizen for whateverthat means but I’ve been traveling around for the past 10 years now a bit more um exclusively nearly exclusively on Emerging Markets so from Argentina to Colombia to then Egypt Morocco Lebanon you name itum and living in all these places so I think that’s really shaped the person I I becaeum and as you mentioned I started off my journey in a more institutional place than the one I am in today um I started off by studying a political science international relations and then a bit of love bit of risk analysis but so much more um social sciences oriented and so um I ended up working for the European Union and the United Nations um in the Middle East working on on Middle Eastern and uh and African topics so most the public policy Etc and but at the same time I always had to put some how in the entrepreneurial world that back then it was really not clearto me I wasn’t really realizing that that entrepreneurial seed was already there right um but but as you mentioned I had been launching during my studies um change makers International which was a a gapyear program so it was pretty much a program hosted by a university in Costa Rica called the UNum mandated University for peace you peace and we had set up that social entrepreneurshipum Gap year program for students we were mostly targeting students from from the US um who wanted to spend a year between high school and um and University studying learning a new language um being outside of their comfort zone a bit in in a foreign countryum and and in parallel the year after I had also supported um a French this time companyum launched their spin-off um they were a head hunting company and wanted to essentially not have any wastein the talents that they had spent time with and so they wanted to redirect the talents that they ended up not workingwith um in a closed way and redirect them um through a company and so they asked me to launch that company on the French market um these two projects so the the the the the one in France is still alive it’s not a high Birth Company but it’s still a business that’s running and that complements the activity the one in Costa Rica unfortunately um did not make it through because of regulatory hurdles who were working with people who were um under 18 um and that included a bunch of insurances Etc which we ended up not uh managing so that project never um never really saw the lights we launched it we tried it but then it I mean it didn’t it didn’t for it to take off um which is interesting because I’m now again which it starts working on other educational projects also in uh in in Emerging Markets we can come to it later anyway so started institutional alwayshad a foot um in the entrepreneurial world and today um I am fully I think in theentrepreneurial slash investors World um because I joined a company called sit Stars nearly four years agoum and she starts the company that is on a mission to have a positive impact on Emerging Markets through on the one handentrepreneurship and on the other hand Tech and so that’s essentially means we have activities articulated around twoum two big access the first one is access to Capital so venture capital andthe other one is what we could call education so either education tertiaryeducation or education in the sense of capacity building for already existing entrepreneurs so that’s a long introabout myself but that’s pretty much my my background um where where I’ve spent time what I’vebeen focusing on over um over the past few years one thing nobody knows about meum I turned my pasta in the wrong side which for in Italian is quite a strange thing to doum it’s a random fun fact but that’s one thing that nobody knows about me I turned my passport the other way around try it when you eat it’s super hard to shift the sense.

Jeffery: Um I I I’ve never I’ve never heard that that’s I’m gonna try that that’s.

Tiziana: Fascinating something nobody knew that’sit that’s the one thing that ever asks

Jeffery: That’s awesome I love it I love it uhokay so I want to kind of take back and peel back to some of these things so when I started to kind of go through your profile I know when we you and I met in Cairo we got to be on the stage a couple of times and it was really awesome just the way that everything was structured at the conference and the questions and the things that we got to talk to and one of the topics um uh I guess uh being that it was um kind of women and where they’re goingin this financial space and just overall in general um which was pretty exciting for myself being that there was three panelists and one guy so it was kind of cool um that we got to kind of share different elements of how we all viewed the world and where this was taking us but when I started to go through and learn more about it you just kind of tailored that in the last 10 years you’ve traveled a lot there’s so much really cool Parts you can almost do a travel show before we uh dive into all of the Venture stuff but um the reason why I really like this is because myself I also venture to a lot of different countries and go into the ecosystems from startups to investors and meet people along the way but from the areas that you have been in the Minaregion and you said there are more breakout areas maybe you can talk a little bit more about that because Ialso really believe that there is a huge opportunity in the African continent the Mena region which is the Middle East that there is you know there’s still a few years behind the rest of the world on big Tech and deep Tech fintech age spaces but there is a lot happening there is a lot of dollars starting to come into the market and maybe you can share some of your experiences from the time you were building this out in Costa Rica uh which Costa Rica obviously comesto mind more like a surf Town than it does uh going into deep Tech and high Innovation but starting in there and kind of working your way up to um probably Lebanon because I was recently there and I’m a huge huge hugefan of Lebanon so I I love to talk about that but just maybe a couple couple of points on what you experienced in these different communities and where you’re seeing them go today from the Costa Rica and throughout the Middle East.

Tiziana: Yeah it’s a very good region you know I’m I’m often in in Europe because I’m still European um and when I’m in Europe and I say yeah I work with startups and we invest and we see whatever people are like wowthat’s so um it’s so like marketing it’s so shiny it’s so bright so sexy whatever but I don’t think people really realize what it means to be launching a business on Emerging Markets right it means opening up your bank account as a nightmare it means setting up a company is a nightmare it means finding Talentis nearly impossible etc etc etc so I think the big um I think the big learning from allthese years of traveling around these regions is setting something up takes double the effort or maybe triple I don’t know um but it takes a lot of effort in comparison to what people think of startups in more in more developed economies whereum the infrastructure essentially to set up a company is much easier where every Everything essentially is is much easier um so so I think that’s one big learning and the other big learning is if you look at emerging markets today inevery region there is at least one country that will make its way to the topum to the to the top countries in the world in terms of world population right the demographics of these regions are are huge they’re just immense so there is an an increasing need to serve these populations and to meet their demands so you all of a sudden have this massive massive massive demand that you need to serve and you have very few people that have the ability to actually launch acompany or that have the braveness sometimes to to overcome the hurdles of setting up um a company so I think yeah I think big learning isthe courage it takes to to be an entrepreneur in these countries and andthe opportunity that is just gigantic I mean you you walk in uh you walk in the streets in Egypt you walk in the street sum in some other um African or Latin American Asian cities and you’re like wow how many people can we serve in this market right and I think that’s really what underlies every single business Creation in uh in these region sum then I can go more in detail into Latin America I mean Africa whatever but maybe it’s uh that would take us 24 hours at least.

Jeffery: No for sure but that’s that’s some great learning that you’re seeing that even in Emerging Markets it really comes down to the founder being able to figure out how they can get in there start to build uhand build something that’s going to create the masses to have interest and do they have the technology ability to be or The Innovation ability to be able to connect with all of these people you said when you’re walking around Cairoit’s a massive massive City but as everybody utilizing the same systems uh or are you only servicing five percent of the the economy because they only are the ones that have the mobile technology that are enabled enough so that your platform can operate and and so forthum and I guess uh when you’re working in these environments and you start to look at different types of Investments that you can make over the years are you finding that economies are really just trying to put in as much money as they can into these areas so that they can build the talent pool and start to build out the technology or do you think there’s still way behind and that there still needs a lot more venture capital or money being pushed into these regions.

Tiziana: Look it’s a very good question I think I think countries are are obviously doing efforts and and we have seen countries that did great efforts and and admit their way up there you know I’m thinking I’m thinking of Korea for example I mean these are countries that really exploded all the the records in terms ofof going as far as they could in in supporting their population and creating a virtuous economy Etc but it’s hard it’s hard because in a lot of countries sometimes you don’t have the the political really to do that insome other countries you don’t have the financial means to do that and and it’s a bit um it’s a bit the snake that bitesits own tail right like it’s a tricky um it’s a tricky neck mechanism so I definitely think we need the private sector to step up and to also be part of of that change and and for sure um startups can play a role in that change and for sure venture capital is needed um to to play a role um as it starts we really try to focus on high growth companies um and and essentially these are companies that have the potential to make a disproportionate difference onthe market that they serve Why do we aim for for high growth companies we aim forthem because um statistics have shown that approximately six percent of the company so tiny portion of the companies are the ability to create fifty percent of the drug Market over time in the geography that they serve so these are typically the type of companies that um that we want to see were right but then of course hybrid companies are only a tiny portion of small and growing businesses um but then if we zoom out a bit and look at these small and growing businesses we still see that they contribute to a significant portion of the positive impact in at least an emerging and Frontier markets which are the markets I know best um and they do that by creating jobs driving um inclusive inclusive economic growthum I mean all these mechanisms virtuous mechanisms essentially are creating value on a market versus trying to graspthe value that’s already existing so you create something that does not exist yet the tricky part is of courseum The Venture Capital part that you just mentioned because these companies do struggle to access the capital that they need to reach their full potential um if I’m not mistaken I think the IMF the or the IFC the international Finance Corporation um it recently published the standards is that the financing gap for these companies only so only if we look at small and growing businesses we wouldneed an Emerging Market 930 I think a billion USD so it’s a massive amount right the financing Gap is is huge the opportunity is massive but this company the missing middle really needs the support of uh of ofcapital to come in and of talent pools Etc and I think again this should be an effort a public private effort an effort of governments together with International institutions together withthe private sector um and definitely VC is a new asset class it’s it’s uh It’s tricky toto to be able to call it essentially an asset class and to build it up that way but it’s going there and I think it’s uhit’s definitely great.

Jeffery: Uh it’s a great point that it is goingthere I think this is becoming uh a really interesting asset class that probably didn’t exist so much 10 years ago for everybody and today it’s being sought after by certainly a lot more people when they’re diversifying their portfolio to make investments into this category um maybe not so much in the Emerging Markets like the African continent Etc because they still kind of have to go through those Ebbs and flows of fails and uh big business is taking off and other ones not making it I guess youhave to have Corrections everywhere but I think the the main one that you talked about really comes down to is the talent pool and you know I think from a government perspective they spend their time trying to put money into schools and education so that the talent can grow and they can get into these companies um and then if they can start funding Venture Capital to start putting money into these businesses as well then it doesn’t become so much metric based on what companies succeed it also becomes on even if companies fail that also is a great metric because you’ve just educated more people you’ve brought that talent pool further along so now the next company the next companies we’re going to see the most value that comes out of these merging regions and no Ithink Google put five or six hundred million into uh Kenya into Nairobi tostart pushing that market you’ve got Nigeria where they have a massive massive growth happening within the startup Community Rwanda and a few others where they are a bit smaller and they’re starting to kind of break through that space and solving problems as well and I think when you start tolook at the landscape in all the countries you’ve been through I’m sure there’s a few markets that you see thatare really getting a lot of exposure and maybe share a few points on why they’re getting exposure and and I can say that today I was having a conversation with um with a potential uh new founder andthey’re looking at the world and saying you know maybe Canada is not the right spot maybe the US the right spot and nowyou’ve got all these new digital Nomad startup visas that are coming out from Spain Portugal turkey everybody’s now starting to say wait a second maybe we can draw attention and draw Capital into our environment if we allow the global exposure to entrepreneurship and get them coming to our country even they’re doing this in Italy in a small region aswell because they’re really trying to draw that attention so I think there’s a lot of the world that’s changing over the last few years on trying to move people in and generate talent and I think that’s obviously a great thingfew points were uh you see kind of where that cities or countries that are really diving in and what they’re doing right.

Tiziana: For sure no no I think you’re you’re completely right life we want to continue just again to tell you to take both conversations so the recent conversation and the talent one if we look at the amount of VC back companies in 2017 um there were approximately 500 VC backed companies and emerging markets and and in 2021 so the numbers of last year we saw that um the number had credible right we were at we were 2 000 uh VC back companies and emerging markets and you’re right if we want to see that Trend growing if we want to see a survival rate of companies growing wedo need education to be um to be on point we do need talents to be undermarket and I think I mean there are many there are many Trends piggy back to piggyback on um in in that vein right the first one is having Founders that have been busy backed means that we can hope to have a second time third time Founders very soon right we are going to witness that second or third generation in some countries of Founders while other countries are still going to have their first wave of funders but they’re going to have inspiration from the country right next door that has had second time Founders so you create essentially people who are trained to launching companies um so so I think that’s definitely onething so learning on the job then of course you have the the schooling system the education system how do you makesure that your education system reflects the needs of the market and and from thepolicy perspective it’s really hard to do right because most of the jobs that um that that the people are gonna get once they graduate do not exist yet I mean the the technology and and the society is moving so fast that we cannot foresee so what do we need to train people on and if I were a minister of Education I think this would be my biggest question mark what do I need totrain the new generation on and I think um I think it starts we’ve really taken the approach of teaching people how to learn and it’s not so much teaching people how to learnit’s much more giving them an eagerness to learn how to learn how do you put yourself as an individual in a position where you are gonna learnum and and it’s really how we’ve set up um the the pace of work over um over thepast year with with a small team working on a on on new models that would complement ecosystems um and we now launched our first seed Stars Academy in the Ivory Coast you were mentioning Africa um uh and and the plan is to launch our next campus in uh in India in q1 and Seed Stars Academy has as an aim to precisely support talents learn how to learn so the aim is that when the talents graduate they are able to join a company launch their own business but most importantly they’re able to be agile andto go out on their own and figure out the way to do what they want to do and Ithink all of this goes is I mean all of this is backed by science on it’s it science has proven that the way we learn the way that you and I sat down in a classroom is not the most efficient wayto do things it’s not the most opportunistic way to learn so how do wemake sure that the Educational Systems evolve as fast as the market as our societies and that’s really part of the challenge and and so we’ve taken uh we’ve taken the approach of going with very unique methodologies um that are methodologies that we’re notused to seeing so now you what we’re proposing is not to imagine a classroom with a teacher with students sitting down with exams with grades Etc insteadwe are envisioning massive spaces with at least 70 to 300 people minimum um learning through peer-to-peer methodologies through gamified curriculas without getting gradesum people who essentially want to go through challenges and Learn by doing learn by experimenting learn by feeling for yourself um and and I think that’s really where education is going towards we’re notgoing towards more and more diploma we’re going towards micro certification towards learning and sitting done in aclassroom only when we are stuck in our learning path um and and so definitely I think we needmany more um many more education um Education Innovations many more entrepreneurs going into that direction if we want to cater for the needs of the companies that we see launch on emerging markets and thus I’ve catered to the demand of the VCS that are now launching on Emerging Markets because it’s another green trend.

Jeffery: That’s awesome and to take that in anutshell it’s basically looking at it almost like from a startup lens or an accelerator lens you’re really lookingat education and saying look this is how we build companies through an accelerator so why don’t we use the same methodology on how we educate people so go get your base route education which is your Baseline which is maybe up tosay grade 12 and then once you go into the real world University and college let’s just form factor that into how you would build a startup so instead of going out and learning these things in different classroom settings let’s just bucket it all and say hey if you’re going to learn this way we’re going to treat it like a startup and we’re going to treat it like you’re accelerating your math learning or your financial learning and we’re going to treat it like we would a startup and I think that makes a lot of sense because you’re trying to take them later from this education piece and stick them into a startup and they’re saying well I don’t understand how all this works and why are we doing it this way and now if youjust start right at the beginning doing these case studies in high school and then building them into the university curriculum they’re going to learn faster so that when they do go into the real world of Entrepreneurship or even business they’re going to look at problems completely different they’re going to look at life differently because that life is going to be about networking it’s going to be about how you solve micro problems instead of big problems and break things down which i show you learn in an accelerator on how to move your business into a real business because when you go in it’s kind of this high level I think I’m solving this problem and then you kind of keep building it all the way down until you find that right stream of of model that you’re going after.

Tiziana: A hundred percent no you’re completely right and you know it’s it’s really funny because the academic world has been researching that and has proven that this is the way to go and the market has been demanding that but the bridge that education is hasn’t adapted to that yet so we’re really trying now to um to lift that barrier and to build that bridge which is very novel and it’sit I mean it comes with all the entrepreneurial hurdle but it’s exactly um it’s exactly what you what you mentioned and I think one thing I didn’t um focus on is that for a start we’re really focusing on Tech because we still think that Tech abilities are a key to catering toum the largest number of people um in in the markets that the future entrepreneurs or employees are gonna are gonna become so worse we still have that Tech Edge on topum which stays in also with the little high growth companies um thesis that is overarching or activities.

Jeffery: It’s amazing well I think the it sounds like the way you’ve built out this model it’s really uh conducive to the way that businesses should start and the way that Founders should really dive into learning about their business and learning about how to scale and grow so I think that’s pretty exciting um I guess the the last kind ofum question or interest I would have is that when you’re working in these different environments are you finding that the startup communities lag behind each other behind the European startups do you find that you really have to take drastic measures in order to ramp up the education or ramp up the the style or the way Founders are building their companies say from a Morocco to a France like do you see staggering differences or do you find that the education system and the way that it’s operating today itgets them to a baseline that is constructive enough that allows for you guys to jump in and be able to catapult them no problem whatsoever when you start working in these regions.

Tiziana: Um and also it’s a it’s a very good question um first of all you did the first question you asked was do you think that these companies and these markets are lagging behind um regions like Europe Etc I don’t think it’s I don’t think lagging behind is the right World words in the sense that they simply do not have access to the same thing so you’re not lagging behind if you don’t have the same opportunities right it’s not you who’s lagging behind it’s the system that’s lagging behind a bit um so so I think that’s the really the first element and and it’s maybe part of or the start of the answer to your nextquestion which is um do you have to adapt from one country to to another the way that you um essentially convey um ways of building businesses with entrepreneurs the answer is definitely yes you need to adapt which is a very tricky part right because when you launch a business you want it to best and ardized you wanted to um to work in the same way for everybody for every Market that’s definitely the dream but then it’s not how it works in reality it is true that if you are going to work with an entrepreneur in Iraqit’s not going to be the same needs as an entrepreneur in Morocco or in Argentina it’s it’s going to be very different so you can reuse Frameworks you can reuse ways to build businesses and here I’m thinking experimentation is universal but then what you’re going tobe experimenting on is very different because unfortunately you don’t really have the same um the same systems to experiment onright um yeah I mean there are billions of examples but the structure in terms ofhuman capital in terms of access to finance in terms of support systems I’m thinking Community I’m thinking investors are very different you have regulatory regulatory hurdles that arealso hard to overcome in a few countries I mean um I was the other day I was talking toan entrepreneur launching an e-commerce in Iraq precision and and the guy tells me you know like I’m stuck with my business like I’m ready to launch but I’m stuck because um the bank doesn’t have the little boxe-commerce to tick when I want to open my bank account so the guy is just not able to start because the bank is notable to add the Box on their job um or on under under drop menu right Imean these are the type of struggles and I mean here it’s a tiny example right but these are the type of struggles soyou cannot replicate one system in another and you cannot replicate one methodology to another and it’s definitely also the approach that seat Stars has taken of going into markets and starting by understanding which Market am I on what is the need and that explains um why very often people come to us and they’re like wow you guys do everything right you do expansion programs and at the same time you do incubation programs and at the same time you run funds inthe same time you launch education systems well yes the answer is yes because the needs are very different andif we go in a market it doesn’t make sense to launch a growth program if all the companies are at incubation stage and it doesn’t make sense to launch the incubation program that you’d run in Paris if you are launching it Mali it just does not make sense so for sure it requires a lot of alot of adaptations but each time on different um on different topics and now for surein Ivory Coast in India we’ve decided to um start off with education Tech education entrepreneurial education because we see that there is a potential in the market to then quickly join themarket grow companies in other regions we’ve decided that acceleration was thethe right go to because you had a bunch of incubated companies but that they were missing that extra step before being able to raise funds etc etc.

Jeffery: That’s awesome uh I’m uh I’m learning so much about how you guys would operate in these in the foreign markets but I think it also opens up to how a foreign market has potential uh because there are barriers to overcome and you know there’s not a lot of fintechs in the Cairo space but that’s because you know they have a lot of uh regulatory issues that they’re working through so but they are working through them which is a good thing so businesses or Venture firms like your selves are pushing them and pushing the envelope so that like in Iraq they’ll be able to check that box off um just like when I was looking to go to uh travel into Iran uh you can’t just go there you have to do a I have to bethere and hand held by somebody I had to hire someone to take me around which again makes no sense but in time you’llbe able to get a Visa at the door or a box on the applying for a Visa justgoing into into India was the same there was a check box that was missing for Canada which makes very tough to obviously get a Visa but these are the little things that make up a big difference in a company or a business trying to to create a venture and move forward so businesses like yours are really enabling this and pushing the envelope to help communities and governments come together and better understand what they’re lacking or what they’re missing while you’re ramping up that knowledge base at the same time so that you can get a lot more Founders bringing more value to the to the country which is creating jobs resources and dollars and cents through the business or through the country.

Tiziana: For sure yeah and I think one framework that’s nicely captures all of that is it the Eisenberg model that essentially breaks down um the entrepreneurial ecosystem into various elements and then sub factors Etc and what we did is um so we traveled the world a lot with Sid stars and meet a lot of companies um and so with the whole database of thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs what we’ve done is we’ve tried to classify the markets according to the Eisenberg model it’s called seed Stars index available online so if anybody here on the podcast is uh is eager tolearn more don’t hesitate to Google it.

Jeffery: That’s awesome I’m going to Google that okay so last question before we uh transition uh there was a recent announcement within your business uh within the Venture firm maybe you can give us a quick high level um on the excitement around that I think everybody would love to learn more about um what you guys are looking to do inthe future.

Tiziana: Yeah sure um yes sir you’re right it starts on three two weeks ago I think now the launch of seed Stars Capital which is a platform focused on developing Rising managers across Emerging Markets so the idea is pretty much um if I simplify it a bit we want to incubate emerging managers in Emerging Markets because we think that’s one of the ways to bring more Capital um to uh to the emerging VC ecosystems um and and the underlying rational isreally that we believe that early stage investors will be the ones betting on local entrepreneurs they will be the ones looking at what happens for them at home um and and on top of that you’ve met alot of fund managers um over the course of your career we also see that there is a need for diversity um and uh and um in in the type of investors that we see in emerging markets and we see an increasing number and it’s precisely what do you hook me with right the first time we met I remember you told me you were a female you were working this week and I host a podcast with you because I do not findfemale in VC and and it’s precisely all of these topics um that we want to tackle of course not only gender base I mean it can be a billion things right but this diversity is important because it is also what is gonna um enable the investors to then invest in in corresponding companies um and then of course we also want to create opportunities for talents and all of that I mean all that value chain ofthe investor investing in an entrepreneur and an entrepreneur investing in talents Etc is very intimately linked right um so the way that we think of Designing um this uh the way that we designed this platform um is through Partnerships so essentially we partner with managers fund managers and we become a part oftheir fund so we act as the third GP in the fund if you want and we provide them um with the entire resources of the seed Stars ecosystem so that is access to programs mentors experts um to the technology platform that we have in-house to the fun creation facilitation and at the admin process to even deal flow um yeah and so on top of that so so we can imagine it as a platform right you would have six stars Capital that hosts um what we have called the seed Stars Catalyst which is a fund um for investors to allocate funds and the managers and the platform and then that Catalyst funds then goes and um goes and uh and supports funds so we are not a funder fund we support the manager so it’s very different in the approach and in the intention that lies behind the project um so yes so the the goal essentially ofthe seed Stars Capital platform is to channel as much um as much Capital as possible into Rising managers um and the scope Remains the the traditional seed start scope so Africa Latin America southeast Asia the MiddleEast and North Africa as well as Central um and Eastern Europeand to give you uh to give you maybe an overview so this part we have we havefour funds that are under under the platform and so we have the sea stars International Venture fund which is or or um or Legacy let’s call itum fund we have seed Stars Africa Adventures that you might have come across during your travels on the African continent then we have um seed stars or Ventures that willfocus more on the CE region um and we have an additional two funds in uh in the pipeline one which will focus on education precisely in Latin America and uh and the next one on supply chain so to all the to all the emerging uh to all the emerging uh GPS please don’t hesitate to have a look be in touch um we’re really here to to try and be catalytic catalytics or in the in the in DaVinci space.

Jeffery: I love it I love it well we’ll make sure that we do give a shout out uh to all of the GPS to share with us as well because I think that’s very exciting it’s agreat way to integrate into uh into these uh founding um managers and and help them expand and get into the right regions and get into the right opportunities so very exciting well we’re going to transition now into kind of like a case study I guess and you know you’ve worked with a lot of Founders and you’ve talked with a lot of startups around the world is there one founder or startup that or just generalizing um that has really kind of hit home with you that really kind of defines what it takes to be an entrepreneur um like someone that she or he literally went to bat and he thought oh this is going to work and you know took off like a rocket ship we always like to hear uh a good story of what it takes if if you have something you’d love to hear and share something that can invigorate the next founder to uh to get out there anduh work a little harder.

Tiziana: Yeah for sure um it’s a tricky question I know I think I’ve met thousands of entrepreneurs by now um and and it would be hard to hand pick one um but but maybe what’s interesting is um if I speak to the entrepreneurial arche type what I think it takes to be agood entrepreneur essentially and I think it takes two crucial things um the first one is your culture of experimentation and to be tolerant towards failure we’ve talked about it a bit and and around this education discussion that we just had I think if you are able to experiment if you are able to learn that your idea sometimes is not the right idea that the hack you had found for your business sometimes isn’t the right hack or is the right hack but if you learn it by doing by experimenting I think it’s definitely awin for your company and failing is fine feeling is learning so where are we afraid of feeling I mean it’s this is also a pre conception that we got in school right saying you you failed well no you didn’t feel you learned that you need to work harder on your math exam right um so so this culture of experimentation and tolerance towards failure I think is is criticalum and the second element is the growth mindset um if you don’t have a great mindset I think it’s really hard to been trepreneurial um and again here I really speak to Tech startups um right I don’t speak of other more bread than butter or pop and Mom stop right but the growth mindset I think is essential to your entrepreneurial um journey and I think um I I think if I were to sites one entrepreneur I would sites actually a lot of entrepreneurs but I think the whole Street stories team and culture and I think it’s definitely a big job on on the founders and then the partners it’sour sisters is very entrepreneurial we are we are going to turn 10 years this year and and um and our CEO made a presentation last week um showing us the various business models that have been tested over thepast over the past 10 years and and showing the evolution or the death of some of these business models and and really showing okay these were the key assumptions that didn’t work that fourthand this is why today we are launching capital and we are launching schools and this is why we you know the co-workingspace co-working spaces around the globe were maybe not a good idea or or not aventure that was meant to succeed um and I think the the reason why Ichose these entrepreneurs to and shed light on them to days because the impact they had is immense in thesense that them alone were able to impact so many entrepreneurs by themselves living by these two um by these two values the growth mindset and the culture of experimentation rights um and and that maybe takes us to the third element of your entrepreneurialum your entrepreneurial arche type which is try to do good not only for you but todo good in a way that you’re able to have a ripple effect on on as many people as possible be it your customers or your beneficiaries in certain cases.

Jeffery: Well said I love it those are uh three great points experimentation growth and uh do good for everybody not just for yourself I think that’s a good Mantra to live by um well we’re going to transition now into rapid fire questions so the way they work is you’re coming in as the investor so you pick one or the other on what you prefer from the business stand point meaning as the Venture firm what you choose as being the option uh A or B is better for for you guys cool.

Tiziana: Cool

Jeffery: All right founder or co-founder

Tiziana: Co-founder

Jeffery: Unicorn or a four-year 10x exit

Tiziana: Four year 10x exits

Jeffery: Tech or cpg

Tiziana: Tech

Jeffery: Nfts or web 3.0

Tiziana: That’s a tricky one nfts

Jeffery: AI or blockchain

Tiziana: Blockchain

Jeffery: First time founder or second third time founder

Tiziana: Third time founder

Jeffery: Uh first uh money in or series A

Tiziana: two first money in

Jeffery: Angel or VC

Tiziana: VC

Jeffery: Board seat or Observer

Tiziana: Observer

Jeffery: Safe or convertible note

Tiziana: Safe

Jeffery: Lead or follow

Tiziana: Follow

Jeffery: Equity or interest payments

Tiziana: Equity

Jeffery: Favorite part of investing

Tiziana: Favorite partner investing the founder

Jeffery: Number of companies invested per year

Tiziana: 30 to 14 35 to be half

Jeffery: You’re crushing the standards for any preferred terms

Tiziana: And Case by case

Jeffery: You’ve mentioned verticals of focus maybe you can reiterate what those would be

Tiziana: Yeah um verticals of focus could be a let’s saylet’s make it simple future of Commerce uh Financial Services um retail future of Health to some extent essentially everything that’s able to have a disproportionate impact on the populations.

Jeffery: Okay and then you mentioned a couple of things that Founders need two qualities of startup needs in order to stand out to you.

Tiziana: Founder market fit um and experimentation slash growth mindset.

Jeffery: I love it okay we’re going to do the personal side now book or movie

Tiziana: Book

Jeffery: Wonder Woman or Robin

Tiziana: Wonder women

Jeffery: it could be Batman or Superman so you get to choose I’m trying to change it upI was trying to throw in some uh more politically correct terms obviously they didn’t work very well but I tried I tried Restaurant or picnic

Tiziana: ah picnic

Jeffery: five minutes of Bezos or Oprah

Tiziana: Oprah

Jeffery: mountain or Beach

Tiziana: Mountain no beach beach let’s say beach so

Jeffery: Bike or run

Tiziana: Run

Jeffery: Big Mac or chicken McNuggets

Tiziana: Chicken nuggets

Jeffery: Trophy or money

Tiziana: Trophy

Jeffery: Beer or wine

Tiziana: You ask a Belgian Italian come on when

Jeffery: That’s true well there’s a mix there so

Tiziana: Exactly

Jeffery: It’s a tough one uh camera or mobile phone

Tiziana: Mobile phone

Jeffery: Uh king queen or Rich

Tiziana: Rich by far no preparations

Jeffery: Concert or amusement park

Tiziana: Concerts

Jeffery: Fortune cookie or birthday cake

Tiziana: Um birthday cake

Jeffery: Ted talk or book reading

Tiziana: TED Talk

Jeffery: Tick Tock or Instagram

Tiziana: Instagram

Jeffery: Facebook or LinkedIn

Tiziana: LinkedIn

Jeffery: Most favorite person that pops in your mind

Tiziana: Uh good question um favorite person can I say like my whole family

Jeffery: Well you can you could say your favorite or famous too so you choose which one works best

Tiziana: Musk

Jeffery: Okay okay favorite movie and character you’d play

Tiziana: Um that’s a tricky one favorite movie and the character I play ah it’s a tricky one can I say for a book

Jeffery: Favorite book is the next question you can share that one too

Tiziana: Uh the Bro the the girl with the beat um from telling the story of bird Mirren and I’d be the protagonist the girl who paints the famous guy and tries to set him up in the way that um that it works nicely for him.

Jeffery: And it’s called the girl with the beat

Tiziana: In French

Jeffery: That’s cool I haven’t uh heard that one so I like it uh favorite brand that pops into your mind

Tiziana: Patagonia these days

Jeffery: It’s a good brand

Tiziana: Main stream but you know

Jeffery: it’s still good it’s good I like it favorite sports team

Tiziana: Oh freaky uh favorite sports team I let’s say the Argentinian team because they just won the World Cup

Jeffery: I like it I was actually going to make that suggestion and say well it’s kind of prevalent it’s that top of mind right now we’re almost there uh what is the meaning of success to you.

Tiziana: Learning

Jeffery: I like it and last question what is your superpower

Tiziana: My superpower I’m able to sleep for 13 hours in a row anything competitions in life

Jeffery: That’s a pretty good superpower I’venever heard that one but it sounds like a pretty good superpower I’m gonna say you’re also very good at breaking things down and being able to ask great questions and uh can conductand manage a room so I think that’s also a pretty big skill set from my experience uh in working beside you but I also think that that other skill set is probably good for uh giving you a lot of energy which again goes back to the same fashion of helping you do all these great things so I’m going to say that uh they’re all great and um titiana was amazing to have you walk through and share all of your experience and everything that you’ve done I’ve made some amazing long footed notes I don’t even know if you can see them there but I ran out of paper actually uh but I wanna I wanna say thank you very much again for coming on the onto our show and sharing uh there’s a lot of great learning there I’m excited and and find that it’s so cool that you’ve been traveling to all of these countries uh gaining all of this background and experience I thinkthat is phenomenal and I think it’s so helpful uh in any any fashion in life tobe able to build and learn on these different cultures and especially in the startup ecosystem and the adventure side absolutely phenomenal so thank you againfor joining us and sharing today the way we like to end our show is we want to give you the last word so anything that you want to share to the investor Community to the startups I turn it over to you and please also share how people can get a hold of you at the same time.

Tiziana: Yeah first of all thanks a lot for having me as well and people can have a hold of me on LinkedIn umdon’t hesitate and um well I guess the word of the end isreally one thing that I try to live by which is do things because you believein them do things like passion do things because you have the New York to wake up and to and to do them right don’t settle for less than what you’re done what your expectations of yourself are.
Jeffery: I love it well shared all of these uh pieces that you’ve shared are very well uh stated thank you again for all of your time and uh we hope to have you back again in the future but thank you again for sharing.

Tiziana: Thanks a lot Jeffrey

Jeffery: Oh that was great I think uh Tiziana shared a lot of great insights around what it takes to be a Founder in many different countries of course in the different types of uh areas where they can get a kind of push back or stuck from Regulators to um you know knowledge transfer and not being able to find the right Talent sothere’s so much opportunity for governments and business to staff up and start to put money back in the ecosystem and educate people from universities and colleges and and help everybody kind ofpush that envelope and and learn and fail I really like the the three spots that she talked about which is experimentation growth and the third one which was do good for you know for theworld and on overall so what’s good for you it’s got to be good for everybody else so push out the the right metrics and the right value and help others grow I think go over all the the what they’re doing at seed stars is fantastic they’re really getting into markets educating growing pushing the limits and helping markets open up further and quicker and that brings in a lot more Venture and a lot more investors so it’s very exciting to see exciting about their their new launch the press release that came out so another great Pinnacle for their 10 years so kudos to to everybody over at seed stars and thank you again for joining us today if you’ve enjoyed this conversation please feel free to share with your friends or describe to our YouTube channel follow us on Spotify Apple podcast and our Stitcher feel free to share an audio or video clip around our show and we may include it in one of our feature podcasts find us at marketing at your support and comments are truly appreciated you can also check us out at or for startup events visit thank you and have a fantastic day.

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