Before you can apply for the Startup Visa Program, you need a commitment from a designated investor. To help you prepare for and land a meeting with one of these notable investors, we will be featuring interviews on our blog with various designated VCs and angels in the coming weeks.
Boris is also one of the top tech early-stage investors in North-America and the founding partner of Version One Ventures. His portfolio encompasses over 40 early-stage consumer internet and enterprise companies, including Edmodo, Flurry, Frank & Oak, GoInstant (acquired by Salesforce), Indiegogo, Indochino, Julep, Sparkbuy (acquired by Google), Summify (acquired by Twitter), Top Hat Monocle, Tynt (acquired by 33across) and Wattpad. Boris is also one of the founders of GrowLab, a Vancouver-based start-up accelerator.
As an entrepreneur first, Boris knows first hand what is like to be in your shoes and is excited for the opportunity to discover more great entrepreneurs to invest in from around the globe. I caught up with Boris this week to find out more about his investment portfolio and Startup Visa Selection Process.
Maura: What kinds of companies does Version One invest in?
BW: Version One Ventures invests in Seed and Series A opportunities in 3 areas: Software-as-a-service (SaaS), e-commerce and marketplaces/platforms. We invest across North-America and have done over 40 investments to date.
You were one of the early investors in the Summify team from Romania. Why did you invest in Founders Cristian and Mircea?
We like to invest in passionate entrepreneurs with deep domain knowledge. Entrepreneurs with great product and design instincts. Entrepreneurs who want to change the world but know that in order to do so, they need help. And Cristian and Mircea were all of that: great entrepreneurs with a strong technical background who came up with a very interesting and innovative idea.
What is the best way for immigrant entrepreneurs to contact you about investment and what should they send you?
The best way is to send me a link to the product (so I can test it out) and an Executive Summary/One Pager, which describes how the entrepreneurs think around the overall opportunity.
What is your Startup Visa selection process like?
I usually look at new opportunities within 24 hours and if I am interested, I will schedule an intro call with an entrepreneur to learn more.
If they get to the meeting stage, should the founder(s) be prepared to walk you through a pitch presentation?
Pitch decks are a good tool to give a complete overview of the opportunity and show how the founders are thinking about it – but I am equally happy to just have a discussion about the product, the market and the team without following a presentation deck.
Recommended: Before you reach out, I encourage you to check out the Version One Blog and the companies in their portfolio to see if your startup would be a good fit. Also, take the time to get to know Boris online by following him on Twitter and check out his AngelList Profile.