Investment Stars Shine at the Prague Engaged Conference, Sharing Success Tips for Startup Investment
Prague, September 19, 2023 – Two days filled with inspiring lectures, discussions, networking opportunities, and interactions with prominent investors in startups, along with other enriching experiences, await at the Engaged Investments conference. The event is organized by the investment company DEPO Ventures and will take place on Tuesday, October 24th, and Wednesday, October 25th, at the Kaiserštejnský Palace in Prague. Among the international luminaries set to participate are American investor and mentor Marvin Liao, Irish tech entrepreneur and business angel of the year 2023 Mary McKenna, and British investor Keith Grose, who also plays an active role in managing numerous startups. They will be joined by notable investment names from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics. The conference is supprted by the venture capital ecosystem such as J&T Ventures, Presto Ventures, OTB Ventures, Baltic Sandbox and even by the prestigious Credo Ventures.
"We've invited experienced investors to the conference who have a track record of successful investments in startups. These investors hail from regions with mature startup ecosystems. Although venture capital firms and angel investors are growing rapidly here, they can still learn from well-known names," says Petr Šíma, a partner at DEPO Ventures.
For instance, Marvin Liao, as a partner at the venture capital fund 500 Startups, has invested in over four hundred early-stage startups from various industries and parts of the world over six years. He also brings corporate experience, having spent more than a decade at Yahoo! developing business in different global regions. Mary McKenna is an example of an entrepreneur who, after selling her own startup, the online education company Learning Pool, became an angel investor, supporting startups in their early stages across Europe. She also co-founded the all-Ireland community AwakenHub, which recently launched the first and only Irish angel syndicate led by women. Keith Grose is an active angel investor who also serves as an operating executive in startups, primarily in fintech, crypto, and hardware sectors. He began his fintech career at Google, working on projects like GPay and Google Wallet.
"There aren't many events in Prague focused on representatives of venture capital funds and angel investors. That's why we are delighted to be part of building a high-quality and prestigious event for the global investment community, right in the heart of Central Europe. Networking and expanding our network of contacts, along with sharing knowledge and experience in the startup world, are absolutely essential," says Adam Kočík, Managing Partner at J&T Ventures.
"Building and maintaining relationships and partnerships among VC investors and angels across Europe is one of the most important things we do at Presto. It benefits our portfolio companies and our investors and nurtures the entire CEE startup ecosystem, which we are and will continue to be a part of and care deeply about. That's why we support Engaged Investments," says Přemysl Rubeš, Founder and Managing Partner at Presto Ventures.
Focused on Investors
In addition to the stars mentioned above, attandees investors can expect other investors with extensive knowledge and experience in venture investing. Among them are Karolína Mrozková, partner at Credo Ventures; Marcin Hejka, founder and partner at OTB Ventures, a Polish venture capital fund specializing in deeptech investments; Bakhrom Ibragimov, partner for CE region at Molten Ventures; Tomáš Pačinda, partner at Kaya VC; Viktorija Trimbel, executive director of the Lithuanian fund Co-Invest Capital; Raviv Sapir, investment professional at the German fund Blue Future Partners; Jonathan Hollish, managing parner at Mountside Ventres, and business angels such as Frederik Brandis, Davis Sikans, Damir Špojlarič or Keith Grose.
Unlike previous years, this year's conference is split into two days. The first day features the Startup Fair, during which dozens of startups from the portfolios of participating investors will showcase their projects from pre-seed to Series A. The second day is primarily for investors, with four panel discussions covering topics such as the pros and cons of traditional venture capital funds and angel syndicates in Central and Eastern Europe. They will also delve into current macroeconomic shocks, including the impact of war and inflation on venture capital in the region. Special attention will be given to cross-border collaboration among investors and ways to best identify trends and investment opportunities.
In addition to panel discussions, smaller rooms will host workshops and roundtable discussions on the second day, with a focus on specific areas and investment trends. These topics include an impact investing workshop by Tilia Impact Ventures, military and defense industry discussions led by Baltic Sandbox, and insights into space technology investments provided by representatives from Cassini Matchmaking, a program under the European Union Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA). Additionally, supporting investments in the Czech Republic and abroad will be a significant topic, with discussions featuring representatives from venture capital funds and the CzechInvest agency.
For more information about the conference and ticket sales, please visit the engaged.investments website.
More About DEPO Ventures
DEPO Ventures is an investor in early-stage startups in the CEE region, backed by an angel community. It manages angel funds that enable active investor involvement. In its first two angel funds DEPO Ventures has made nearly thirty investments, including companies such as Tatum, SmartGuide, Oxus.AI, Supertalent, and Ringil. Last autumn, DEPO Ventures launched its third angel fund.
The investment group also manages the international syndicate DEPO Angels, which connects investors with high-quality startups and simplifies the entire investment process. It also facilitates advantageous syndications, allowing investments in smaller amounts. DEPO Ventures' vision is to teach entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals that investing in startups should be a natural part of every investor's portfolio.