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Episode Info

Episode Info:

This episode brings us together with Alain Nicod, a business angel, founder of various startups like LeShop in 1997 and Partner at VI Partners. Alain likes searching for startups and meeting exceptional people, and he believes it’s important that an entrepreneur can manage the day-to-day firmly, be realistic and have good sales skills. 

In this episode we started off by exploring what he enjoys about being a partner at an investment fund of over CHF 100 million, and what he misses about being on the other side. We then dive deeper into questions around how a fund works, what the returns on investment have to be, how the process of launching a fund work, what skills are needed, and more. Finally, we asked Alain for specific advice that we could apply to our own situation, how we could detect a good from a bad investor and what he looks for in a founder.

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We covered the following topics:

Personal questions

  • What do you enjoy about being a partner at an investment fund?
  • What don’t you enjoy about your job? What are the challenging moments?
  • How do you sleep, knowing that your investors expect you to multiply their CHF 101 million?

How does a fund work?

  • Why does a return on investment ‘need’ to be 10x or higher?
  • After how much time does a fund need to see a return on their investment (exit, IPO, merger, acquisition)?
  • How high do the returns need to be, to open an additional fund?

How do you launch your own fund?

  • How does the process work?
  • How long does it take?
  • What people / skills should be part of the team that opens a fund?
  • What’s the minimum size that makes sense for a fund (no health care focus)?

Advice for founders

  • The founders need a side-job, should both work part-time or one full-time?
  • How do you detect a ‘bad’ investor from a ‘good’ investor as a founder (how would you do it)?
  • What do you look for in a founder?
  • Is there a startup that should exist and that someone should start?

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