The European Startup Show

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My guest today is Ciaran O’Leary, co-founder and general partner of BlueYard Capital, an early-stage VC focused on transformational technology with a big focus on fostering innovation across Europe. In this episode, Ciaran talks to me about the importance of having a thesis when investing, what is still missing in Europe even though entrepreneurship has gone mainstream, what they are doing differently because of the pandemic, and what startups should do to find the right VC.

(ps: if you are enjoying the podcast, please leave a review :)

Show Notes

Show Notes
  • [1:46] - Why BlueYard and the vision for the fund
  • [3:33] - How the thesis received by the LPs and people you were trying to raise funds from?
  • [5:10] - Is there a breakdown of where the current funds come from and does it impact your investments?
  • [6:22] - Your investments by region
  • [9:44] - What stage do you invest in and why are there no multi-stage VCs today?
  • [12:06] - What kind of VC are you and how many investments do you make?
  • [13:53] - How do you develop depth and expertise in niche areas you invest in?
  • [16:40] - What kind of companies and entrepreneurs are you finding across Europe and Why?
  • [18:58] - Why has entrepreneurship in Europe gone native and what is still missing? 
  • [25:00] - How has the crisis impacted your business? What are you doing differently now?
  • [30:35] - Are US VC doing something different?
  • [32:51] - In the short term will money from the US and Asia continue to flow into Europe or will European VCs have to come together more?
  • [34:35] - Effect of Brexit
  • [35:56] - As an entrepreneur looking for funding, does your pitch need to be different in today’s environment?  What should entrepreneurs know?
  • [37:46] - What should entrepreneurs look for in a VC?
  • [40:56] - What are the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when looking to raise money?
  • [43:26] - Talk about 3 of the portfolio companies - protocol labs,, Bitbio

Book recommendation: The Road, Blindness

What is The European Startup Show?

To inspire technology entrepreneurs in Europe with stories and practical strategies from other successful entrepreneurs.

If you are a CEO, founder, or work in sales or marketing, and your company is based in Europe or is looking to expand into Europe, then this podcast is for you.