Welcome back to the Houghton Street Ventures Community newsletter, our monthly update on what’s happening within the LSE startup and venture ecosystem.
Today, we have another interview with an LSE alum who French media once described as both the ‘queen’ and the ‘pope of French tech’. It’s none other than Roxanne Varza, Director of Station F, the world’s largest startup facility and incubator.
We’re also hosting a webinar with Capdesk by Carta, on the ‘Company Cap Table: from formation to exit’. This is the first in a series of educational workshops we’re hosting for founders with experts such as Capdesk on the challenges that founders face on a daily basis. The webinar is taking place on the 10th May at 3pm BST. If you’re an early-stage founder, or investor, eager to learn more about cap tables, you can book your place here:
If you’re interested in learning more about Houghton Street Ventures, we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have ideas about future content or collaborations, just hit reply!
An interview with Roxanne Varza…
Station F is one of the best examples of a truly thriving tech ecosystem - what would you say are the key ingredients for this?
I think there are so many ingredients that went into making Station F what it is - and a lot of them also come from the greater ecosystem. I think also we really made an effort to build something that would respond to local needs and not try to "copy and paste" something that worked elsewhere. We spent months interviewing hundreds of people from the ecosystem to find out what they liked, didn't like and then we worked from there. And we continue to do this regularly today as the ecosystem evolves.
As an alum and given our thesis at HSVC, backing LSE-alum-founded ventures, globally, we’d love to see whether you think there’s anything about the DNA of LSE alumni that makes them stand out as entrepreneurs?
Well, I think great entrepreneurs can and do come from literally everywhere. But there hasn't been a single LSE student that hasn't impressed me to date. LSE attracts top people from around the world. I also found that despite their brilliance and experience, they also often are very humble - and this is quite key. I think great entrepreneurs need to be bold but also willing to learn and adjust, which is difficult if you are not humble. As we all know the team and the people are what really make a project succeed, I think that shouldn't be taken lightly.
Community News & Updates
Houghton Street Ventures
The second annual LSE Startup Careers Fair was a huge success, with hundreds of students and alumni from a diverse range of backgrounds in attendance, eager to explore career opportunities in the startup world. The fair featured 15 startups (including Zapp, Finverity, GetHarley, Quester, Caresocius, FuzeQube) ranging from Seed to Series D, offering a wide array of exciting roles across various industries. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with representatives from these companies, learn about their products and services, and gain valuable insights into the startup ecosystem.
Maqsad - founded by Rooshan Aziz - raised a $2.8m Seed round from Speedinvest
Qlub - founded by Gizem Bodur - raised a $25m Seed round from Point Nine and Cherry Ventures
Finverity - founded by Viacheslav Oganezov - raised a $5m Series A from Acrobator and B&Y Venture Partners
Foodji - founded by Daniel Von Canal - raised a $23m Series A from Triplepoint & FoodLabs
Mantra Health - founded by Matt Kennedy - raised a $27m Series A from VMG & Canaan Partners
SESAMm - founded by Pierre Rinaldi - raised a $35m Series B from Opera Tech Ventures and Elaia
Fairmatic - founded by Jonathan Matus - raised a $44m Series B from Battery Ventures
In the News
Amanda Hesser, founder of Food52, featured on the ‘How I built this’ podcast with Guy Raz discussing her journey from food blogger to e-commerce entrepreneur
Qualtrics, the leading customer research and experience management platform, goes private once again with $12.5bn acquisition by Silver Lake
Kheiron Medical featured in the New York Times with how their AI is being used to detect more than 275,000 cases of breast cancer in 2022
Meet the team
The team will be in:
San Francisco - 22 - 28th May - Hannah will be meeting with founders and LPs
Berlin - 5 - 7th June - Hannah will be at SuperVenture in Berlin
If our paths cross, we’d love to meet and catch up, let us know!
Veronika, Hannah, Adam & David
So happy the newsletter is back! Exciting news and I am grateful for the inspiration. Thank you!