My Story So Far
I am Managing Partner at Arkley Brinc VC: an early/seed-stage investment fund created with PFR Ventures in Warsaw. I divide my time between Poland and Berlin, evaluating tech startups throughout Europe for potential investment opportunities.
My journey to becoming a VC has been somewhat unconventional... I started out as a singer in small town clubs. Read on for a summarised career history, or get the full story in my eBook, 'Starting Up & Starting Over'.
At age 16 I became a professional singer, performing at weekends alongside my studies. This continued for 7 years, self-employed and juggling part-time jobs. My stage experience would later be a great asset for pitching and public speaking! In 2006 I started my first office role; there I discovered the world of business and networking for SMEs.
In 2008 I moved to London where I worked as a copywriter/content marketer, and attended Birkbeck College for a BA in Creative Writing (evening classes).
My former colleague (/future co-founder) and I started our first company in 2009: a web development agency specialising in Search Engine Optimisation. As a Director, I focused on copyediting and managed a team of 10 employees. We later sold off part of the business as 'SEO Guys Ltd'.
In 2011 we co-founded our first tech startup – fleet management software for transport companies. We moved to Berlin, raised over €2 million, grew the team to 20+ and had clients all over the world. I decided to leave after 4 years as CEO/co-founder, worn thin from the countless highs and lows.
The Move to Mentorship
In 2015 I joined IXDS as a startup business consultant. We launched IXDS Labs: an innovation hub for connected hardware ventures. During my 2 years as CEO, I was also interim CEO for HINT (a digital health IoT startup) and Managing Director for Fritzing (an open-source platform for designing electronics). We ran
corporate innovation and co-creation projects with major brands interested in startup methodologies.
In 2017 I joined Brinc, a global platform empowering entrepreneurs through accelerators, capital, services and communities. I moved to Bahrain to launch and run their IoT & Connected Hardware Accelerator for the MENA region, also serving on the global Investment Committee. In addition to supporting local founders, I developed and delivered a 'startup innovation' educational program for our Corporate partners at Batelco.
Venturing into Capital
In 2018 we launched Arkley Brinc VC: a fund created with PFR Ventures, Group One and Brinc, where I now serve as Managing Partner. We invest up to $1 Million per company into early/seed stage tech startups in Europe, with ticket sizes from $100k to $500k. Our focus is on connectivity and sustainability, which includes Deep Tech sectors such as IoT, FoodTech, MedTech, Connected Hardware, Industrial IoT, and Energy tech.