Jonathan Pacifici has an international background (he was born in Rome, Italy, and moved to Israel at the age of 19) and an extensive experience in management consulting, working with hi tech firms and leading startups in telecommunication, Internet, security, enterprise software, media and BPO, as well as representing major European corporations and investors. Earlier in 2012, Mr. Pacifici launched Tel Aviv-based Wadi Ventures (read here), a seed fund backed by European investors including Franco Bernabè Group (read here) which aims to help Israeli startups grow and go global (read here). He joined us to speak about his new (ad)venture.
FinSMEs: Hello Mr Pacifici, thank you for joining us. Can you tell us a little bit more about Wadi Ventures. Where is it based?
Jonathan Pacifici: “Wadi Ventures is operating in the Silicon Wadi, the Israeli hi tech ecosystem but has strong roots in Europe. We are a new European-backed micro seed venture capital fund supporting Israel’s disruptive Internet startups“.
What’s your target?
Jonathan Pacifici: “We seek to invest in early-stage technology-related business opportunities approached by firms and/or individuals, with:
– Disruptive innovative technologies and “out of the box” business ideas, requiring relatively short time to market.
-Large growing global markets and category leading potential in order to generate significant revenues and profits.
-A need for preliminary funding required to develop the technology and business idea, so as to draw international players’ attention at the earliest stage possible”.
FinSMEs: How does it work? What does it offer?
Jonathan Pacifici: “Teams apply on http://wadiventures.com/apply/ or drop us an email. We have an efficent selection process and invite the best of them for a meeting. We look for companies that have an easy go to market strategy and-or companies that we can easily boost via our network. Portfolio companies will receive mentors and regular acceleration coaching but our real value is in the business development boost“.
FinSMEs: What kind of business do you want to back?
Jonathan Pacifici: “In a word: “code”. Anything that can be developed in short time with small money, which today is indeeed a large part of the Internet industry. SaaS, Mobile apps, security, Cloud solutions etc.”
FinSMEs: What do you like to see in an entrepreneur and the company’s management team?
Jonathan Pacific: “We look for passionate, visionary people with excellent technical understanding, business leadership skills, and the ability to perform“.
FinSMEs: How do you assess the qualities of people?
Jonathan Pacifici: “Social circles that were created during service in elite military technology units and while studying in top academic institutions, are a key element in understanding the Israeli entrepreneurship club and eco-system. Exploring these circles we typically assess the entrepreneurs’ quality within a very short period of time“.
FinSMEs: What don’t you want to see when an entrepreneur approaches you?
Jonathan Pacifici: “A guy that is a one man show – we simply believe in teamwork as a critical entrepreneurial quality“.
FinSMEs: How do you try to bring value to the company you invest in?
Jonathan Pacifici: “We strongly believe startups need to engage as soon as possible with the market, and for Israeli companies this market is abroad.
“There is huge potential in the European market, we know it well and we know how to communicate with it. We build relationships between our companies and top European corporations and investors, including telcosand banks. Among other benefits, this gives founders the opportunity to test beta versions of their products with industry leaders before the demo day“.