#MentorSpotlight || Meet Yonatan Machado
“Nothing is more impressive than an entrepreneur pitching before investors and knowing his stuff.”
Always interested in venture capital, Yonatan studied law and received his MBA from Hebrew U, figuring the two would be good backgrounds to have when eventually looking for VC jobs.
Yonatan was offered a job at a law firm but decided to turn it down to pursue his real passion, VC. He began looking into the 3 non-operational jobs: consulting, banking, and private equity/venture capital — Yonatan went to San Diego for a few days for a VC exchange-type program. He returned to Israel hyped on investments and the VC industry.
Shortly after through his network, he received an offer from JVP after completing his MBA and signed a contract with the Jerusalem-based venture capital firm. At JVP for 3 years, working mainly under the managing partners on the more mature deals, A/ B rounds, Yonatan originally oversaw deals and contracts and worked on a few M&A (merger and acquisition) transactions.
Yonatan emphasizes that the ‘little’ things that are put into a contract can actually become huge matters down the line. With his venture capital angle, he can help entrepreneurs in different size companies or industries, with different partners and investors, and more.
What he’s up to now
Now joining JVP’s incubator as a partner offering seed investments, Yonatan says he’s excited for a more hands-on approach and helping companies navigate the startup world.
JVP is generally a tech-based VC that looks for companies with certain advantages. Whether it is great UI/ UX, first to market, or something else, the focus must come from the technology because it’s the hardest point to copy. This way, when a company targets a new market with their innovative technology, they enter with an original angle.
He also says that the younger the company that you’re looking to invest, the more you’re investing in an individual rather than a company. In a startup with a team of 5–8 people, replacing someone like the CEO is like replacing the entire company. This can make the difference between not closing a round and raising millions. No matter how you cut it, success is just not plausible with a bad team.
It’s the people
Often, the business side entrepreneur feels he can’t start a company because he can’t code, and the tech guys being able to code, start companies without being able to execute their vision. Too often we see technological teams laking managerial experience needed to turn a technology into a product and to bring a product into the market.
What they look for are balanced teams who on the one hand have good CEO’s who can grow the company as well as strong technologically skilled team members. The business side of this equation is usually the missing piece.
If a CTO showed up with no technical skills, you’d be floored. The same should be true of CEO’s. Some background experience is needed: education, past companies, past leadership positions.
#1 tip for entrepreneurs
Know your stuff.
All investors understand that there’s a big learning curve and entrepreneurs must learn somehow. They don’t expect you to know everything, however, there is a gap between not knowing everything and yet owning your space.