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VC Corner Q&A: Guy Weaver of Praetura Ventures

Guy is a Director at Praetura Ventures focused on investing in high growth businesses. Prior to joining Praetura, he was a Director at KPMG where he raised over 1.5 billion of capital for businesses.

Whilst Guy has mainly worked in the UK, he has also spent time working in Australia, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. He launched his own startup called IntroStream, a business to help companies connect with startup technology businesses through challenges. Through this, he connected businesses to large retailers and financial institutions.

Keep reading to learn more about Praetura Ventures and Guy’s approach to finding the right founders to invest in.

— What is Praetura Venture’s mission?

We back exceptional teams that demonstrate not just their potential, but their ability to achieve it. And with decades of experience in founding and scaling businesses, we are a supportive partner along the journey.

— What’s one thing you are excited about right now?

The rise of the chatbot. More organizations will adopt chatbots to aid efficiency both externally and internally facing. Many people associate chatbots with FAQ’s, they can do so much more and drive significant value for a number of businesses.

— Who is one founder you think we should watch?

I might be a little bias but Richard Potter of Peak is doing some incredible work in the AI sector.

— What are the 3 top qualities of every great leader?

  1. Passion for their sector and business.
  2. The ability to listen, learn and take on advice.
  3. A great people manager capable of bringing together a team and motivating them throughout the journey.

— What and when was your very first investment? What struck you about them?

My first investment at Preatura was Dr. Fertility. They have an incredible passion for what they are doing, and we instantly knew we could work well with the founders. The founders set up their business whilst they were both on maternity leave. To set up a business whilst you have a new baby takes incredible determination and resilience. As a new father, I appreciate how hard this would have been.

— What’s one question you ask yourself before investing in a company?

Can we work with the founders and team?

— What’s one thing every founder should ask themselves before walking into a meeting with a potential investor?

Are you ready? We see so many businesses that just are not prepared for a VC investment process. If the meeting goes well you need to maintain the momentum which means you should have a detailed plan, financial forecast, and key materials ready to send after a meeting.

— What do you think should be in a CEO’s top 3 company priorities?

  1. Know your finances and have a good finance person you trust.
  2. Know your value to the business as a founder. If you are leading on sales then you may need to bring someone in to run the business whilst you focus on sales.
  3. Build, motivate and inspire a great team.

— Favorite business book, blog or podcast?

Dave Allen, Getting Things Done. The book and course completely changed how I work and made me more efficient- my email inbox is regularly cleared to zero each week as a result of the techniques in the book.

— What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

Anything active including running, mountain biking and motorcycling.

— Who is one leader you admire?

I was lucky to have dinner with Jeff Hoffman, the founder of Priceline.com. It is incredible what he has done in his career and the businesses he has set up.

— What’s one interesting thing most people won’t know about you?

I supported the British Olympic Taekwondo team for 6 years in a number of areas from fundraising with UK Sport and Sport England through to governance. It was incredible to be with the team at London 2012 when they won their first gold medal.

— What’s one piece of advice you’d give every founder?

Surround yourself with great people, not just in your company team but also in your network.

Ready to make a pitch? Startups looking for an opportunity to pitch Praetura Venture’s can apply here!

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