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Investor Advice with Oriol Aguilera

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

How to follow the passion? What are steps taken for good decision making? How to build a carrier building? Investor Oriol Aguilera shares his insights significance of finance, investments, fintech and the top three traits that startups must have to attract investors.

Tell us more about yourself

My name is Oriol but I usually prefer to be called Uri, I’m born and raised in Barcelona, Spain and this next June I’ll be turning 23.

On a personal side, I consider myself as a very social guy, I really like to hang out with people and get to know their stories. I love sports, especially skiing, trail-running and cycling, and I also enjoy food and travel a lot.

Career-wise, I’ve always had a passion for finance and financial markets and that made me choose economics as my bachelor. Within those years, my twin brother and I decided to start investing (with very small amounts) and came along with a fintech company from the Uk. We started as clients, then convinced them to promote their services and we finally ended up bringing the company from the UK to Spain and grew it, locally, from 0 to more than 1M€ in revenue in less than 2 years. That’s where I discovered my passion for high-growth, strategy and startups. After finishing my degree, I did a private banking internship in an international bank and after a few months I decided to make a change, as I didn’t see myself working in that industry. After thinking about my next step, the decision was pretty obvious, where could I combine startups and finance? Venture capital. Decided to apply for a job at Plug and Play and that’s where I am now.

What do you usually want to see in a startup before you decide to look into it further?

It really depends on your investment thesis but in our case, we always look for founding teams with solid backgrounds, a huge market potential and disruptive tech solutions. Apart from that, the startup has to follow, at least, some of our “check marks” but that again depends on your personal thesis.

What are the biggest challenges that startups usually face in their very first steps?

From what I’ve seen, unless the founders have an astonishingly strong background or are really well-connected, the trickiest thing at the start is to find funding, but, at the end of the day, I believe it’s a numbers game, you pitch to 100 investors and get 1 term-sheet. Resilience is vital in early-stage startups.

What is the most interesting aspect of your job?

Everyday is different. Luckily, at Plug and Play, we have a lot of freedom to schedule our own agenda. As I was mentioning, hanging out with people and getting to know their stories is one of my passions and I get to do that on a daily basis. Founders are always interesting to talk to and I really enjoy discovering what’s the purpose behind their startups.

Which industry do you find more successful to operate in based on the current landscape?

As many other industries, VC is moved by technology and trends that arise from it. For 2023, the hottest industries will probably be generative AI, green tech, climate tech, renewables and everything around sustainability, and web3. As always, Fintech will still remain as the most invested industry by VCs so if you’re planning to start your own startup, that could also be a good choice.

What are the top 3 traits that startups should have to be more appealing to investors?

I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said but as a founder think about these 2 questions: Why me? Why now? If you successfully answer those, there’s a huge possibility of you getting funded.

Ηow can startups in the Pre-Seed stage increase their chances of attracting investors’ Interest?

Pre-seed is all about story-telling. Once you’re able to leave investors on the edge of their seat, eventually, everything will work out.

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