SMART INFRASTRUCTURE VENTURES

FUNDING INQUIRY

 

Who we are

Smart Infrastructure Ventures is a heterogeneous group of successful entrepreneurs, founders & investors. We are supported by a likeminded international network of advisors, corporate partners & co-investors. In addition we are proud to call the award-winning SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator our family as well as the renowned HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, who has several times been awarded as the best university for entrepreneurship, our friends.

 

Our Focus

STAGES

Our investment focus is early stage startups and unlike some other VCs: we really mean early – don’t worry too much about turnover (yet)! When we invest in a team of founders we are usually the startup’s first professional investor. At that point the company may have raised some money from the FFFs (friends, family & fools – oh and maybe from some angels too ;-), released an MVP and gained first customer traction. We typically invest a low six digit Euro amount as a first investment in a pre-seed or seed round but keep significant capital for follow-on rounds.

SECTORS

As our name Smart Infrastructure Ventures suggests, we especially like anything surrounding smart city, energy, proptech, e-mobility, IoT, ehealth etc. – sometimes it is as easy as that! And although smart infrastructure is our focus, we would still like to hear from you in case your team is operating in potentially related areas. Please contact us as well if you believe your startup could be the next big thing – we will definitely take a look.

GEOGRAPHY

We at Smart Infrastructure Ventures think globally, feel at home in Europe, operate Germany-wide, have a regional interest in East Germany as it’s our home soil and have an office at Baumwollspinnerei in Leipzig. Especially if you are a founder from East Germany: let’s have a chat about what you are trying to achieve! Although we are investing Germany-wide we believe that startups benefit most from our hands-on approach and extensive network if they are not only mentally approachable but as well locationally accessible.

 

How we work

Of course we believe that our approach to venture capital and how we operate is different to other VCs – at least that’s what we think and our investors as well as previous business angel investments say. There are no employees at Smart Infrastructure Ventures. Everyone who is involved in the investment process has skin in the game. This ensures more efficient decision making alongside an increased accountability and of course an alignment of interest. In addition we leverage the resources and networks of SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator and Smart Infrastructure Hub. We believe that our portfolio companies as well as our investors will benefit from this set-up.

Team

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Björn Bauermeister
Björn knows his stuff around assessing market values for illiquid assets. During the financial crisis he was a trader for complex financial products- and survived! He worked for investments banks like BNP Paribas and Cantor Fitzgerald and called trading floors in New York and London his home. As a Business Angel he was quickly won over by the disruptive potential of startups and infected by the entrepreneurial virus. Moving from London to Leipzig was an adventure, but family and founding his own company helped to adjust quickly. In his free time Björn loves to spend time with his 2 daughters and keeps adding new places to his list of visited football stadiums. He holds a Diploma (FH) from the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and is a CFA Charterholder.
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Dirk Frohnert
Dirk is originally from picturesque Sauerland and after his stint in the air force he studied internationally in Stellenbosch (South Africa), The Principality of Liechtenstein & Copenhagen. Following that he spent more than 10 years as a fund manager at JPMorgan in London. While investing as a business angel he seriously caught the startup bug, founded his own company and moved to Berlin. When he is not busy reviewing pitch decks, he can be found at a gig, football stadium, travelling (preferably to Africa) or having a badass BBQ with a local craft beer or a glass of Pinotage. He holds an MSc from University of Liechtenstein and is a CFA Charterholder.
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Eric Weber
Following positions at B2B- businesses in IT and wholesale he worked for 2,5 years at HHL and the SMILE startup initiative in the field of entrepreneurship and as freelance consultant. He holds a MSc from Leipzig University and a PhD from HHL.