Renata Brkić only invests in businesses which are changing the world for the better and pushing the human race forward.
What’s your story?
I am a serial entrepreneur and investor. I am CEO and owner of a company active in licensing, consulting and the organization of worldwide supply chain operations for licensed products. Furthermore, I am strongly devoted to fostering social impact orientation in businesses with the following key words: science, women, education and children. Therefore in my capacities as President at the General Assembly at ZEZ centre and Head of the Social Impact Investment Hub Professor Balthazar, I am responsible for the revival of the Professor Balthazar character as a unique, artistic, socially responsible brand. For this specific investment, I am also the TBAA reward- holder for the best social impact investment in South East Europe. I am a mother of three and I live with my family in Zagreb, Croatia (EU).
What is your involvement with Investment?
Throughout my entire career I have passed all the necessary steps from corporate manager, serial entrepreneur, followed by the running of a science communication start-up incubator and now investor. This step by step build up led me to my present position as founding partner and starting my own investment fund with inspiring partners – theFeelsgood Social Impact Venture Fund. I invest in wonderful ideas that do not necessarily have fast payback, but that can change the world for the better and push the human race forward.
I also serve as High Commissioner to Croatia in the World Business Angels Forum – an international organization that aims to convert the world economy into a smart economy.
How did that come about?
It was from the experience of raising funds for my entrepreneurial project Professor Balthazar, that I realized I could also help many young inventors and entrepreneurs active in developing impressive spin off endeavours around it.
I have therefore established the Social Impact Investment Hub for start-ups and scale-ups and I am involved in their incubation.
What are some of the key things you have learnt about Investing?
Investing is an action-reaction iterative process between the investor and investee. For me, it is of utmost importance that we share common values. I’m an impact investor, apart from profit making it is important to me that the project matters in terms of making the world a better place. I therefore prefer a more hands on approach. And when it comes to the exit, it’s not only exit, it’s all about good feelings, before a good exit.
What mistakes do you see less experienced investors making?
Big expectations of fast paybacks. I have regretfully witnessed recently, the stories of unicorns. Sometimes it seems that even experienced investors can’t resist them. We will see what happens at the end of their life cycles. What I see now is that they are just swallowing more and more, let’s see how bright will be the light at the end of that tunnel?
At the same time, there are many great, realistic opportunities in the market achieving the triple bottom line; people, planet and profit – and ensuring safe exits. They are the ones I would always recommend considering.
What mistakes do you see Entrepreneurs making?
Accepting bad money when desperate. Patience is the key to success. Hold on for a while until all your ducks are in a row. The right investor should offer much more than money; values, experience, expertise and a rolodex of distribution channels.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Persistence, endurance, resilience, patience and respect time as a safe road to clean success.
What advice would you give to those seeking funding?
Use the thorough approach. Work on your professional presentation and pitch. Invest in attending industry conferences and start-up competitions. Have a record of first sales, at least pilot ones. Adjust the model to the development level and nature of the project and know who is the best match for you – business angel, crowdfunding campaign or venture fund.
Who inspires you?
Inspired people who create a symbiosis of science and business in the effort to come up with solutions for making the world a better place on a global scale.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Honestly, it’s a discovery of the wonders of the astrophysics that blew me away only now that I’m reaching my middle age crisis!
What business book do you recommend the most?
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
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This article is part of the World Business Angel Forum media partnership with AsianEntrepreneur.org
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