Ciaran O'Leary is the General Partner at one of Europe's newest funds, BlueYard. A $120m fund located at the early stage, centring around 3 key areas: The decentralisation of markets, the democratisation of capabilities, and the liberation of data. Prior to BlueYard, Ciaran was a Partner at Earlybird with investments in the likes of Peak Games (emerging markets social gaming), 6Wunderkinder (productivity apps), Moped (private messaging), B2X Care Solutions (outsourcing platform), madvertise (mobile targeting network) and simfy (digital music distribution company). Before Earlybird, Ciarán co-founded a startup and gathered operational experience at others.
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1.) How Ciaran made his way into startups and the investing industry?
2.) What is the thesis with BlueYard? What is the preferred cheque size, sector and geography?
3.) With the mass of VCs emerging, how can startups at the early stage determine whether a VC really is early stage? Are there any defining characteristics?
4.) For startup founders out there who always hear from fellow founders that everything is going gangbusters, how should they react to that? How can you determine whether a startup really is doing well?
5.) Say the startup really is going well and they are looking to scale and hire, we always hear we need a world beating, world class X? How can they communicate that hire better to their current team and their board? What should the CEO or Head of Talent be focusing on when viewing talent? Is there anything they should look out for in particular?
6.) Now when a startup really scales, board meetings become a big part of a CEO’s life. So how can CEO’s turn useless board meetings into very useful value added meetings? How can they optimize that time? What should they look for? What should they ask for?
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