Rami Al-Karmi

Managing Partner at F03 Venture Partners & Mentor at 500 Startups

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 07, 2016

Discussion

Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
Hi - I'm Rami Al Karmi, founder and managing partner of F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co) and mentor at 500 Startups. I've invested / advised / cofounded hundreds of startups and scale ups in silicon valley and the arab world and my passion has driven me towards building and activating lean startup and entrepreneurship communities and ecosystems. I host a daily AMA in arabic on snapchat alkarmi, which is becoming rather famous. so I have a pretty wide variety of information on this topic . I'm delighted to be here-- ask me anything!
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What industries would you place your bets on in the next 10-20 years?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@jacqvon hmmm my crystal ball powers do not span as far as 10-20 years .. but i am passionate about cloud and productivity, VR, and AI , uniting local needs to become global communities , and fintech
Rezki El Mokaddam@rezkiem · Growth Hacker 🚀
Rezki here, a young entrepreneur from Morocco. In your opinion, how should entrepreneurs approach investors? Social Networks? Cold emailing? IMHO, those are the only accessible ways to reach an investor and I can understand that they are not fans of receiving hundred cold emails from entrepreneurs pitching for their startup, nor do they like being spammed on Social Networks. Shuran!
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@rezkiem investors are human beings :) BIG IDEA ! the path to the attention of each investor is unique .. but its all about building a relationship .. which can be done on social media or face to face during events .. make sure you dont come down as the sleazy guy who is trying to pitch an investor even if you bump into him in the bathroom :) and it is always helpful if the 1st intro is done through a referral .. make sure its always fun and that you add at least a new piece of interesting information / or interesting progress to the investor every time you see him/her .. dont keep "bumping" into them and sharing them same info again and again again ... and remember investors are humans sometime they wake up on the wrong side of the bed .. while sometimes they decide to help no matter how bad the pitch was :)
Mikkel D. Bertelsen@mikkel_db · CEO of Corro.io
What company has been the most exciting to work with (500 Startups)?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@mikkel_db i am a mentor @ 500 startups ... so the 500 team get exposed to more companies than i do .. but from the top of my head the real cool ones i have worked with are http://feesheh.com http://i3zif.com http://silkroadimages.com http://wuzzuf.net http://tamatem.co http://shopgo.me http://jamalon.com
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey what are your favourite questions to ask founders?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@bentossell what is the problem you are trying to solve and how painful is it to the person / group suffering from this problem ?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Rami, thanks for joining us today. What 3 things should every new founder thing about every day?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@ems_hodge 1) how will what i do today help in discovering a repeatable and scalable business model 2) what should i do today to discover a repeatable and scalable business model 3) make sure all the founders are aligned on the business model version that we are all going to validate against today
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
Thanks so much for being here! What is the biggest mountain you have to climb this year? How can a student get involved with 500 startups?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@jordan_gonen crazy mountains every day ;) my new baby "mountain" is http://f03.co where we are trying to disrupt ecosystems and grow the culture of angel investing in emerging markets
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@jordan_gonen many ways to get involved in 500startups as a student i think the best way is to attend events produced by 500 and to intern with portfolio companies
Rajiv Mukherjee@rajiv_mukherjee · CEO Incubatehub l Helping Organisations
Rami - i run an virtual accelerator in India fhsidealab.com... Will love to know if the venture money is drying up for early stage startups ?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@rajiv_mukherjee dying up might be too harsh but the whole world is going through some hard times ... my advice for startups is to always aim for a revenue funded company ,, where investment is need to grow the venture .. not for the venture to live
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Thanks so much for joining us today, I would love to hear how you view your personal brand? What have been the best strategies for expanding your personal brand? Snapchat, what content is most popular? Do you use Insta, Vine, Periscope etc?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@harrystebbings can you please elaborate is your question about "Rami Al Karmi" as a personal brand .. cause it aint a brand :) but i have different personas on each platform .. on facebook it more about me as a person .. on twitter its live coverage and advice .. short .. linkedin is more professional .. Perdiscope is live coverage of events in the innovation spaces / incubators / accelerators that i created or support .. and been doing daily AMA snaps on "alkarmi" for a month now in simple arabic where i answer ppls questions and address topics around #entrepreneurship #investment #innovation ... the growth in the engagement level in snap chat has been phenomenal !
Pritish Sanyal@sanyalpritish · Director Business Development
Hi Rami, Thanks for taking the time! The one question I would like to ask is "One Business Mistake That You made, which has made you see things differently ever since"
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@sanyalpritish yeah .. painful but i have the luxury now to talk about it as a lesson learnt :) We built a company for managing the life cycle of real estate .. and invested a fortune in premium office space and in building a mapping / GIS solution to capture and automate most of our activities .. hired the best facility management crew .. then after 2 years had to face the sad reality that the Major real estate developers ( the ones that build towers - our target segment) has all what we do as a built in function in their operations .. it wiped me flat broke and to add some more fun Google decided to roll our Google Maps for free and made the technology we invested ton to build worthless .. it was fun ;) but to recap : I only build companies after i validate the business model .. and hardly build companies that are not mainly revenue funded.
Pritish Sanyal@sanyalpritish · Director Business Development
@alkarmi thanks for your response... Yes it may have been painful... We all learn a great deal from us situations...
Lilian AZ@lilian_az · Business Designer
Hello Rami, can you share the vision behind F03 Ventures. I don't think we have had a "funders" bootcamp in the region before. I would love to hear more about it, for example in Lebanon the whole "bank backed" financing dynamic / and major vc interested only in mature companies (even though the ecosystem is relatively new) / a gap in angel funding how will F03 work with each context to cater to its particular needs. I see Istanbul is also on your list ... :D looking forward to hear what you got happening. *waves*
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@lilian_az I am exicted applications for our 1st New Funders bootcamp in Amman is live http://www.f03.co/#new-funders-b... F03 Venture Partners is my new passion :) which to an extent is what i have been doing for the past few years but now i have a model that can scale .. the 3 Fs are Funders , Founders, and Facilitators .. the main ingredients to activate and accelerate a startup / investment ecosystem .. my clients in emerging markets know that .. but sadly as you mentioned some see the quick fix solution towards nascent ecosystems is to dump money on the problem .. so we have a full stack model around activating ecosystems .. but specifically for New Funders Bootcamp .. what we do is we ask new wanna be angel investors to join our program and earmark 5K USD upfront towards the end of the 4 months program the whole group creates 1 SPV and invests as a group in startup(s) that they select .. in a manner that is close to the syndicates
Mikkel D. Bertelsen@mikkel_db · CEO of Corro.io
As an investor what types of companies are you looking for in 2016.
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@mikkel_db i dont look :) my investment thesis is simple .. if i can add value and help leap frog the company through knowledge,contacts, technology, or synergy with others within my network or my portfolio .. then i am in :)
Mustafa@_camara_ · Co-founder Egyncy
Hi Rami, Thanks so much for doing this, what's the most important quality you look for in founders?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@_camara_ 3 of them : integrity , perseverance , and CRAZYiness
Osama Khaleefa@osama_khaleefa · CEO, Abjar Apps
Salam Rami; nice to see you here. I have a startup in Jordan that's started to catch up in Canada market. It's a B2B one and hence I am not sure if it is really a good idea to move there or stay in Amman. Do you have any advise with this regards?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@osama_khaleefa depends on what do you mean by "started to catch up" ;) if you feel this is picking up really well and the traction suggests the startup is better placed in the Canadian market ... and this cannot be done by a team that you dispatch to Canada then oversee .. then follow your customers ... you are the only one that is capable of answering this question .. but my advice to you is to think : will you regret not trying if you dont ?
شبوحة@buthinashdaifat
This is so inspiring! How to present a perfect presentation?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@buthinashdaifat thnx .. I run a full workshop on the secrets of successful pitching .. here are the slides i used the last time http://www.slideshare.net/alkarm...
Mustafa@_camara_ · Co-founder Egyncy
What F03 intent to do different from existing investment firms, to disrupt the ecosystem?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@_camara_ F03 is my new passion :) which to an extent is what i have been doing for the past few years but now i have a model that can scale .. the 3 Fs are Funders , Founders, and Facilitators .. the main ingredients to activate and accelerate a startup / investment ecosystem .. my clients in emerging markets know that .. but sadly as you mentioned some see the quick fix solution towards nascent ecosystems is to dump money on the problem .. so we have a full stack model around activating ecosystems .. but specifically for New Funders Bootcamp .. what we do is we ask new wanna be angel investors to join our program and earmark 5K USD upfront towards the end of the 4 months program the whole group creates 1 SPV and invests as a group in startup(s) that they select .. in a manner that is close to the syndicates
شبوحة@buthinashdaifat
What is the most important leadership lessons?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@buthinashdaifat the most important leadership lesson is yet to be discovered ;) but as Jim Collins in his great Book (Good to Great) nicely articulates how he identifies the characteristics common to Level 5 leaders as: humility, will, ferocious resolve, and the tendency to give credit to others while assigning blame to themselves.
مازن Mazin@mazinalzaidi
Hi Rami! From your experience, how do entrepreneurs protect their "know-how" competitive advantage during the venturing process?!
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@mazinalzaidi trade secrets is the only way i believe that works in Intellectual Property if i understood your question correctly .. i consider patents an invitation for others to come infringe you ;)
tasnem@tasnemabdelhadi
some advice to start a small business please
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@tasnemabdelhadi if you are crazy and insisting to start a new startup find below 7 steps that you can take now to start a startup https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2...
Tony Xiao@tony_xiao · Product Guy
wow, thanks
شبوحة@buthinashdaifat
How to prepare students socially emotionally and academically for a productive life?
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@buthinashdaifat this is a huge topic .. but to simplify it.. the only way to prepare someone is to remove the bubble ,, take out any artificial protection and make them face things that they will need to deal with ahead of time .. it thickens their skin, and they learn to deal with issues .. and more practice makes perfect .. so by the time they need to really deal with it in real life .. they are in a shape , mental status , and attitude to ROCK the WORLD ! ... i love this question by the way ,, made me think of an intervention/program that needs to be designed ;)
Lilian AZ@lilian_az · Business Designer
@alkarmi @buthinashdaifat YES please . Education is ignored almost everywhere here & students are rarely getting the exposure they need or even a CURRENT education that speaks to the needs of the market .... bubble ما بالك ال. Yallah RAMI .
Rami Al-Karmi@alkarmi · CEO F03 Venture Partners (http://f03.co)
@lilian_az @buthinashdaifat fight the power ! :)