It is time to share what my next life will look like …

I am sitting in a plane with a beautiful September sunrise, and all of a sudden my iPhone decides to play some music at me, more exactly the songs I used to listen in my 20ies, and even more exactly a song called “Incontro”… Talking about the freedom you feel when you are young, when you have no means but plenty of hope and energy, and (the song saying) when you are all grown up, your life is settled around you, you would give a lot to make love (like old times) in the back of your car, or at a movie, to grasp even for a little moment what you understand NOW being the salt of life… emotions.

My next plans are not about retire and listening to old Italian songs, but the reason for this intro is the transition the song provoked in my mind… I am about to begin another cycle, where I change EVERYTHING.

Few people know already: I have resigned from SWIFT, after 12 years of great adventures in Sales, Comms and Innovation.

My next challenge is a 100 M USD Venture Fund, called SBT VENTURE CAPITAL ( that I join as a General Partner.
We will invest mainly in Series A startups, in need of 1-10 M USD, within the fin-tech industry. In other words, not only we keep partnering with the Innotribe Startup Challenge, but I hope I will have the opportunity to stay in touch with many of the brilliant minds I have met during these 5 fabulous Innotribe years.

This is a question my kids might ask, in 10 years from now, if ever they will read these lines: what is your job about? (The only conversation I had about this with my 9YO son, I turned to be someone who s traveling the world to take pictures then selling them on Facebook).

The General Partner of a venture fund has the overall mission to make sure the fund gives back the invested money and some sizable profit to the limited partners who put the money into the fund itself. In this case, Sberbank – by far the largest Russian bank and one of the biggest banking players in the world – is the sole limited partner of the fund.
The GP job is about screening, build the deal flow (the portfolio of startups), make sure each company is vetted (financially, in their business model, and legally) and most importantly helping the companies in the fund’s portfolio with sales introductions, network, strategic insights, and some white hair in their board ( not applicable to me ).

I will start at Sibos, in Dubai, where the Startup Challenge Finale might bring good investment opportunity for us.
I will be based where the business brings me…. “where are you based?” Is an overrated question anyway.

Why do I change EVERYTHING? That s the title of my next post 😉

I will change now my, LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook profile.
For the ones who want to reach me, my mobile phone number stays the same, and if you take my first name and sbtventurecapital (.com) you can figure my email address. LinkedIn works too.

stay tuned, more news in a short while



The two winners of the start up challenge in NYC

I thought it was important to say a couple of words about the NYC innotribe start-up challenge winners, and the press release is the easiest way to do this…
Working as I blog on the next Singapore challenge, and leaving in a couple of weeks to attend DEMO in Singapore.


February 9, 2012 – NEW YORK – SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries, announced that P2P Cash Technology and Gust have been awarded “Top Startup” and “Top Innovator”, respectively, from the inaugural Innotribe Startup Challenge Regional Showcase held on February 8, 2012 in New York City.

P2P Cash Technology won the title of “Top Startup” with innovation in financial transactions. P2P Cash Technology has developed a highly scalable mobile financial services solution that brings secure, low-cost banking functions to the unbanked consumer via the mobile phone and proprietary cash management system.

Gust won the title of “Top Innovator” with innovation in the sourcing and managing seed and early-stage equity investments. Its infrastructure enables qualified entrepreneurs to arrange equity financing from accredited investors.

As “Top Startup” and “Top Innovator” for the Americas Showcase, P2P Cash Technology and Gust will now advance to the Innotribe Startup Challenge finals to be held at Sibos – SWIFT’s annual conference – in Osaka in October of 2012.

Kosta Peric, Head of Innovation, SWIFT said: “The New York Innotribe Startup Challenge was an unparalleled opportunity to see the future in financial services. The financial institutions, investors and press who were present got a rich portfolio of proposals, going from social lending to P2P payments to secure authentication technologies. We look forward to welcoming the Americas Showcase winners at the Innotribe Startup Challenge finals at Sibos.”

Peric added: “I was impressed by the turnout of financial industry and venture capitalist representatives at the event. We had a full house and this demonstrates the value that Innotribe and our startup challenges bring to the table.”

The New York Startup Challenge was the first of three regional challenges to be held in 2012 and was sponsored by Sberbank, Invest Northern Ireland, Cisco and Guidewire Group.
Up next is the Startup Challenge Showcase in Singapore in April 2012, followed by Belfast in June 2012. More information about the Startup Challenge, including the New York semi-finalists, is available at

Singapore, here comes the Innotribe start-up challenge


Thanks to the National University of Singapore, we have out location for the next Innotribe start-up challenge.
Date: April 24th, in Singapore.

The venue is ultra-cool, and we are actually looking for a social event to make sure VCs, bankers and challengers start-ups can network as much as they did in NYC last week.

Start-ups, you can apply now on and take the opportunity to win a ticket to Sibos in Osaka !

More to come, stay tuned. Tweet away pls!


Take a look at the space!