We caught up with Simon Tkachenko, Partner at Modus Capital - a New York-born venture capital and venture builder firm, to talk to him about their recent partnership with Hub71 to launch a new venture builder program – Ventures Lab. The program is designed to enable early-stage founders from around the globe to develop successful and scalable startups from Abu Dhabi to the world.
Why have you chosen to establish a venture builder in Abu Dhabi?
One of the key appeals for this venture builder was the ability to partner with Hub71 - Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.
While we are able to offer full operational support to founders, including up to $450,000 in services and funding, Hub71 adds a number of non-equity-based incentives, providing successful applicants with access to its global network of corporate partners, and supporting founders with access to various world-class regulatory approvals through its strategic key partner, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
Cumulatively, we offer up to $850,000 in cash, services, and non-equity incentives. By collaborating with Hub71 in Abu Dhabi, we are presenting an appealing package to entrepreneurs that they will not find anywhere else in the region.
How do you think entrepreneurs in the region will respond to the concept of venture building?
As venture building is a relatively new concept in the MENA region, there are several misconceptions that we need to address, including who can utilize such a service and what phase of the entrepreneurial journey they need to be at.
Our venture builder programs are designed to provide tailored hands-on support to both first time and experienced founders for a period of 8-20 months. Regardless of stage, whether it be simply an idea or an early MVP, we work closely with the founders to add value at every phase of the process - including defining the idea into a fully-fledged product, as well as refining an existing product for maximum efficiency and growth opportunities. We also help first-timers get in the game while experienced founders receive the boost they need.
Also, capital is important for an early-stage startup’s growth, and this is combined with the operational support that we are lacking in the ecosystem today, which will serve as the key differentiator on Ventures Lab’s journey to success. Our co-building approach ensures that we are in it for the long-haul, and we believe that we will resonate with many seasoned and first-time entrepreneurs in the region.
How is Ventures Lab different from the other venture builder programs available in the UAE?
We act as an in-house co-founding team, providing valuable support to build out core functions.
We are industry agnostic, and our team of international specialists work with companies across the board that have a clear mission and social impact.
Modus’ $80 million MENA Venture Fund on the back end of the builder, turns into the ideal pipeline for Seed and Series A+ investing. The fund provides builder graduates an opportunity at a streamlined way of raising funds and gives the fund team a vetted pipeline of companies that are built with proven frameworks and methodologies.
Established in the US and having a successful venture builder in Egypt, graduating startups from Ventures Lab can tap into our venture builder network and markets that we currently operate in, and will expand to, including KSA in Q4 2021.
Startups within Ventures Lab are offered a unique opportunity to not only build their companies with experienced entrepreneurs, but to access great incentives and corporate partnerships through Hub71.
What advice would you give founders applying for Ventures Lab?
When applying to Ventures Lab, it is important to remember that the purpose of it is to co-build companies from ideation/early MVP stage.
With that in mind, my advice to founders would be, to be the expert in their field, and to not try to solve everything. With founders who are subject matter experts in their respective fields, Modus will fill in the gaps around them to give their businesses the best opportunity out there, for success.
Tell us what Modus Capital plans to achieve through its partnership with Hub71?
Ventures Lab is a ground-breaking partnership that will enable startups to tap into world-class operational services/funds through Modus, as well as benefits from the myriad of incentives Hub71 offers.
Because of this holistic approach, we have all ends of the startup spectrum covered, and want to partner with the top founders the UAE and wider ecosystem have to offer, ultimately, building scalable, sustainable, and profitable tech startups from the ground up.
Our success is pegged to the success of the startups that graduate from Ventures Lab, so we are excited to be able to properly incentivize the brightest founders to apply!
To find out more about Modus Capital, visit https://modus.vc/
To learn more about Ventures Lab, visit https://www.hub71.com/programs/ventures-lab/
To apply for Ventures Lab, click here.