Today: Jul 22, 2024

Decipher Startup Investments with Whiz Peter Hlavnicka

7 months ago
  • Founder of Phi Ventures and the Managing Partner of R3i Ventures, Peter Hlavnicka, is known for his unique perspective on startup evaluation.
  • One of his primary evaluation criteria is the startup’s team, he prioritizes cohesiveness, experience, energy and willingness to learn over “know-it-all” intelligence.
  • Other evaluation aspects include problem-solution fit, market positioning, intellectual property, connections, and financial management.
  • He advises new investors to educate themselves, get involved in startup communities and conduct extensive due diligence.
  • For startups he emphasizes the importance of revenue and non-dilutive grants for increasing company valuation, and of cash preservation.
  • Hlavnicka promotes “pro bono” work in advisory and mentoring.

Founder of Phi Ventures and the Managing Partner of R3i Ventures, Peter Hlavnicka is both an active participant in startup competitions and a mentor for founders through his startup consulting firm Phi Ventures. His unique investment approach has led the company to have clients such as R3i Ventures Pte Ltd., Lattice Semiconductor Corp., Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (Infineon Company), SunPower Corp., Glee Trees Pte Ltd, MHL LLC., Connor Consulting, and others.

The process they follow at R3i Ventures is known as “The V.C. Acid Test.” According to Peter, the first thing he looks at is the startups’ teams cohesiveness, experience, energy and willingness to learn. Teams that show a “know-it-all” arrogance often have difficulty raising funds, regardless of their business promise. The evaluation then delves into the problem-solution fit, technological aspects, market positioning, and intellectual property.

For new investors, Peter emphasizes the importance of understanding how everything works in startup investing. He encourages them to get involved in startup communities and events, and most importantly, conduct due diligence. According to Peter, building strong relationships with startups through financial support, advisory services, networking, and opening doors is vital for any investor.

For early-stage founders, Peter advises against vulture investors and stresses the importance of due diligence. He cautions that debt financing could be problematic in very early stages. He also stresses the importance of cash preservation and the value of non-dilutive grants to supplement funding. According to Peter, revenue is as important as it increases the company’s valuation.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Peter takes pride in contributing “pro bono” work in advisory and mentoring. He supports impact investing, promotes women founders, and other causes for a better future.