Photo credit: Startup Wiseguys

published 29 May 2015 in Estonia 2 minutes 29 seconds to read

Calum Cameron

The Estonian accelerator Startup Wiseguys focuses on early stage IT, software, banking and security projects and has worked with 26 countries across 4 continents. Meet Managing Director Calum Cameron and find out more about what's up in Estonia.

About me.

Startup Wise Guys

Wise Guys is an accelerator with a passion for early stage startups.

earned my first money with...
Pumping petrol. I come from a small mining town in Australia, where there weren't too many jobs for school kids.

If I wouldn't be an investor I would be...
Building my own solutions. My background is in corporate IT and there are so many things that need fixing! At the same time, there is lots of infrastructural support we can offer startups so they can focus on their business.

I get annoyed when...
People start with 'no'. Start with 'yes!' to keep ideas alive. Better they start out imperfect, but stay alive long enough to be valuable.

You might not believe it, but we...
Startup Wise Guys has invested in and worked with startups from 26 countries across 4 continents. They've traveled the world to join us.

My favourite movie is...
Pretty well anything by Krzysztof Kieślowski: he had an incredible intimacy with his characters and actors while addressing broad social issues. He was also able to bring out the beauty in almost any scene.

About passion and profession.

My investment fund is focused on startups in...
B2B SaaS teams from Central and Eastern Europe with massive ambition are our focus. But if the team is exciting, we'll invest in companies from across the world (see above).

I wouldn’t like to work anywhere else because...
of the energy in Estonia. The startup ecosystem is really vibrant and everyone works extremely closely. How many countries have their president retweeting startup events every week?!

The investment plan for the next years is...
Currently investing and we are building a new fund now. Our focus will remain the same but we will follow-up more probably intensify.

Our business relationship with startups is characterised by...
Our bespoke approach. We invest primarily through the accelerator which provides the infrastructure - international mentors and investors, sales/marketing/technical workshops, pre-seed funding - but work with each team on an individual basis as they all need something slightly different.

Besides money I offer...
Extensive connections through international and Estonian ecosystems; a super team with attention to individual team needs; and most importantly, an Aussie sense of humour :)

About working with startups.

In a startup I am looking for...
Startups are about learning. So I love teams who not only really understand their market, are truly passionate and demanding; but are hungry to learn more!

Characteristics a founder team should have are...
Hunger. Grit. Humour.

I was most impressed by...
Estonia's ability to establish itself as a global startup leader with so few people. Just the determination to take advantage of opportunities.

I was least impressed by...
The short-term visions of our political 'leaders' when the challenges we face environmentally and geopolitically will play out over decades and generations.

You get most out of relationship with me when...
You are open and excited about learning.

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