Caulfield, Liao and Ascani join Talent Garden Dublin’s VC-in-residence panel

11 Jan 2019

Image: Talent Garden

The Dublin campus is the first in the European Talent Garden network to launch a VC-in-residence programme.

Three notable figures in the Irish and European science and tech venture capital (VC) investment landscape – Brian Caulfield, Bill Liao and Luca Ascani – have been appointed to the Talent Garden VC-in-residence panel in Dublin.

In what is the first such move for a Talent Garden campus in Europe, the executives will bring a combined business experience of close to 70 years across six countries.

‘The venture capital industry hasn’t traditionally done a very good job of educating the start-up community on these issues’

Talent Garden Ireland country lead Mark Bennett said that their contributions will include mentoring members of Talent Garden and sharing their connections and insights into what VCs are looking for when investing in businesses. He added that their professional expertise will be invaluable to help members scale.

Deeper foundations

“Although co-working facilities will account for 30pc of total corporate work space by 2030, our mission goes deeper, building a community of shared values. We host a dynamic ecosystem of digital innovation where members meet, work, learn and collaborate together. This is cultivated, in part, through events such as workshops, fireside chats with global tech leaders, expert advisory sessions, fundraising talks and panel debates.

“The VC-in-residence programme is a great example of how we leverage our network for the benefit of members. We will grow the panel of VCs to cover different industries and different levels of investing. In order to add the most value to our members we feel it is necessary to have a diverse panel of VCs with different perspectives.”

Talent Garden has 23 campuses in eight countries across Europe. Founded several years ago, Talent Garden is now the largest European co-working and digital innovation network. Its new Dublin branch at Dublin City University, which opened in October 2018, can house more than 350 people working on innovative projects, with a particular focus on the internet of things. The Dublin campus measures 3,200 square metres across three floors.

Veteran investor and tech founder Brian Caulfield said that more needs to be done in terms of helping entrepreneurs to understand how venture capital works.

“Most entrepreneurs have very limited insight into the way VCs make decisions and how the relationship between investors and entrepreneurs operates after an investment is made,” he said.

“The venture capital industry hasn’t traditionally done a very good job of educating the start-up community on these issues. That’s why this initiative from Talent Garden to support its members is so important and innovative. This role is the first of its kind in Ireland and I really look forward to sharing insights with entrepreneurs and helping them to build winning funding plans for their companies.”

Meet the Talent Garden Dublin’s VC-in-residence panel

Brian Caulfield interview: ‘Ireland’s great for start-ups, tough for entrepreneurs’

Brian Caulfield. Image: Draper Esprit

Brian Caulfield is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor. He is a venture partner and former managing partner at Draper Esprit. His recent investments include Datahug, Movidius, MTT, Clavis Insight and Graphcore. He sits on the board of The Irish Times newspaper and is also a personal investor in a number of early-stage technology companies including HyperGrid and Teamer.

Man in black jumper and glasses giving a talk.

Bill Liao. Image: SOSV

Bill Liao is an entrepreneur, leader and investor. He is a general partner at SOSV, an investment management and venture capital firm providing funding in the technology sector. He has established companies and led growth into the billions. He has also established multiple non-profit organisations, devoted to addressing climate change, poverty and supporting the education of the youth, including co-founding CoderDojo.

Man in navy jacket with dark hair, glasses and a beard.

Luca Ascani. Image: Talent Garden

Luca Ascani is the founder and CEO of Lambda Alpha, an investment company focused on seed investment. Its portfolio includes, among others, Bear, the Apple Design Award-winning notes app;, a leading mobile retargeting company; GreenJinn, the supermarket cash-back app; BnBSitter, the leading French B&B management company; and, a  luggage mobility company. Recent investments also include Gideon Brothers, Emma App and WeRoad. Recently, Ascani co-founded Talent Garden in Dublin, with the aim to create the most important hub for start-ups in Ireland.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in Silicon Republic

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years