At Blackfinch, we believe innovative start-ups need a blend of experience and entrepreneurial know-how to help them reach the next stage of their growth journey. We operate a network of Venture Partners who are all experienced founders, industry leaders or technology experts, who pay it forward by joining the boards of our portfolio companies. They each add meaningful value through their experience and contacts, as well as offering guidance and feedback to help improve their performance.
We recently spoke to one of Venture Partners, Geraldine Osman, to find out what she loves most about working with fledgling start-ups here.
What is your background and experience?
I have always been in technology marketing, specialising in product marketing and go-to-market. I began by leading global teams for large technology companies, but then gravitated more towards growing start-ups from early stage to exit (Initial Public Offering (IPO) and trade). I also spent a few years working in the US as CMO of a high-growth tech start-up, before returning to the UK and co-founding a B2B SaaS start-up which has since successfully exited.
What drew you to Blackfinch Ventures?
Having met a number of US Venture Capital (VC) companies, and subsequently gone through a number of funding rounds as a co-founder of a UK start-up, I was very impressed with how Blackfinch really listens to the leadership teams of their portfolio companies and gets to know the teams and the business. Blackfinch is a very ethical investor that repeatedly evidences how to get the right balance of providing investment, support and guidance to their portfolio companies, to really help them thrive and be successful.
What highlights from your career, are you most proud of?
I’m proud of defining, building and executing on growth strategies that I have designed specifically for the businesses I have worked with, leading to rapid, scalable and repeatable growth and subsequent, successful exits. But nothing can really top doing this as a founder, so this would be my definitive career highlight. However, working with Blackfinch as a Non-Executive Director (NED) is my most recent career milestone, and I really enjoy being able to work with other founders to help them scale from early-stage to the next level of growth.
What do you enjoy most about working with early-stage companies?
There is so much innovation and potential in early-stage companies. The UK start-up space is thriving right now, with companies leading the way in many different segments of the technology sector as well as creating and defining their own markets. So, this is a very exciting time to be working with them. I particularly like being able to provide valuable inputs, not only from my career in tech, but also from being on the founder side – you learn a lot when you start and grow a SaaS business and I really like being able to offer that perspective.