Estonian venture capital firm Tera Ventures has appointed former Techstars London managing director Eamonn Carey as general partner. Tera will be tapping into Carey’s deep network and expertise in mentoring startups, as well as helping portfolio companies that have UK and/or US market entry ambitions craft content, marketing, and messaging narratives in line with their intended target(s).
Chances are, if you’ve been around the European tech scene long enough, the name Eamonn Carey is bound to show up on your radar; even if you can’t spell his name correctly. A regular to be found on stages at Web Summit, SXSW, Slush, Mobile World Congress, the former Techstars London managing director is seemingly everywhere.
In an exclusive interview, Eamonn informed me that he’s been mentoring startups for the better part of a decade now, dates that check out according to his CV, totaling involvement in, “somewhere between 200 to 250 startups.”
And while providing advice and guidance is one thing, putting your money where your mouth is is another; a game Carey’s not shied away from for the past five years. In combination with his angel investment portfolio and Techstars, he’s led investments in over 90 companies including sustainable fishing marketplace Pesky Fish, femtech startup Ohne, and LGBTQ+ sexual healthcare platform, LVNDR Health.
With a vast majority of VC firms all too often promising the coveted ‘value add’ you’d be hard-pressed to find another more qualified than Carey to actually deliver. A self-described founder who, “started, succeeded, scaled and failed,” Carey told me that it was Tera's “super hands on,” approach that was a big draw for him. “That’s the part of this role that I enjoy the most - getting to roll up my sleeves and work closely with ambitious founders and their teams,” he said.
This hands-on approach and ecosystem support doesn’t end at a Series A or later for Carey. In addition to his own time and money, back in 2020, he helped New York City-based The Fund, “A community of founders & operators who care deeply about the next generation of local entrepreneurs,” establish a presence in Europe, adding, “Openness in the community is something we’re starting to see more and more of Europe, and something I want to keep supporting at Tera.”
If my hunch is right, Carey’s played a crucial role in fostering this openness on European shores but is far too humble to mention it.
When asked about his decision to move over to Tera Ventures Carey explained, “I’ve been involved with Techstars for almost six years now; with the pandemic, and a new child, and more than a few sleepless nights, I’ve had a lot of time to think. To think about what the next challenge was. I even thought about doing another startup myself, which was a very short conversation with my wife. I’ve known the Tera team for quite some time and it felt like the right time and the right move.”
On the newest addition to the team, Tera Ventures founding partner Andrus Oks commented, “Together with Eamonn we are a stronger team and can greatly extend our value add to our portfolio companies and investors. He will also be an important asset to our ecosystem in general.”
“Tera has a unique position to support promising companies in northern Europe. With its Estonian origin, extensive knowledge of the venture scene in the Baltic Sea region, Tera is now expanding its network and offering through the recruitment of Eamonn,” added former Minister of Finance for Sweden and senior advisor and investor in Tera Ventures, Pär Nuder.