Shmuel Chafets, Giza Polish Ventures: ”Entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe lack focus”

Newsroom 08/11/2012 | 12:20

Focus is one of the things that makes entrepreneurs in a country like the United States different from those in the Eastern European region.

”Entrepreneurs around here are not focused- they do three, four or five things at the same time,” said Shmuel Chafets (in picture), managing director  at Giza Polish Ventures, during the first day of How to Web.

Another regional characteristic is that entrepreneurs in the region tend to ”take shortcuts,” they do not wish to learn the ropes of the business, they want to ”go out there on the market right away,” he said.

The market in Eastern Europe is still very young and there is a huge gap in experience and expertise. ”It is very hard to find someone here who has done it before,” said Chafets.

On the other hand, America is not an option for every entrepreneur because ”it is a lot more competitive and the companies over there are better funded than you are,” Chafets told entrepreneurs present at the event. Instead, ”you must think big, but you must think regional big,” he advised.

Also, you must have ”a killer team.” Engineers are important but management is key in the long run, he pointed out, indicating that he did not refer to just the CEO but the entire team making the management board of the company.

Shmuel Chafets joined GizaVC in 2009 as director of business development. He is a member of the Giza Internet investment team and focuses on consumer-facing companies, having led investments in Soluto, GraphCast (Visual.ly) and The Elevator (a TechStars affiliate). He is also a partner and member of the investment committee in GPV, a Giza-sponsored Warsaw-based early stage venture capital fund. Previously, he served as VP at EBP Sp.z.o.o., a Polish-based holding company focusing on infrastructure and alternative energy. Prior to that, he worked as business development manager and consultant at GCS Issue Management Israel, a leading Israeli and CEE consultancy. Picture courtesy of How to Web.

 Otilia Haraga

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