Pitch Best Young PE 2020: Marie Weijler, Cottonwood Technology Fund
What are the specialties of this talent?
In 2018 Marie helped raise €25 million for UnifiedPost, Belgium’s fintech unicorn. UnifiedPost had a very successful IPO in September 2020, raising €252 million altogether. This IPO would not have happened without their Series C round, which Marie helped secure. In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, Marie attracted several family offices as new Limited Partners in Cottonwood Technology Fund III. The first close of Fund III (€ 25 million) took place in October 2020. In 2020, in the depth of the COVID-19 crisis, Marie helped raise €1.5 million for LipoCoat, a Dutch nanotech & biotech startup.
Deal Sourcing: Between 2015 and 2020, Marie sourced > 110 high-tech and hardware deals for family offices and venture capital firms.
How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers?
- Honoree on the Forbes 30 Under 30: Europe 2019 list in the Finance category. Marie is the first Dutch citizen who made it to the list in this category.
- Finalist for Best Young Professional of the Netherlands 2019. Marie is the first private equity professional in the 9 years’ existence of this annual award who made it to the Top 10.
- Marie is the first Dutch-born woman on the investment team of a hardware venture capital firm. As of October 2020, she is still the only Dutch female hardware investment professional.
- In September 2020, Marie was one of 10 young professionals selected as 'NextGen Angel Investor’ of the Collider Startup Accelerator Program in Amsterdam and London. Marie is now one of the youngest female angel investors in the Netherlands.
- Marie won a full scholarship for an online MBA program (7% acceptance rate, average GMAT scores 700+), which she successfully combines with working full-time. This is the third time she combines a master program with a full-time job.
What impact does the talent have within the organization?
- When a portfolio company is raising a follow-on round, Marie contacts potential co-investors. As Cottonwood invests in (pre-)seed and early stage startups, securing follow-on rounds is crucial for the success of our portfolio companies.
- Marie has significantly increased public awareness of Cottonwood and its portfolio companies.
- Marie has developed an ESG Policy for Cottonwood and continues to measure the ESG Performance of both our fund and our portfolio companies.
What impact does the talent have outside the organization?
- Youngest member of the Take-Off Program Advisory Committee from the NWO (Dutch Research Council). Marie assesses high-tech and life science spin-offs from Dutch universities and research institutions that applied for the NWO Take-Off Program – Phase 2 (= €250.000 grants) and she makes recommendations on the selection of recipients.
- Executive Board Member of the Dutch Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Holland). ACG is the largest global community for investors, M&A professionals and related service providers. Founded in 1954, ACG has grown to more than 14,500 members worldwide.
- Member of the Advisory Board of Antler. This is a global startup generator and early-stage venture capital firm with programs in Amsterdam, London, Stockholm, Singapore, Sydney, New York City and Nairobi. Antler was founded by a team of McKinsey, Google, Spotify, MIT and Harvard alumni.
- Volunteer Startup Mentor at Techstars (more specifically: the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, powered by Techstars)
- Volunteer Partner of ReStartup, a free-of-charge, 4-month support program for startups and scale-ups to manage and recover from the COVID-19 crisis, organized by the Dutch Startup Association.
To what extent does the talent makes the difference to clients?
Marie is a hands-on investment professional who enjoys startup business development:
- She created a Press List (incl. contact details) of > 200 local, national and international media for our portfolio companies, so they can easily send their press releases to relevant media.
- She helps our portfolio companies with their marketing strategy, such as hands-on support with setting up their quarterly newsletter and writing LinkedIn posts.
- She is heavily involved with securing follow-on rounds for our portfolio companies. She makes a shortlist of investors with matching criteria and introduces them to the portfolio company that is fundraising.
- She uses her large network to help with recruiting employees and advisors when our portfolio companies expand.
Why does the talent deserves this nomination?
Unique talent; always willing to improve her competences.