Thanks to our collaboration with U-Start, an international advisory boutique for private investors, Family Offices and HNWI, we have welcomed a new member of our advisors team at LUISS ENLABS: Daniel Guasco, a well-known South African entrepreneur and business angel.

Thanks to our collaboration with U-Start, an international advisory boutique for private investors, Family Offices and HNWI, we have welcomed a new member of our advisors team at LUISS ENLABS: Daniel Guasco, a well-known South African entrepreneur and business angel.

Daniel got in contact with our startups and us during a trip to Italy. This new international entry adds value to our startups and underlies the value of our partnership with U-Start that is aimed at fostering cross-boarder networking and investments opportunities. 

We had an opportunity to ask some questions to Daniel to get to know each other better.

Q. What are the milestones on your career path that brought you where you are now?
A: I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I started my first business at the age of 8, opening a shop on the street. I followed a more corporate path for a few years working for a number of global corporates including Vodacom, Sony and Nestle and then decided to do an MBA at University of Cape Town. During my studies I met Wayne Gosling and post completing an MBA exchange program at the London Business School we formed a business relationship as co-founders.
We saw an opportunity around e-commerce in Africa market and established www. twangoo.co.za specifically focused on local deals in 2010.
Just over a year post our launch Groupon bought our startup during their international expansion. Part of our sale of the business to Groupon was a 3-year management contract, which allowed us as joint CEOs to pioneer the e-commerce space, developing the company into one of the largest and most popular e-commerce sites on the African continent. This June, I have left Groupon to devote myself to both venture capital and business angel investment through
teamafricaventures.com.

Q. What do you think about Italian innovative ecosystem?
A: I think that even though Italy is behind in the development of venture capital, it will soon catch up with other countries and that it is the right moment to invest in Italian startups. I personally find a number of attractive startups at LUISS ENLABS, such as wineOwine and SpotOnWay to name just a few.

Q. What are the skills you would like to share with LUISS ENLABS startups?
A: Coming from a business development and commercial background, I believe I would help startups in their go-to-market strategy and the execution of their idea. I would advise them on how a lean startup should move quickly from an ideation stage to commercialization of the product and revenue generation.

Q. What is the most important for a startup to succeed?
A: I think the most important is the team! The team and a clear idea on how you going to commercialize your product. And it is important to have a balanced vision on the fund raising process: some startups focus too much on getting funds without stipulating upon how they will use them. Others do not focus in the right moment on fund-raising and end up without cash.
I think the right balance is key.