“It’s a great place--the place to be,” says the Jekabs Vinauds, speaking about the House of Startups, where the ICFA is housed. The accelerator’s team of four sits in a single office on the first floor of the building.
“The House of Startups, they organise loads of events. Whether you want to learn, or meet people… there’s always something to do.” And the Gare is a good neighbourhood to work in, adds the senior analyst, naming Little Saigon as a favourite lunchtime spot. “Really nice pho… you have to make sure you get all four spices that they give.”
Like another interviewee in this series, Vinauds admits that his desk is normally bare. But for this occasion, he has brought in a few relevant items to share.
“Every Sunday, I make my packed lunch for four days,” Vinauds says, noting that it’s good to save money by being prepared. He also aims to launch a cooking channel on Instagram with tips on quick and easy meals. Put on the spot, he shares his first recipe: “Probably chicken, roast vegetables and maybe potatoes or rice… obviously with some spices mixed in there.”
(On the fifth weekday, he eats out.)
“Obviously, you can’t forget the House of Startups basketball jersey.” This year the HoS joined a commercial league, where they played two games each against PwC, Cargolux, BBC Penitencier and CIPA REWA.
“Tough competition,” remarks Vinauds. “We weren’t all that victorious.” Between the interview and the date of publication, the team posted a 37-107 loss to PwC, who according to the FLBB website brought 11 players to the House of Startups’s five.
“It’s a really cool way to bring people together… to make new friends and connections.”
“It’s all about the network. Network, network, network,” says the senior analyst. “It’s how we meet the fund managers we support through our program, it’s how we meet the people that support the fund managers, whether it’s advisers, coaches, trainers, investors… the list goes on.”
“If I don’t cycle to work, I’ll take the book with me in the morning,” says Vinauds. “Start the brain.”
The current read is Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio. “He talks about different macroeconomic issues, emerging trends, as well as the rise and fall of economic and political powers throughout the centuries.”