As entrepreneurs ourselves, we know what it’s like to start a business and to raise the capital necessary. We understand that the best ideas are usually never immediately obvious and that unconventional wisdom can’t be measured by formulas, or its benefits be captured in a spreadsheet.
ERIH Ventures' team has decades of cumulative experience in building, advising and investing in early-stage technology companies. We take a hands-on approach and help take the guesswork out of each step of the company-building process. No one can guarantee the success of start- up companies, but we believe that our experience and relationships help improve the odds.
Akin Gunduz is a senior executive with 16 years of experience in energy and finance.
He is the founder CEO of ERIH & The Company, with companies active in renewable technology and investments as well as energy commodities trading. Akin is also the Chairman of myclimate Turkiye, a philantrophic organization promotes low carbon society and economy in Turkey.
Previously, Akin held senior executive roles at multinational companies including IEG, Generali and GE in Germany, US and Dubai.
Akin received his double major MBA from Pforzheim University, Germany and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and completed his graduate studies at Heidelberg University earning M.A. in Economics with a focus in International Finance.
Dr. Erol Teberoglu
Erol Teberoglu, is a senior executive with 20 years experience in mainly healthcare and energy technologies.
He most recently worked at General Electric as Corporate Business Development Manager, where he was responsible for leading market and commercial development activities. He contributed building GE Healthcare Life Science Business in Turkey.
He also has the experience in local, joint-venture and multinational pharmaceutical companies as well as two start-ups. Before joining the industry, he worked as Medical Doctor in different managerial positions.
He holds a Bachelor's degree from Ege University Faculty of Medicine.
Ali Erdem is a senior Fund Manager with 12 years infrastructure finance and trading experience in emerging markets covering Central & Eastern Europe and Turkey.
Ali began his career at Mitsui Co. Ltd, a multinational investment and trading house, managing the company‘s investments.
Prior to joining Erih Ventures, he has spent 6 years in a major private equity company working on establishing and managing the company's private equity fund.
Ali also served as senior Manager at global conglomerates like Mitsui Co Europe and Toshiba Corporation where he led the project development teams in Turkey.
Responsive, Creative and Flexible
ERIH Ventures, an ERIH & The Company subsidiary, is an active venture investor committed to backing world class entrepreneurs seeking to change industries through innovation, creativity and the promotion of environmentally sustainable products and services.
At ERIH Ventures, we partner with and invest in top-tier management teams who are reinventing how people buy, sell and use “resource innovations” – the next wave of cost-advantaged, sustainable solutions for the world’s ever-growing demand for energy, water and other key resources.
In a market economy, solving a big problem generates a big reward. We aggressively seek out the most disruptive ideas to solve the biggest problems of the 21st century: climate change and resource scarcity. We are not afraid of early-stage cleantech investing, in fact, we believe the most attractive investment opportunities are early-stage. However, to do a deep dive on hundreds of ideas to select the most promising ventures requires extensive resources. By leveraging our unique supporter “The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey” (TUBITAK), the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey, we are able to comprehensively review tens of early-stage cleantech ventures to select game-changing ideas with lowest risk, highest reward profile. We then work closely with myclimate Turkiye – The Climate Protection Partnership, a Switzerland based myclimate Foundation Partnership, to set the environmental and social impact criteria of the investments and report each of them accordingly. As a result these reviews, ERIH Ventures’ Platforms will fund the most promising of these ventures to develop a highly focused plan that wrings out the risks and positions the company for global market success.
We are entrepreneurs, not passive investors. We’ve lived it. We like to roll up our sleeves and get involved. As active board members, we passionately support the entrepreneurs in building management teams, developing strong commercial opportunity pipelines, and forging global partnerships.
What We Look For
We capitalize local capital to support local innovation and target global markets
While many funds are moving away from early stage investing, we embrace it. We will lead a first investment from $ 500,000 and with our partners, we can fund the venture through its many growth stages. We are flexible – as an early stage investor you need to be. We will look at great technologies and help build a great team, or great teams with a specific problem that needs solving. All investments must have disruptive technology, deep intellectual property, a global market opportunity and a capital-lean business model.
Our focus sectors are renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, smart grid, waste & recycling, advanced materials, and water.
We look for investment opportunities in which three main criteria are met:
• an innovative idea that can scale big,
• defensible technology, and
• a solid team.
We work with our portfolio companies to create the best possible path to market success—by putting the resources of our Limited Partner to work on their behalf, and helping establish the key industry relationships through our vast networks.
Our Investment Philosphy
ERIH Ventures’ investment philosophy is based on our conviction that sustainability risks and opportunities directly affect long-term business profitability. We believe the interests of shareholders, over time, will be best served by companies that maximize their financial return by strategically managing their economic, social and environmental performance.
High value-added, lead investors
We tend to be the first institutional investors in companies and help them from the earliest stages of business development through successful exits and beyond.
We provide international value-added capabilities through the relationship with our Partners and their dedicated international investment teams and advisors in USA, EU and Far East Asia. With strong networks and team members across multiple geographies, we offer the same level of commitment and world-class expertise to our portfolio companies independent of location.
Focus on collaborative, long-term relationships with entrepreneurs
We take a team approach to investing. The relationship we nurture with each of our entrepreneurs centers on mutual trust, respect and integrity. Building great companies can take a long time, and each of us commits to a set of core beliefs and ethics that stay constant over the long term.
Investing for the Long-Term
Numerous studies show that most of a company's value is determined by its long-term performance, and in our view a short-term orientation has significant negative repercussions for businesses and the global economy. If businesses are forgoing value-creating investments to manage short-term earnings, this will damage their long-term prospects. A short-term perspective hinders innovation and research and development, diminishes investment in human capital, encourages financial gymnastics and discourages leadership. We believe outperformance is achieved by taking a long-term outlook.
Sustainability is Material to Business and Markets
Central to our investment philosophy is the explicit recognition that sustainability factors directly affect long-term business profitability. The interests of shareholders, over time, will be best served by companies that maximize their financial performance by strategically managing their economic, social and environmental performance.
A Systemic View of Global Challenges
When considering sustainability, ERIH Ventures focuses on the entire spectrum of interrelated factors. This means judging solutions on a life-cycle basis and considering the complete set of inputs, costs and externalities. Sustainability challenges are increasingly interconnected: the climate crisis and poverty, pandemics and demographics, water scarcity and migration/urbanization. We never consider sustainability challenges in isolation.
Sustainable Development is Economically Transformative
Today, the global context for business is clearly changing—capital markets and capitalism are at a critical juncture. We are convinced that the transition from a high-carbon to low-carbon economy will be the most significant process in modern economic history—matching the Industrial Revolution in scale, and the technological revolution in pace. We believe investors are increasingly aware of the materiality of this transition for business, and we think financial markets have a significant opportunity to chart the way forward. In fact, we believe sustainable solutions will be the primary driver of industrial and economic development for the coming decades.