Earlier in 2018, Techstars and Arcadis announced their new partnership and the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Amsterdam. I am very excited to serve as the Managing Director for this program!

From Corporate to Startup

After almost 10 years in the corporate world with DuPont, GE, and Conoco, I got my first taste of entrepreneurship when I cofounded a supply chain software company in Silicon Valley. After we sold the company, I was recruited to NYC to become a Managing Director for a new operational advisory firm and venture capital fund focused on media technologies. This firm not only taught me the basics of VC investing, but also provided me the opportunity to spend a year in London to work with a few portfolio companies there.

When I returned to the U.S., I went out on my own again, and spent years digging deep into the operations at various startups as an advisor and operational partner. Working with a plethora of exciting startups and helping them in areas of funding, business development, and basic operations was an extremely rewarding experience, and the relationships I’ve maintained with many of the founders are still strong today!   

My VC Career

In 2013 I cofounded a VC firm, Capital A Partners alongside my Stockholm-based partner, with the mission of investing in early stage Nordic-based startups in order to bridge them to the U.S. market. A big part of our role involved working with founders to help them establish a presence in the U.S. Even outside of our portfolio, we quickly became the go-to fund in the Nordics for founders needing help in the U.S. The fund was deployed over the following few years: we have experienced four exits to date, and we continue to manage the diverse portfolio.

We then became partners with a seed stage venture firm, Butterfly Ventures, based in Finland, and began investing through their third fund early in 2017.  Continuing my venture capital career, I also was brought in as an advisor for an early stage fund, Good Growth Capital, based between South Carolina and Boston. Being involved with these funds has allowed me to be involved with over 40 startups and even more founders.

The Future

Investing in mainly B2B technologies, with a few consumer oddities along the way, it became clear to me that the industrial and infrastructure sector is where a tremendous amount of innovation is taking place now—and where I see it continuing in the immediate future. In areas of IoT, and even with AR and VR, the opportunities to apply new technologies and concepts to manufacturing, engineering, and design has expanded categories such as sustainability, digitization, and human-computer interaction (HCI).

To me, it feels like my entire career—my global investing experience, working with over 40 startups in just a few years, the new areas of opportunity in sustainability, digitization, and HCI, combined with the global network I’ve established during the past years—all come together in the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars. I can’t wait to hear your innovative ideas for developing technologies that will revolutionize how people live, work, and travel in cities—both now, and in the future!

Apply today to the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator—applications close November 11, 2018!


David Mendez David Mendez
David Mendez is a venture capitalist and the Managing Director of the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Amsterdam, focusing on smart city and infrastructure technologies.