Joseph was studying Electrical Engineering in Beirut when he landed his first internship at a startup, and almost immediately after, he was drawn to the dynamic and vibrant (at the time) startup scene in Lebanon. After completing his degree, he joined one of the few Venture Capital firms in Beirut. His journey was one of growth and learning especially as the 2019 economic crisis in Lebanon unfolded, deeply impacting the country and the startup ecosystem. In 2021, he moved to the fund’s HQ in London. Two years on, he came across True and thought it was perfectly aligned to where he sees himself next in his VC journey.
I realised that I very much enjoy VC, especially upon seeing the effect that my work had on startups, their founders, and the clients they provide for. When I stumbled upon True, the first thing that struck me was how keen the company was on the impact that it had on its portfolio companies, and how these companies, most of which are consumer-focused, were strong advocates of wellness and sustainability.
I’m like a treasure hunter, I look for people who have really cool ideas about how to find a treasure, so I listen to their stories and then if I feel like they might be able to get this treasure, I will help them uncover it in any way I can so we can share it between us.
It would be the movie West Beirut, which is a coming-of-age movie that follows three teenagers during the Lebanese civil war. The movie very effectively portrays how people in Lebanon live in times of crisis, and how the question of leaving the country to pursue a “normal” life elsewhere is always being posed. I have watched that movie several times, in different stages of my life, and in each one of them I could count parallels with what I was living (now more than ever, having left Lebanon).
Public transport! Loads can be done to make it better, including having service in underground tube tunnels, more charging stations in trains, dedicated bus lanes, better-served suburbs, etc.
Brilliant founders! Basically, inquisitive people who can clearly and confidently state what their company is offering, while remaining honest and modest while describing it.
Joseph’s expertise at True:
Joseph sources and analyses early-stage startups (Pre-seed - Series A) disrupting the consumer, retail or supply chain industry.