TruVenturo Family Office
Sam Copley is Investment Manager at TruVenturo. He has been with the company for two years and focuses on early stage investments into tech and biotech. TruVenturo employs a venture creation strategy, building high impact companies in significant markets. Recently the team has focused on longevity – age-related disease prevention – and neurotechnology. TruVenturo is a single family office headquartered in Hamburg, but Sam works out of the London office.
Hi Sam, what are you working on today?
I’m currently splitting my time three ways; over the last couple of years we incubated three companies in the longevity space, each tackling a different ‘hallmark of aging’. We have teamed up with the leading scientists and entrepreneurs in this space, and we will continue to allocate to longevity in the coming years. We are also exploring neurotech, specifically data analytics for therapeutics. I am also helping one of our portfolio companies – a software development company – with operations and business development.
How did you get to where you are now?
I spent most of my 20s abroad – in Japan, France, Papua New Guinea – and a handful of other places. During this time I was working as a journalist and later in risk for various intelligence entities. I came back to London at the age of 27 and worked for a bank in Mayfair for a year, before moving to the newly incorporated fintech wing of a financial conferences business. It was during this time I met a large number of family offices, including the firm I now work for.
What attracted you to this business?
I was keen to work in venture capital since my move back to London, as I have long had an interest in supporting budding entrepreneurs. TruVenturo had the additional qualities of a) being one of Europe’s leading company builders and b) seeding companies in highly disruptive sectors. We are a first generation family office – the principal made his money through vision, extremely hard work and building world-class teams. I was keen to be part of this group.
What has been the most pivotal moment of your career so far?
Moving out of intelligence into investment. This transition marked the end of a long and thrilling period of soul-searching. I had innumerable adventures throughout my 20s – with no regrets – but the lifestyle was ultimately unsustainable for me. When I started to work in investment, I discovered an eclectic community of highly driven individuals with wildly diverse interests; consequently, despite my unorthodox past, I fitted right in.
What aspect of our industry excites you the most?
Supporting scientific innovation is the most exciting aspect of VC. Whether we’re talking curing age-related diseases, uploading consciousness into a machine or mining on asteroids, looking at early stage investment into disruptive technology is like glimpsing into the future.
What would you change?
Venture capital – by its nature – is mostly accessible only to angels, family offices and some institutional investors. Retail investors rarely get the opportunity to participate in supporting next-gen technology. This is understandable due to the high risk entailed, but I am sure in the coming years there will be a partial democratisation of niche asset classes like VC, private equity and hedge funds.
What do you invest in personally?
Personally, I write small tickets into early stage companies where I see strong teams, high equity-multiple potential and – more than anything else – interesting ideas; companies that look both ethically sound and move the dial scientifically.
Where do you celebrate?
These days – with lockdown in place – I celebrate the end of the week with a Timothy Taylor’s Landlord pale ale on my roof terrace overlooking Smithfield. I marked the end of my intrepid travels of my 20s in Le Var on the south coast of France. We would take a small boat out towards Porquerolles island with a couple of bottles of Château d’Esclans and swim in the Mediterranean. Not bad.
What is at the top of your bucket list right now?
BASE jumping intrigues me. I have enjoyed a large range of high adrenaline activities, but I can only imagine the rush from jumping off a cliff or a building with a parachute. I’m almost certainly too old to give it a go now, but never say never.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me means leaving an enduring legacy of having changed the world – even slightly. I will consider myself successful if the technologies I am currently supporting ultimately help solve even some of the world’s big problems.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If you’ve never made a mistake, you’ve never made anything. Setbacks arise to teach us something – stumbling blocks can often be stepping stones with the right perspective. Mindset is all.
Sam has been an AYU member since 2019. AYU is the digital private members club for alternative investment professionals. Join AYU today and connect with Sam by applying for membership here.