EUVC | The European VC
The European VC
EUVC #245: Max Bautin of IQ Capital on Investing in DeepTech, the Cambridge Mafia and the Cambridge ecosystem

EUVC #245: Max Bautin of IQ Capital on Investing in DeepTech, the Cambridge Mafia and the Cambridge ecosystem

Tune in to hear about the origin of not only one of Europe's true OGs in DeepTech investing, but also how Max thinks about capturing the current opportunities in the space.
On the left, DALLE representation of the Cambridge ecosystem

Today we have Max Bautin with us. Max is a Founding GP at IQ Capital, a 700m€ Seed & Early Stage venture firm in London to back European Deep Tech Startups.

IQ Capital is investing out of a 185 m€ Fund 4 and also has a 150 m€ Growth Opportunities fund and has an established portfolio of over 60 companies and notable investments including Thought Machine, Paragraf and Nyobolt.

Listen on Spotify or Apple 🎧

Watch the full conversation with Max below the ad 👀

Today’s episode is brought to you in partnership with… Odense Seed & Venture

In Odense, we work actively to establish connections between the right investors and the right investment opportunities. We focus on the fields of robotics, drones, and automation.

Particularly notable is that these sectors in Odense are surrounded by a very strong community which has reached a global position that attracts high-potential entrepreneurs, industrial players, and investors.

You can experience the community and the investment landscape in Odense, at our annual events – The Odense Investor Summits.

Join the investor conference in March


We work hard to ensure quality investment cases, so we screen and train companies before introducing you to them. Whether you are an investor or a company seeking capital, need assistance setting up your business in Odense, or want to learn more about the industry, we would be happy to assist you. Feel free to contact us at any time via the below!

Explore the Odense Robotics Ecosystem

00:00:00 - Introduction
00:01:51 - From Startups to Asset Management to IQ Capital
00:03:25 - The Cambridge Mafia in Venture Investing
00:05:05 - The Success of the Cambridge Ecosystem
00:06:49 - Why Avoiding Negative Value Added by VCs Is The Holy Grail
00:08:30 - Deep Tech vs Traditional Venture
00:10:06 - Defensibility and Scalability in Deep Tech Companies
00:11:44 - Deep Tech Investments and Hardware Integration
00:13:27 - The Growing Importance of Deep Tech
00:19:51 - IQ’s definition of Deep Tech
00:21:20 - The Productization Journey
00:22:51 - On The Duration of VC Funds
00:24:32 - Focusing on Future Opportunities
00:26:07 - Shoutout to Max's Bestie
00:27:49 - The Success of the Cambridge Ecosystem
00:29:25 - The Importance of IP and Academic Support in Innovation
00:31:05 - The Rise of Cambridge's Tech Ecosystem and Beyond
00:32:47 - Expanding into European Ecosystems
00:34:20 - Building Trust and Reputation in the European Tech Industry
00:35:54 - Quick Fire with Max

Q: What advice would you give your 10 year younger self?

Be more confident. Believe that your conviction is the right one and stick with it and go after it.

Q: What are your top tips for emerging VCs across Europe who are fundraising ?

It's going to be tough. So focus on aligning yourself to the investors that can be helpful and who you can be helpful to in return. And a lot of that will be privates - private money, technologists, and technology entrepreneurs who can come with more than just money into your fund and who you can actually bring something to that they're not seeing directly themselves.

Q: What’s the most counterintuitive thing you’ve learned in venture?

More help to companies is not always positively correlated to the outcomes. In fact, it's often negatively correlated. So your big successes don't necessarily need a huge amount of help from you. And you need to know when to step back.

But equally, in those big outcomes, there could be very small interventions that can actually move the needle sufficiently. Because of the scale, it can be big. So it's kind of that about finding thatmatch of involvement versus outcome.

Upcoming events

📺 Virtual events we’re hosting

The Evolution of European Venture | Dec 15, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Winning with non-dilutive funding in Europe | Dec 11, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Register here

Data-Driven Portfolio Modeling | Jan 17, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Register here

🤝 In-person events we’re attending

Hit us up if you’re going, we’d love to connect!

GoWest | 📆 6 - 8 February | 🌍 Gothenburg, Sweden

Odense Investor Summit | 📆 13 - 15 March | 🌍 Odense, Denmark

SuperVenture | 📆 4 - 6 June | 🌍 Berlin, Germany

Nordic LP Forum & TechBBQ | 📆 September | 🌍 Copenhagen, Denmark

North Star & GITEX Global | 📆 14 - 18 Oct | 🌍 Dubai, UAE

GITEX Europe 2025 | 📆 23 - 25 May 2025 | 🌍 Berlin, Germany