Pietro Pollichieni

A head start from the leading Italian Investment Company, H-Farm!

Pietro Pollichieni was born in the deep south of Italy in 1987. After studying law, he started his career in investment banking at UniCredit in 2010, first in Milan, then in Munich. During his hard working days in the bank, with his co-founder Alessandro they realized that they had lost the time to dedicate to their passions, reading at first. So they decided to try and build a community for short stories, which ten became 20lines, a beautiful community of passionate writers and readers from all over the World, which is now part of the HarperCollins family. At such a young age he nowadays is helping other entrepreneurs to create great businesses with H-Farm, the leading Italian early-stage VC!


Why do you believe there are so many startups lately?

I think it depends on the context:

The US, for example, always had a high turnover of new enterprises being founded, the evolution of technologies that happened over the last 10-15 years has just facilitated such phenomenon. Nowadays you can start a digital business with just $5,000 of initial investment, where ten years ago you would net ten times such amount.

In Europe, it is a bit different: I believe that the economic crisis we're experiencing pushed many people into entrepreneurship as they find it harder to be hired by the big companies they were aiming at while at school.

What type of startups does your company sponsor? And why?

H-Farm invests in digital companies with Italian DNA which have the potentialities to scale to a global level.

What makes “the right” startup for H-Farm to invest in?

In the companies we fund, we're looking for the combination that I call "the three Pros": Professionals, Product, and Profitability. In other words, we expect to find the perfect DNA match between the founding team and the business they're trying to build; we also look for a groundbreaking product-market combination that would make the difference between such company and its competitors; finally, we look for profitable business, meaning companies that have the potential to scale to a global level and make significant turnovers.

What do startups expect from you when they approach you?

We try to be "smart money", so not just a source of cash, but a team of professionals who can offer significant help and expertise in the company-building process.

Do you have a specific/fixed criteria when you turn down a startup?

No, of course there are cases in which we don't consider an investment in our scope, i.e. absence of an engineering team, or CTO; or, of course, if the company is in potential competition with one of our portfolio companies.

What or which are the best ways to communicate with you (investor) e.g. by phone, email, etc.? And what should the entrepreneur send you or tell you?

You can reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter (@About_Pietro)! A few tips when you reach out to an investor: always do it directly (try to avoid intermediaries or "advisors"), be synthetic and, if possible, attach a 1pager of your company!

What do you advise young Entrepreneurs?

I'm trying to sum up everything I learned from my experience so far which I will then post on Medium, follow me on Twitter for updates! For the moment, I'd just say: stay humble, and focus on people.