Julien Coustaury

Julien has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and services, much of it at CEO level. He has worked in more than 80 countries across five continents and participated in over $1.7bn of purchase, sale and financing transactions. He is no stranger to starting things: in his early career he travelled the world building mobile phone networks from literally from the ground up, and as his career progressed he ended up building whole mobile phone companies from scratch.

In recent years he shed the corporate world to allow his entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. As part of the founding team of Double Recall, Julien attended YCombinator S11 class. He then became an active founder of ABC Accelerator in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and of ABC First Growth, the VC arm of ABC. He became a serial investor in early stage businesses and with his partner invested in more than 40 early stage ventures, and he still serves on the boards of a number of them.

It was Julien’s inspiration that led to the formation, and naming, of Fil Rouge Capital in 2016, and he has been instrumental in its rise to prominence in the SEE region as a favoured investor. He holds a master’s Degree in Telecom engineering, he is an avid skier and wakeboarder, cultivates olives for oil, and has an extensive cellar full of Bordeaux wine which he generously shares.

Roger Blott

Roger is an experienced professional manager with 30 years of experience in manufacturing and service industries, mostly in telecommunications and technology. He has managed businesses in the Far East, United States, Africa and Europe in many capacities, most recently at CEO or regional CEO level. He has extensive experience in the formulation, financing and management of joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions, having managed over $2BN of transactions including IPO’s, secondary offerings and public debt issuance. He has started up companies, bought and turned-around companies, and sold them. As an early pioneer in the mobile telecommunications industry around the world  he has experienced the highs and lows of fast-growing consumer service businesses, sometimes making mistakes and learning from them.

As co-founder of Fil Rouge Capital he has extensive experience in investing in early-stage businesses, understands the needs of entrepreneurs and the management of growth. He has mentored numerous businesses inside and outside Fil Rouge Capital.

Roger holds a first-class honors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and until recently was a Fellow of the Association of Certified Accountatns (UK). A closet nerd, he enjoys writing software, building useless robots and is a private pilot. He is almost too old to still be wake-boarding and likes to drink his partner’s Bordeaux.

Aleš Pustovrh

Aleš has completed his PhD in 2014 in Open Innovation at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is one of the active founders of ABC Accelerator in Ljubljana, Slovenia and is also a founder of ABC First Growth, the VC arm of ABC. Until recently, he split his time between ABC and his professorship at the university. He has tutored and mentored over 150 companies in the three years since the formation of ABC, and was its most experienced manager.

He continues to research new forms of innovation, emerging innovation systems and business models connected to them at the university, and he is also systematically working with both start-up companies and large corporations trying to achieve accelerated growth. He remains closely connected to South, Eastern and Central Europe, using the diverse environments and experiences as inputs for his research.

Ales brings a unique perspective to Fil Rouge Capital, balancing his partners’ managerial backgrounds with experience of start-ups untainted by the corporate world, and he does have a doctorate, so he should really be addressed as Dr. Pustovrh. His outdoor passion is mountain-based: walking, climbing and even ice-climbing. To the dismay of his partners he does not wakeboard and he is no threat to the Bordeaux cellar, although a beer is another matter.

Sonja Žigić

Prior to joining Fil Rouge, Sonja worked as a social media manager for one of the top marketing agencies in the region, and her non linear journey is driven by her innate curiosity and constant need to improve her education. Her fields of expertise include social media advertising and community management, SEM, SEO and creating compelling content for her brands and clients alike. Former Law student turned social media devotee, Sonja holds her degree as a Digital Marketing Specialist from the Algebra University College, Zagreb.

Sonja’s role is to balance her responsibilities as a PR for the company with developing and supporting marketing strategy, communication and brand management/ corporate identity for FRC’s portfolio. Self-proclaimed grammar freak, in her free time (i.e. when she’s not correcting someone’s spelling at the office), Sonja enjoys vintage shopping and takes much pride in her extensive collection of rare vintage dresses and in the fact that she is a wake-boarding prodigy.

Ana Bognar

Ana comes to us from the world of pharmaceuticals where she was involved in the project management of pharmacovigilance. She is no stranger to compliance and administration and brings these skills to Fil Rouge. She is formerly a student of language, having taught English and Spanish, and he has some German, French, Italian and even Esperanto. In a previous life she worked in the Department of European Affairs at the Croatian Parliament.

Her passions are singing which will improve the general cultural quality of the Fil Rouge Team immeasurably. More prosaically, she loves dogs, coffee, and baking.

Ena Bogut

Ena brings a unique perspective to FRC in her role as analyst and market researcher. With a background of undergraduate study of Business Economics and her role as a Demonstrator at the Department of Organisation and Management at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb. As a result she has been co-opted into organisation of the FRC team and compliance. Whilst working with the European Youth Parliament she has a breadth of communications skills which makes her a great asset working with diverse start-up teams.

What Ena discreetly hides from her colleagues, however, is a great talent as a dance teacher. She also has a keen interest in European travel, as well as a fondness for the odd gin and tonic.

Stevica Kuharski

Stevica has a background as a developer and a serial founder: Habbits, Locodels and Alamo (robotic landmowers) are just three from his extensive portfolio. He is seriously involved with the Croatian start-up scene. In 2012 with the support from US Embassy and later organisational support from STEP Ri, he founded Startup Camp; a program for early stage startups. Dozen of start-ups managed to raise $2.2m USD after the program.

In 2015 he attended International Visitors Leadership program; the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. During those two months in the USA he met numerous investors, start-up founders and entrepreneurs from both the States and all over the world. Another closet nerd in the team, when not on his boat, in his spare time Stevica develops software just for the fun of it.

Mili Ibrulj

Mili joins the team from Granular Group, a consultancy that focuses on creation and deployment of digital strategies and analytics. Mili supported this with more than eight years of working in management and marketing with international working experience in countries in the region and Western Europe. His main point of interest is developing digital strategies and analytics as well as technologies like machine learning and the Internet of things.

No stranger to the start-up world, he has experience in both B2B and B2C businesses and is specialized in consulting start-up teams on how to grow their digital businesses. He has also ran the faculty at the HUB385 academy for SEO and Digital analytics in diverse verticals including banking, travel/tourism, e-commerce and SaaS.

He loves long distance kayaking, dark chocolate and Pink Floyd and is a bit ashamed to admit to be an Arsenal supporter. Should we be worried?

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