Julien Coustaury 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 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 of mergers and acquisitions, having managed over $2bn of transactions including IPO’s, secondary offerings and public debt issuances. 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 the Fil Rouge Capital.
Roger holds a first-class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and until recently was a Fellow of the Association of Certified Accountants (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 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.
Filip Bzik is an ambitious problem solver interested in consulting, technology and product development. He thinks that decisions should be made based on numbers and facts so that’s the reason why he loves numbers and case-solving problems. At the beginning of his career in high school, he co-founded an education startup with his friends. During his University education, he did several international business internships in companies from the Forbes 100 list. He has experience in fields ranging from payment, global marketing, and the telco industry.
In Fil Rouge Capital, Filip will act as a Junior Associate.
Currently, Filip is enrolled in a masters marketing-management degree at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Zagreb where he worked as an assistant to the Vice Dean of education at the Department of organization and management. Since childhood, he immediately fell in love with the airplanes so sometimes he flies small single-engine airplanes with his friends. In his free time, he does yoga, loves good food and enjoys a glass(es) of good wine.
Stevica Kuharski founded his first company back in 2003. During early 2000’s he’s building ERP software, mobile apps and games for various platforms. For mobile application Habbits he successfully raised seed investment. In 2012 with the support from US Embassy and later organisational support from STEP Ri, he started Startup Camp, program for early stage startups. Dozen of startups 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 the two months in USA he met numerous investors, startup founders and entrepreneurs from US and all over the world. He founded Locodels, sharing economy parcel distribution platform.