Terese Hougaard

Terese is a Partner based in London and works on the investment team, focusing on early stage B2B opportunities across climate and fintech. She led Atomico's investments in Abacum, Vaayu, and Opna.

I want to work with founders who are obsessed with the idea they’re bringing to life and have fun with it. It’s something they can’t not do. Startup life is tough, risky and hard work, and I think you have to be all-in to make it happen.  

Kindness and authenticity go a long way! 

The investor-founder world is all about building strong human ties and relationships. Being genuine and a joy to work can too often be underrated. The old mantra of “is this someone you’d want a beer with” holds true, always. 

Moving to San Francisco in 2015 changed my life

Being part of the startup and VC ecosystem in Silicon Valley was a thrilling experience. As a member of Google’s investment fund, CapitalG, I had the chance to work with and learn from incredible companies such as Stripe, Robinhood and UiPath. Now back in Europe, I’m excited by how fast the ecosystem here is growing, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with excellent founders who are not afraid to dream really big.  

I’m a nerd when it comes to marketing 

I’ve spent a large part of my career working as an operator in marketing, first at American Express and then at Google, and started my career in investing by advising and working with CMOs in Silicon Valley. I often see marketing as somewhat forgotten in the B2B context, but in my mind it’s vital. 

The need to develop your customer personae, positioning, messaging, and brand is crucial for success    

The best founders have a ruthless focus on their customers. They know who they are and what they want, and have developed their product with minute attention to detail around what their customer desires, to ensure that not only the product but the experience around it creates customer delight.  

I’m from Copenhagen, Denmark, and grew up there and in Bermuda. 

I went to an international school all my life and moved to the UK after graduation, then spent time in NYC and 5 years in San Francisco. Travel and meeting new people, from all over the world and with different backgrounds, is a key energiser for me! 

We need more founders who prize diversity and the value it brings

Diversity makes businesses better. I’ve found that the most interesting opportunities often appear in areas that challenge our preconceived notions, and from thinking that goes against the status quo. Diverse teams make this sort of thinking better, and easier to achieve - multiple different perspectives create better solutions, simple as that. 

Flying a plane changes how you think

I fly single engine piston aircraft. I’m obsessed with learning - which is also why I love investing so much - and with flying, I’m constantly learning completely new things that would normally never be part of my everyday life: how weather works, the intricacies of an engine, the magic behind aerodynamics. In the sky, you’re literally and physically pulled away from everyday life, and flexing my mind in such a different environment gives me new ideas and thoughts that I can use back on the ground! 

Other partnerships with Terese

  • Opna logoOpna logo
  • Vaayu logoVaayu logo
  • Abacum logoAbacum logo