Justin Liberman

Co-Founder & Partner
MelbourneAustralia

What impresses you in the first meeting with an entrepreneur?

I really love meeting authentic entrepreneurs who are not afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers yet are really positive on their vision and confident that they can execute on it. Great founders often possess an unusual mix of certainty about their mission with paranoia…and are smart enough to know they need to build the right team to make it “happen”.

What was the greatest lesson an early job taught you?

I had a very brief career as a Lawyer and learned quickly that I needed a more creative outlet! I need to be working in a really collaborative environment to excel and I think that applies to most really successful endeavours. Culture and more specifically, having a group of aligned people with common values and goals, is an imperative to achieving meaningful things.

What do you want to know when meeting an entrepreneur?

I really want to know the “why” and get a sense that there is a real pain-point/problem that they are trying to solve. I think having that sense of mission is really critical to building the right team and culture to accomplish the seemingly impossible!

What in your childhood made your career trajectory probable?

I grew up in a family that came out of extreme adversity with the burning desire to build businesses! I have been extremely fortunate to grow up in a family which encourages risk-taking and committing to achievement and excellence. My father has been an incredible mentor - as well as thinking “big”, he has taught me that acting fairly and ethically is most important.

Why is early-stage investing your favourite?

As much as I like investing across different asset classes and stages, there is nothing quite like the excitement of being part of something at its infancy. I suppose it’s a bit like having kids; there is a very special connection to something you help birth and raise… even with the challenges and imperfections! And, the returns possible from early-stage investing do make it compelling - if you’ve got the stomach, balance sheet and little bit of luck that we all need!

Where is the magic at Square Peg?

I think there is a healthy amount of debate at Square Peg that’s critical to helping us improve and get to where we want to be - a respected and successful technology investor backing some of the best teams in the world and helping to build great businesses!

What are you excited about?

Besides tennis and travelling, today I’m excited by the application of technology to older industries, such as real estate, agriculture, health and finance.

What’s the most underappreciated skill in founders?

I think that founders who are able to inspire by constantly learning and striving to get better are priceless. Combining big-picture thinking with an ability to focus and be across important details are traits of outstanding Founders I love supporting.

What about your work inspires you?

Meeting people who want to make a dent in the world and being across lots of businesses means that I’m often inspired and always learning, which makes me a very lucky fellow!

What keeps it fun?

We have a team of people that care deeply about what we are doing and are able to have fun along the way. I don’t believe there is anyone at Square Peg who takes themselves too seriously and I think that’s what it’s about - putting founders first and loving that we’re playing the support role!

Companies

Square Peg Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 164 352 229) is an Authorised Representative of Victoria Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 159 228 314) AFSL 428989