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Double Cheque S1 Ep5: Imtiaz Shams

Imtiaz Shams is a partner at Post Urban Ventures UK, a venture builder that creates science-based technology companies. Imtiaz has then gone on to revolutionize chicken farming through his other venture FLOX, which he is CEO of. He also is the founder of FaithtoFaithless, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to reducing discrimantion of people that left high-control religions.

Venture building is all the talk these days and Imtiaz breaks down why it’s such a hot topic. In addition, he shares what he looks for in a startup prospect and in a founder as an LSE Entrepreneur Prize judge. Lastly, Imtiaz talks about the incredible work they do at FLOX, where chicken farming is getting the technological advancements it deserves to make it more sustainable.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Imtiaz managed his time and attention over multiple ventures

  • What Imtiaz looks for in founders as an investor and judge

  • Imtiaz’s relationship with faith and why he set up a charity to help people who left their religion behind


Show Notes

  • [00:05] Introducing Imtiaz

  • [00:56] What role does instinct play in Imtiaz’s decision making? How does he know when to act on them?

  • [03:01] How does Imtiaz know whether an instinct is right or wrong?

  • [03:39] What role does faith play in Imtiaz’s decision making, especially in his business? What kind of evidence does he look for?

  • [06:55] What is Imtiaz’s relationship with his faith? How did his charity Faith to Faithless transpire?

  • [09:06] What does being an LSE Entrepreneur Prize Judge entail and how did Imtiaz first get into it?

  • [11:22] How does Imtiaz judge LSE startups and what does he look for in a grantee?

  • [13:07] Why Imtiaz thinks timing and experience are pivotal to the inception of a startup

  • [16:20] What is venture building and how are Post Urban Ventures different from others?

  • [19:20] Why is venture building becoming more common these days?

  • [23:46] What made Imtiaz decide to focus on FLOX?

  • [25:24] What problem are they trying to solve with FLOX?

  • [27:31] What UK industries or sectors do Imtiaz think have the leg up over the US?

  • [28:43] Why is it easier to grow your money in the US than in the UK?

  • [30:12] What are some mistakes that startup founders would often commit?

  • [35:59] If Imtiaz can choose anyone to invest in his business, who would that person be?

  • [37:34] What tips can he share when starting or building a relationship with VCs?

  • [40:03] If Imtiaz hypothetically had a million dollars, which company would he invest it in?

  • [43:26] Closing remarks


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