Stéphanie Heller

Managing Partner and co-founder

Stéphanie, co-founder and Managing Partner of Bootstrap Europe, draws from her experience in private equity and VC investing as well as entrepreneurship and company building.

Before co-founding Bootstrap Europe, Stéphanie founded, built and was on the Board of several successful technology and financial companies in Zurich and London, such as the award winning fintech start-up Fractal Labs (sold). Stéphanie takes her experiences as a founder and translates that into pragmatic and compassionate guidance and direction for Bootstrap Europe’s portfolio company founders.

Bootstrap Europe’s philosophy of providing debt financing for growth companies was developed between 2008 and 2012 when Stephanie was responsible for the private equity assets of Cape Capital AG, a Zurich-based multi-asset manager and family office investing in a spectrum of companies and funds, from start-ups to mature businesses. Driven by the belief that more capital should be directed to entrepreneurs and innovation, Stephanie founded The Real Economy Effect (TREE) in 2012 to help family offices manage their private equity investments. TREE managed a portfolio of c. €350M in more than 30 growth and venture companies in the technology & health sectors in the US and in Europe.

The portfolio also included LP investments in and equity co-investments with technology funds based in Europe and in Silicon Valley, which helped solidify the initial knowledge and insights into the venture ecosystem. Additionally within TREE, Stephanie helped structure several yielding fund strategies such as pharma royalties, movie royalties and music royalties funds. Management of a diverse portfolio of investments required active negotiation, close monitoring and restructuring skills in difficult situations, experience and skills which Stephanie now brings to bear in the Bootstrap Europe portfolio.

Stephanie initially built her financial experience and expertise in the London M&A team of Deutsche Bank, where she specialised in the Industrials Sector, working on transactions which gave her a solid foundation in M&A and financial and credit analysis. Prior to that she worked in Paris for Calyon, French investment bank, within the Credit Risk Ratings team. Stephanie is fluent in French, English and German, and is a graduate of HEC Business School in Paris where she majored in Finance and took executive business law classes at Universität St Gallen Management School.