Any founder of a startup knows that transforming an idea into a business is a long journey with multiple obstacles that are continuously testing you. But there’s one challenge in particular that will probably make you waste your time and money. We are speaking about your trip mates, those who are going to help you to become your idea into reality,
You see many individuals flocking the ‘startup movement’ as the biggest new craze on Planet Earth. What you also see, is a lot of these individuals jumping ship left and right from one startup to another, only staying in one startup for a limited period of time. How would you feel about a potential partner, that can’t commit to more than a year in a personal relationship?
Alright, the personal relationship is a little bit of a stretch, but I rest my case. If the person applying to work at your startup, has worked at the hottest startups (or why not any other company for that matter) always switching from one to another, what does that say about them? If they’re likely to always look for the sweetest deal for the short term and not make a substantial commitment to any company, would you really want them as part of your team?
Startups are bumpy and people get bruised. Don’t look for those that will bail at the first sight of trouble. Looking out for the biggest personal opportunity I can respect, but at the same time building a successful company takes time and you’ve got to put in the work. If you can’t commit to any company for longer than a year, then it’s worrying, to state the least. Six months is when you get to the real things and even at a year, you’re only getting started. Speaking of that longer term opportunity, the biggest rewards come around only after a while. Don’t expect an upside for free.
Those joining a startup with open eyes have a vast opportunity ahead of them, especially when in the ‘right boat’. Sure, startups aren’t as glorious as the press will lead you to believe, but the amount of experience, contacts, impact and so on you can have is unheard of in other environments, like your average large corporation. But everyone should be very honest about their own agenda for joining a startup. If you’re going to flake out in six months or a years time, make sure to let the startup know, as they will most likely be looking for those that can share their future success.
Building a team in an uncertain environment is a challenge, but in any context it’s the most important thing to get right in a company. It isn’t a walk in the park though and there are no shortcuts, you will have to build it one person at a time. Therefore you need to be extra cautious of warning flags that lay themselves in your hands. If you ignore them in the beginning, you’ll have to deal with them along the way. And most of the time, you need to deal with reality when it’s right in front of you, not in a years time when it blows up in your face.
“Startups Ecosystems” has started to appear in Google Trends and this is a good proof about how important these communities are for many regions and countries in order to achieve a sustainable economic development. Fostering entrepreneurial culture, building startups accelerators, launching competitions, mentoring and seeking funding are some of the main activities that are necessary to support startups.
It is key to have a good and deep understanding about how these startups ecosystems works if we want to get success and make supporting startups more cost effective, efficient and transparent.
One of the players in the startup scene that is understanding quite well these environments is Grow VC Group. Crowd Valley, a Grow VC Group company, now offers a platform and backoffice to many marketplaces and crowdfunding services, not only for startup funding but also to get more effective markets for all kinds of assets. Grow Advisors helps many finance companies, startup ecosystems and investors to build models that can utilize crowdfunding and p2p investing in their investing models. ChangeLab23 builds better usability and software for many growth companies. Grow VC Group is also working to build new co-investing models, and they have a stake in several startup companies as they help to build business for them. This means that Grow VC Group has taken an important role to build enablers and tools for growth companies around the world.
They have one more important component, Startup Commons. Startup Commons is a non-profit organization that was launched at a Kauffman Foundation event this summer. It offers tools including a platform to get startups, experts and investors together to build and develop companies, and components that each startup needs, like a Shareholders’ Agreement template. We also cooperate with other organizations, like Mobile Monday, that globally get mobile professionals together and also build new startups.
Grow VC Group also works with partners that offer tools and solutions for the same needs. One example is UK-based law services company Lawbite that especially has tailored its law services and online packages for entrepreneurs and startups. It is a good example of how the startup and growth company ecosystem needs new solutions. The old models that have worked for corporates don’t work for all companies. Funding, legal services and support communities for a growth company are good examples of those areas where new solutions are coming.
A good understanding is the first step towards the right direction and also is the way to build the future and help next generation of startups to grow smartly, locally and globally.
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