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Coaching Start-ups is rewarding and fun

Posted 13/4/2016

Yesterday I spend a marvellous day at Start-up sauna listening and coaching 12 different Nordic companies in E!nnovest Venture Academy. I have been involved with start-ups now for a bit over one year listening closer to 200 pitches and coaching over 30 companies. Here are some of my takeaways based on my experiences so far.

I have seen a huge variety of companies in multiple industries with products or services targeted to both businesses and consumers. I am taken by the enthusiasm, excitement and entrepreneurial spirit of the people working in start-ups. I am impressed how well some of them apply the latest technologies and how fast they develop globally scalable solutions. I enjoy the flexibility, agility and let’s make things happen –attitude how these start-ups run their business. I feel the most improvement is needed in how to go to the market, putting enough resources on sales and marketing vs R&D and avoiding unnecessary modesty when telling about your company and seeking for funding.  

As an angel investor it seems that the more I hear different companies to pitch, the pickier I get. My key selection criteria for potential investment are:

  • I get really excited about the business idea

  • Business model, go-to market model and scalability of the business easily convince me about the business potential

  • The team has both business and technical competency

  • The team is coachable and our chemistries match

  • I can contribute to the success of the company with my experience and networks

If you are interested more about business angel investing, I very warmly recommend you to join Fiban (www.fiban.fi). It is a very active, friendly and competent angel network. Also for a start-up company, it is a place to look for funding and experienced angels.

Angel activity is not a full-time job for me but an interesting and important add-on to stay tuned what is happening in digitalization and what kind of new innovations are popping up to apply it as well as to give my contribution to grow new business in Finland. So far it has been mentally very rewarding and fun – the financial rewards hopefully also come one day.