In order to avoid being stamped with the label of 'wantrepreneur', follow my three top tips for founders:
- Stop 'looking for a technical co-founder' and go get technical.
You don’t need to be a coding genius to start a company, but you should at least understand the intricacies of how your product works and be able to knowledgeably communicate and manage teams of developers to deliver that product. It’s hard to be taken seriously as a founder if you don’t know how your product works, and believe me developers are often the smartest people in the room and will see through you immediately if you try to bluff it to recruit them.
- Ideas are worthless, execution is everything
- Venture Capital & funding: Let’s review the basics
So, before you even think about approaching any investors, ask yourself - 'if this was my money, could I prove that this idea is already making money because I've built a product people actually want and I can show that people are using it?' 9 time out of 10, Europe's best VCs are smarter than you so if the answer is no, don't bother. If your idea is not designed to make money right away then you need to be able to demonstrate it is a product users want by showing substantial user acquisition prior to seeking out external funding.
Nobody on this side of the pond ever raised serious VC investment without first doing the hard yards getting their product into the hands of their intended users, using whatever means they could afford, and then convincing them to either tell their friends or pay for the service. This idea that someone will write you a cheque for having an idea is a myth. VC is business not fantasy, make sure
By Bryce Keane, Founder and Managing Partner of Albion Drive