Startup Essential Workshop #2: Entrepreneurs & Teams

This week's startup essential workshop by Venturelab started with a take on what makes the ideal mindset of an entrepreneur: Lead speaker Stefan Steiner (Venturelab) emphasised that entrepreneurs must above all be prepared to face ups and downs. They must therefore be strongly passionate about their idea, seeing as the long working hours and high risk-taking involved in entrepreneurship is additionally demanding.

             

This is an attitude that must be shared by potential team members as well, as they are then better able to motivate you in hard times. Also, if your team genuinely believes in your idea, they are less likely to demand a market salary (which is more than what you can give them in the beginning!) and will instead ask for shares of the company.

Stefan furthermore recommended to hire only highly talented people in the beginning, as "A brings A, but B brings C", implying that talented employees will only bring in people that are on the same level as they are.

He added that the competence of the team has become known to be the "K.O. criteria" of investors, with 95% of investors putting the most importance on this.

             

 

Viktor Calabrò, CEO & Founder of Staff Finder, picked up on the subject by answering to a round of questions from the audience. Amongst the many tips he gave, he particularly recommended to write a sound founders agreement, only hire people than can do something a lot better than you can, vest the shares you give to new hires and speak to your customers very early.

He also built up on Stefan's views by basing his choice to only include investors in his advisory board on his belief that someone who believes in his company is bound to give better advice than someone with only has a title to give.

The workshop ended with participants giving presentations on how their starting team is structured, followed by feedback from Stefan and Viktor.

 

-Jack Gasser, ETH Entrepreneur Club

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