Mirror, mirror…

You can feel the vibe of creativity-young, passionate and talented people sharing interesting projects. My fellow colleagues (angel investors, business developers) are empowering the future entrepreneurs. I attend events dedicated to startups and I get tons of ideas on how to improve my project designed to create a hub for startups.

But then, there are those young people still seeking for some kind of ‘’personalized’’ feedback during the breaks. Someone to understand their daily struggles, to provide insight for their situation. Not for ‘’the next level’’. To address them-the students without an entrepreneurial culture. Without the frilly philosophy that decorates the wings of these angel investors from up above.

They are the same young people so into all the inspirational stories behind successful startups. Answering so effectively the most technical questions just few minutes before. Maybe it’s the age also, but watching them it’s like seeing myself into a mirror. As a business developer, when I discover someone’s potential, the next step is to turn that into value.

‘’May the Force be with you!’’

These young people’s need for acknowledgment and support is a useful tool. They can learn from those more experienced. So, I won’t tap you on the shoulder to assure you that ‘’we’ve all been there and done that’’. Instead, I dare you to ask the right questions in order to find the ‘’tailored’’ answers that you’re longing for.

Here are some tested solutions that make the difference between the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ and a future successful entrepreneur.

Real Advice Key to Developing a Startup. Part I


1. Many people have great ideas, but it’s not enough. Get used to it!

You’ve got a million dollar idea. You’ve got the passion and engagement. You’re ready to develop a start-up! Not yet!

  • do you have relevant knowledge in entrepreneurship, economics, marketing?
  • did you made a business/marketing plan?
  • how do you implement your plan?
  • how do you get funding?

Recommendation: Honestly pre-test yourself to identify the available resources, as well as the gaps, before you draw up a plan.
2. What is a Plan? SWOT Analysis and SMART Objectives. Executive Summary

A business plan should contain some key points: detailed business model; the product/services plus dedicated market segment; execution and logistics; the available budget and sales predictions; customer profile and channels used to reach the customers.

  • SWOT Analysis. Internal resources-among weaknesses or strengths? Who’ll be covering business logistics and management? Can you afford the costs for an assistance firm (administration, legal, IT&C infrastructure) over an year? How much will you pay for product’s technical development?
  • SMART Objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed objectives. What is your unique selling proposition that differentiate your product from competitors in the (adequate) market segment? How does your product change your client’s life by adding value? What are the risks if anticipated sales are not accomplished?
  • Executive Summary – key facts and figures, tactics, and practical methods to implement the business strategy. What are the costs for the technical development of the product? What activities / campaigns / marketing channels will communicate brand identity and create interest that will convert into sales?


3. Teamwork. Do not engage in this travel all by yourself!

Good, now you have the cornerstone of any business. And it’s time for you to start pitching investors. But at every event, conference, contest, you’ve always been the introverted, shy guy. And it was ok then to be the thinker. But now you have to ‘sell’ your idea, and you don’t know how to do this… Your dream is obviously the coolest, it speaks for itself! Or maybe not, maybe you’re not ready for the next step.

  • Have you ever heard of sharing tasks according to someone’s skills? The ideal team for a successful start-up in Silicon Valley is considered to be made up of a trio of people specialised in different fields. The technical guy who has the idea-which means you. The business person-helping to draw up the plan mentioned above and another person to connect all the dots. The one defining and promoting the product.
  • According to recent studies, young Romanians involved in start-up entrepreneurial activities work 10 hours a day, about 21% more than full time employees. Over a third of them, in the beginning earn under 500 euros per month. Are you sure that, given the facts, you’ll manage finding the most versatile and creative approach all by yourself?

Recommendation: do not go to war without all the support that you need!

-to be continued-


Startups: Real Advice for Key Stages – Part 1

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