Jean-Francois Gallouin, Professeur at Ecole Centrale Paris, one of the French ‘Grandes Ecoles’, talks about how different start-ups and large groups can be, and why they need each other. (in French)
When you pitch to VCs, the primarily product that you are selling is: YOU!
Even more important than the business idea, VCs are investing in people: YOU and your team. So in a very short period of time, YOU have to make them like YOU. They have to be confident that YOU bring the following characteristics:
- Integrity (‘Can we trust you with our money?’)
- Passion (‘Are you ready to leave what you currently do? put your days, nights and week-ends into the new business?’)
- Experience (‘Have you done something similar before?’)
- Knowledge (‘Do you have domain expertise?’)
- Skills (‘Do you have the skill to run the business, technically, commercially etc?’)
- Leadership (‘Do you have a team? If you don’t have the skills, can you find people who are ready to follow you?’)
- Commitment (‘Will you be there until the end?’)
- Vision (‘How will you change the world?’)
- Realism (‘Do you understand how tough it is to change the world?’)
- Coachability (‘Can you listen and learn from the experience of others?’)
Here is the video:
If you are planning to launch a start-up, you need to put yourself into shape. Learn from Rocky Balboa what it takes:
- you need to believe in yourself, and believe that you will succeed – whatever everybody else (friend or foe) is telling you
- you need to recognise the opportunity when you see it – and this is unlikely to be the first opportunity that crosses your way
- you are going to be scared but that’s normal – get on with it!
- you need to get started – stop the day-dreaming of becoming a champion: get moving!
- you need to train, fight and become the best – you are unlikely to be the best when you start
- you need to accept set-backs, learn from them, and get back onto the stage – you learn more from your failures than from your successes
- you need endurance and build it up step by step, day by day, week by week – you won’t make much progress on a single day, but over months and years, you will be miles away from where you started
- you need to make sacrifice when you have to – you can’t have it all at once
- you need to enjoy success when you win!
Watch this video of Rocky and get started now!
Watch this video from Simon Sinek explaining why companies are successful and others are not. It all gets back to how great leaders communicate and inspire action.