How to scale software & SaaS ventures effectively - key insights from successful business leaders & investors
Nihal Mehta, Eniac Ventures - you learn the most from epic failures!
Nihal Mehta, General Partner at Eniac Ventures, experienced the pain of building a tech venture that failed during the dotcom collapse. He's subsequently founded & exited several successful tech ventures - Nihal was also an early investor in the likes of Uber and Admob – so he’s got a pretty strong track record spotting disruptive companies with unicorn potential!
the resilience of New York city - despite covid
lessons learnt from the dotcom collapse that today’s tech entrepreneurs can leverage
the need for tech founders to be able to answer this question: “Are you 1 of the very few teams in the world that could pull off this mission?”
how to use Twitter and LinkedIn to engage with enterprise prospects & clients
the mental health issues facing entrepreneurs and tech leaders during the pandemic
why Eniac's portfolio has been actively hiring ethnic & gender diversity board members & employees
For more insights into Eniac Ventures, head over to https://eniac.vc & for gudiance on recruiting leadership talent for tech startups & scaleups check out https://alpinasearch.com
Tech scaleups: making a difference to society & to the environment
Emily Bremner heads up operations & scaling at Signal – a UK scaleup who’ve raised $52m in funding from the likes of Redline Capital, MMC Ventures, Hearst Ventures, GMG Ventures & Frontline Ventures. Signal’s solution uses machine learning to help their clients track the competitive landscape & monitor their reputation & key regulatory changes — empowering them to make smarter, faster, business decisions.
Why ESG - Environmental, Social and Governance - objectives are crucial for tech ventures & for society
How Signal's solutions help their clients embrace ESG
The initiatives Signal has implemented to strengthen diversity & inclusivity including:
diversity shortlist quotas
prioritising candidate abilities rather than focusing on “markers of prestige”
recalibrating their Board and Advisory Board to better reflect and lead their D&I aspirations
How Signal has changed - in terms of structure and hiring practices - to handle rapid growth in revenues & headcount
Since "businesses grow exponentially and people often grow linearly" – ideas for supporting employees who cannot grow with the business
Why startups & scaleups need to be careful not to be seduced large blue chip employers on candidates' CVs
Tools & techniques Signal have implemented to build a harmonious & highly effective global team that performs effectively in a WFH environment
We also discussed how Emily's inspirations come not from the Tech/VC community - but from the likes of Dave Chapelle (stand-up comedian) & Neil deGrasse Tyson (US astrophysicist) who's advice includes: “if you're good at bullshitting people, you're not hanging out with the right people”!
And Emily recommended all startups and scaleups can learn valuable lessons from these 2 books: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (Patrick Lencioni) and The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)
For more insights into Signal check out https://www.signal-ai.com/ and for guidance on recruiting stellar senior talent at B2B tech startups & scaleups head over to https://alpinasearch.com/
How can founders prove to investors they'll be hiring machines?
Ricardo Sequerra is a Partner at Point 9 Capital in Berlin. Point 9 invests in early stage b2b SaaS ventures & they’ve backed several unicorns including Zendesk and Typeform!
We explored how & why early stage venture founders should:
convince VCs of potential product market fit
prove to investors they'll be hiring machines
hire a Head of People long before they start scaling rapidly
expand into The States to access proven scaleup leadership talent
We also chatted about Ricardo's most amusing investment pitch experience - when a Brazilian entrepreneur pitched Ricardo moments after he'd finished praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem!
For more insights into Point 9 Capital check out http://pointnine.com & for advice on hiring stellar startup & scaleup leaders head over to https://alpinasearch.com
How to fund your Saas startup with superstars like Thierry Henry instead of VCs!
Gareth Capon is the CEO & Founder at Grabyo – a cloud-based video platform working with over 70 premium broadcasters, sports properties & digital publishers including FOX Sports, The Premier League, FC Barcelona, BT Sport and Sky.
We explored how Grabyo:
raised their funding from soccer stars Robin Van Persie, Thierry Henry & Cesc Fabregas and NBA star Tony Parker
have maintained better control of destiny during the pandemic than many of their VC-funded peers
are lowering their clients' carbon footprint – & helping them during lockdowns - as content can now be created from events without the need to be physically present
We also discussed the future of the broadcast/video sector as it shifts rapidly to a streaming-led model
For more insights into Grabyo check out https://about.grabyo.com/uk/ & for advice on hiring stellar talent to scale B2B saas ventures head over to https://alpinasearch.com
How to launch your own VC fund & shake up the old boys networks!
Matt Penneycard is co-Founder at Ada Ventures, a $34m London-based venture capital fund investing in overlooked founders. Ada Ventures launched in December 2019 to shake up the “old boys networks” & unconscious biases that dominate the VC world
With humility & candour, Matt describes:
Ada's desire to invest in founders who are consumed by the need to effect change and create massive ROI
How true early stage VC investing in the UK trails other markets especially the US
The lack funding for under-served markets e.g. female-led companies
The challenges of raising and running your 1st VC fund
How Ada drives dealflow through a unique network of scouts – these are leaders of diverse tech/startup communities who source deals & receive differentiated incentives
At the end of the podcast Matt proposed Ada Ventures as anchor investor in "Headhunter Ventures" if Gary were to launch his own VC fund;)
For more insights into Ada Ventures check out https://www.adaventures.com & https://medium.com/ada-ventures
And for guidance on hiring leadership talent for startups & scaleups head over to https://alpinasearch.com
Will AI make us all superhuman?
Dennis Kayser is the founding CEO at Forecast who raised $5.5m in 2019 for their SaaS solution which leverages artificial intelligence to transform project management & professional services.
Having launched the business in Copenhagen, why Dennis chose London for Forecast’s commercial HQ
Overcoming Covid’s challenges through flat structures & autonomous teams used to working remotely
How Forecast, from its inception, was created with a diverse workforce reflecting their diverse target customers - their 60 employees comprise 18 nationalities and a 50-50 gender split
How and why AI will make all of us superhuman!
Why Dennis decided to accept funding from a VC who valued Forecast 3x less than other VCs had valued the business
Why founders should not get starstruck just because a high profile VC reaches out to them
For more insights into Forecast head over to https://www.forecast.app & for advice on hiring stellar B2B SaaS scale-up talent check out https://alpinasearch.com