The startup scene is filled with young entrepreneurs looking to create the next breakthrough platform, software, product or whatever it may be. Through the journey they are face many obstacles, challenges and constraints. One of the more common challenges is obtaining resources and capital to help scale their business to the next level or even initial growth.
The answer or the solution to their growth or scalability in most cases is an investor who believes in the business model, individual or even acts as a mentor without investment. Over the last 4 years I have attended several pitches in the USA, Australia and recently in Turkey. You talk to the startup founders before their pitch and many of them are very nervous and at breakpoint before they go up and pitch. You ask them why are you soo nervous? The most common response I heard was I really need this money to grow and scale my business, I have several clients or purchase orders ready to be fulfilled but I can’t fulfill them because I don’t have the capital. To me it’s very sad, I have never pitched nor do I plan to, I am under the belief that if my business is good enough I will win.
On the other side you speak to Investors and by no means am I referring to all, but a majority from what I have seen and they are sitting enjoying their coffee chatting away while the startup founders are at breaking point. There are a few role model investors who organise mentor sessions, help nurture these young startup founders to growing their businesses and achieving their dreams. An investor who I personally know and definitely gives a fair bit back is Adrian Stone, one of the early pioneers of the startup scene in Melbourne or even Australia I should say. He is forever organising mentor sessions and announcing them on twitter and other social media platforms, really giving back and not forgetting that he was once a founder.
It saddens me to see investors forgetting the days of the real grind, hustling from event to event all over the world looking for funding, pitching in front of hundreds if not thousands of people. Feeling sick, anxious, nervous and about to pass out before they go up and put their lives on the line. For many young entrepreneurs their startups are all they have, they have sacrificed everything to get their startups off the ground.
Just remember if they were your siblings or children you would not wish it upon them. Take your precautions, do your due diligence but never forget what you once were….
Thank you for your attention!