Money is globally available – just understand how to attract investors. Top tech companies started all over the world. In Microsoft Seattle, Spotify in Sweden, SAP in Germany, Samsung in Korea, Sony in Japan, Acer in Taiwan, Atos in France, Euthereum in Switzerland…

All have one thing in common: The somehow learned how to attract investors, had their story down and knew how to talk to investors – where ever they are.

Over the past 4 years we had startups from all over the planet in our accelerator and 50% got funded (the highest funding rate in the startup world).

Now we are starting to run free pitch events – ONLINE. These live events shall allow any entrepreneur, wherever they are on this planet to attend. No more traveling for entrepreneurs training.

Next training June 5 in all time zones! read more

We envision a world where prosperity is possible for all nations by increasing innovation and entrepreneurship locally.

Since we can’t get every entrepreneur in the world to come to Silicon Valley – Silicon Valley needs to come to the world – for free.

Please help spread the word, in particular in those countries where entrepreneurs don’t have easy access to capital. http://s3buzz.com/ntd5xx

 

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I’ve worked with over 100 startups in the past years and ran 5 businesses myself.

My experience – in this order: 

No. 1) Weak execution

Most failing startups could just not execute in a timely manner and/or showed a huge lack of judgment. They worked too hard on product features, too little with the market. They built too many “nice to have” features. They did not launch in time and did not work hard enough to build a use/customer base. Didn’t manage expenditures well enough. Failed to identify opportunities, failing to build strategic connection…

No. 2) No long term vision

It’s hard to convince a customer that your young startup is the right business if you just focus on your present product features. It’s hard to convince investors, partners, top talents if you can’t express where you want to take the company. 

As a result you won’t get enough traction and most likely fail.

No. 3) Superficial market/customer research

Lack of product-market fit. Very often startups develop products for themselves instead of for a large market. They keep their development too close to their chest instead of involving test customers very early on – even before they create their first prototype. The result is often to too far off from what the market needs. 

No. 4) Team weakness

No sense of urgency. Not fit enough on the technology side, not fit enough on the marketing side, not fit enough on the finance side, not fit enough on the operational side. 

5) Lack of connection power

Startup teams all too often underestimate the importance of building their own network of influential connections. Connections to influential users, influential industry groups, influential analysts, influential media, influential business alliances… Or they hope to find investors and mentors that provide those connections. In reality it’s just not working that way.

Re- money 

Many comments are made that money is one the problems. In all the cases and startups I’ve seen, lack of money never brought a startup down. Lack of funding is a function of one of the above issues – not a problem in itself. There is more money available than ever before – but the above weaknesses prevent startups to raise funding.

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The single best resource you as a founder can – and really really should – look for, is a co-founder.

1) Solopreneurs have the least success rates of all founders
2) A stellar business focused generalist will always be at best a mediocre product creator
3) The most talented developer is probably the least likely CEO

It takes teamwork to make a dream work ;)
The best founders are co-founders

Here is the rational behind a founders team versus a solopreneur:

  1. TIMING
    While the engineer creates the product the business person prepares the market.
    If you do both at the same time it takes twice as much
  2. SOCIAL SKILLS
    One reason for solopreneurs to stay alone is that they cannot attract a co-founders. If one cannot attract partners in the company, they mot likely can’t attract business partners, customers, top employees…. definitely is not attracting investors.
  3. SHARING ATTITUDE
    Another reason to stay alone is that people don’t want to share the success with others. Also this is an attitude that is scary for investors and questionable in itself. It maybe better to stay alone but also without investors.
  4. 1+1 MIND = MORE THAN 2 MINDS
    Having two powerful and complementary entrepreneurs work together is more than double the brainpower. The evolution of joint thoughts brings an unprecedented wealth of optimization and improvements.
  5. HIRED MANAGERS
    Hiring a co-founder equivalents is absolutely not an option. In case things go wrong, the employee may quite start his or her own business and create a powerful founders team. The original founder would have no chance.

All that said, solopreneurs have the hardest time to get funding. In the past 50 years no solopreneur made it all the way to the top. Our globally interconnected business world has grown too complex for a single person to successfully conquer it. And even if one person would be able to do that, a competitor with three top notch founders will always outperform a single founder.

 

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