We have all been there before, where we make grandiose plans for the weekend, and then our plans suddenly get derailed by some random activity, and then we end up not doing anything tangible. Well that random activity for me was binge watching netflix’s THE ONE but I don't regret it one bit. As soon as I read the description and saw the words “Startup” I was hooked.
For those of you who haven't yet seen it, here is the premise to the series without spoiling it: a young PhD researcher (Rebecca Webb) and her best friend founded a startup that can pair people with their perfect partner based solely on their DNA samples (let's pause here for a minute, this would have been so relevant for we single pringles #justSaying). But the series journeys how she started the company and turned it into a multibillion dollar company. Spoiler alert!! There was blood, romance, betrayal and mayhem. After watching the show, I realised there were so many gems entrepreneurs such as myself need to consider while building a tech venture.
Here are 3 lessons i pulled out from the show:
1. Find the right investor
Young Rebecca understood that her innovation was revolutionary and it would take revolutionary investors who understood the science behind her innovation to invest in her. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make is to pitch to every investor they see at every event, but this not only is a waste of time, it can put your venture at risk in the long run. It is always helpful to search for investors who have experience investing in your area of innovation because they understand the market and can actually add value to your business other than providing finance. Remember investment is a two way street, so do your research and due diligence.
2. It is better to be correct than fast
Entrepreneurship is a very long journey and there are no shortcuts to attaining your goals. Experienced entrepreneurs will tell you, some things just take a long time to achieve while some things don't, but you have to learn to enjoy the process. In starting her company Rebecca decided to take some shortcuts, which in the long run would impact the final outcome of her company. She meant well at most times, but if she had stayed within the straight and narrow road, it would have taken her longer and she wouldn’t have had a lot of headaches. Also being correct doesn't mean you have to be perfect before you enter the market, it just means you have done things the right way before entering the market. (Right now it probably feels like I am writing in parables, but I am trying really hard not to spoil this show for you).
3. There is no perfect product
What I found interesting the most was, Rebecca had created the perfect and most revolutionary product ever. Think about it, her innovation could guarantee that you found the love of your life, as well as guarantee the perfect relationship. But even with this, the market didn’t react as she expected because of how dynamic and random humans are. So, if you are focused on creating the perfect product, you are probably going to be disappointed. But instead of focusing too much on creating a perfect product, also take into consideration how the market might change and plan for this. If you are able to build a great product that takes into account potential changes in the market your startup is likely to last longer.
There are many other lessons about entrepreneurship that entrepreneurs need to know about but learning requires that you also have the right partners to help you succeed. BGI is that right partner for you. We have 2 of our acceleration programs currently opened:
EIT Digital Venture Program where we provide up to €25,000 plus mentoring and business development support to help early stage entrepreneurs launch their tech business. Application Deadline is the 8th of April. You can find more information here.
BGI Accelerator where we provide you with access to funds (dilutive and non-dilutive), training, business development support and connect you with industry players so your venture can scale into new markets. Application deadline is the 30th of April. You can find more information here.