Startups

Startup Success Decoded

 

Rahul Bhargava takes a look at thriving startups and shares the key factors that led to their success. 

Recently, one of the startups I am working with, asked to ‘decode’ a post by Michael Stewart he had read about success factors for a startup. This post itself was a further assessment based on the TED talk by Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, given in March, 2015 on the topic. The talk and further assessment by Michael assessed 5 factors for startup success – Ideas, Business Model, Team, Funding and Timing – and gave verdict on Timing as the most important success factor amongst these.

To assess the impact of Timing, Bill asked the following questions (not exhaustive) from 100 Ideallab companies and 100 non-Idealab companies: Is the idea too early?  Is the world not ready for it?  Is too much education of the customer required? Or is it too late, giving the competition too much time to be competitive?

The question asked from me was – How do we decide if the timing is right for our startup? I shared with them a version and then thought of taking it to a wider audience for inputs.

Overall, a large number of factors that influence a startup could be taken care off by the other 4 parameters (Funding, Team, Idea or Business Model). I believe that those factors that are not completely under your control, are the ones to be considered under Timing.

 

Key points include:

  • Product development
  • Customer acceptance
  • Scale up requirements

 

Read the full post, Decoding the biggest success factor for Startups, on LinkedIn.

 

Welcoming new member Janet Bumpas

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Janet Bumpas. Janet Bumpas comes from Silicon Valley where she was part of three startups. She loves all aspects of growing an idea through launch and then building it in the marketplace. Usually, she focuses on product, working with customers to understand their needs and translates these into a product. Currently, she lives in the Netherlands where she works both with large companies and entrepreneurs helping them to launch and scale businesses. She has run accelerator programs for entrepreneurs and intrapraneurs and really enjoys both working with teams and facilitating larger group workshops.

Janet has also consulted many of the world’s leading organizations on growth and profitability strategies.  After receiving her MBA from The Harvard Business School, she worked at BCG. She later worked at Razorfish as a Senior Strategist where she advised corporate clients on how to profitably use the Internet to further their corporate goals. Finally, Janet has extensive experience in international development (World Health Organization, the World Bank, TechnoServe, and as a consultant to several other international development organizations).

Welcoming new member Uma Sethi

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Uma Sethi. Uma was a Founding member and Principal at BCG Digital Ventures, where she led multi-disciplinary teams to innovate and launch new startups, digital products or experiences.

Prior to that, she was at McKinsey for nearly 10 years. She served as the America’s Retail Practice Manager for 4 years and the remainder as a classic strategy consultant. Uma was also a Founding Member of globalgiving.com.

Uma currently lives in Redondo Beach, California with her husband and 2 young boys. Uma is looking to collaborate on innovation or strategy projects.

How to Assess Your VC Investor

 

Diane Mulcahy provides valuable questions to help discern the compatibility of an investor before accepting funds for your next project. 

In the race to get the check in hand, most entrepreneurs don’t do in-depth due diligence — or any due diligence — on the venture capital (VC) firms they pitch. Founding teams eager to raise capital to grow their companies enter into long-term partnerships with VC firms they don’t know well. It’s a risky strategy that can leave startup CEOs in mis-aligned partnerships with unrealistic expectations.

 

The four questions covered in depth are:

  • What is the VC’s track record?
  • How much money is the VC personally investing?
  • How big is the VC fund?
  • Do you have a list of portfolio company CEOs?

 

Read the full article, Don’t Take Money from VCs Until You’ve Asked 4 Questions, on the Harvard Business Review.

 

A Survey of Startups

 

Christy Johnson shares valuable insights from a survey of Seattle start-ups.

Most Seattle startups are very focused on the data—they rely heavily on data to drive product decisions. Seattle is home to Amazon and Microsoft, which have leveraged data to succeed in everything from retail, to cloud computing, software development and artificial intelligence. But it’s also home to non-technology companies like Starbucks, that are operating like technology companies and utilizing data to make their core business decisions.

Visionary technology companies like Apple, Facebook, Uber and Google  are establishing outposts in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Talent from Silicon Valley is migrating to the PNW because we have these innovative tech companies and a quality of life/cost of living that’s better than Silicon Valley

The PNW has consistently been criticized for not talking about social issues like race—and Silicon Valley companies have begun sharing diversity statistics with their communities, but few Seattle companies have followed suit

To understand what these facts meant for our startups culture, we surveyed more than 315+ employees at start-ups (defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees) in the Seattle area about their experience.

 

Read the results, including:

  • The issue diversity
  • Gender equality
  • What you can do

 

Read the full article, The Seattle Startup Survey Results are in…, on the Artemis Connection website.