“It’s true: the likes of Dragon’s Den, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and podcasts like StartUp give the impression that building a business is as simple as having a good idea and finding some money to implement it. In reality, anyone who has actually tried to do it knows that it’s sleepless nights, dramatic highs and lows, and a willingness to change your product or service if there simply doesn’t seem to be a market fit. The only thing that’s certain about being an entrepreneur is that it is incredibly hard work – anyone who starts on the entrepreneurship journey learns that pretty quickly. I’d like to think that on balance, most people who decide to take the plunge, do so with the earnest intention of being successful. And once you’ve invested your heart and soul in an idea, walking away isn’t as easy as it might seem.”
CEO & Co-Founder
I’d worry if we ever become concerned about creating too many entrepreneurs – innovation can only truly take place on a mass scale if new ideas are actively encouraged to take shape.
All life’s lessons are learnt the hard way in start-ups and in my experience no entrepreneur gets an easy ride. However, certain govt, initiatives like EIS mean there is an abundance of seed capital available and less obstacles to obtain it – this is not the case for A and B rounds.
If seed investors are willing to back ‘playboy/playgirl’ entrepreneurs then surely it is a case of a fool and their money….
“While there might be some truth to that statement one doesn’t have to forget that the aforementioned increase in seed funding as well as the media attention towards startups also helped kick-start entirely new startup ecosystems in regions of the world in which entrepreneurship wasn’t “a thing”. Overall my belief is that the positive effect generated by the newly found excitement in entrepreneurship around the world will by far outweigh the opportunistic and somewhat insincere goals of a few entrepreneurs just looking for their lottery win.”
HV Holtzbrinck Ventures
“Raising funding in today’s climate will become ever more challenging so I don’t think this is necessarily the case; especially for serious entrepreneurs who attract seed funding from serious investors. The global economic situation now is also dictating a shift in funding which will quickly sort the wheat from the chaff. Those with inspired ideas, combined with an ability to execute skilfully, will have a better chance of succeeding. Nurturing a successful product is akin to raising a child; those who succeed have often put everything they have into it in order to grow it.”
CO Founder and CEO
I tend to agree:
a) Capital is more accessible today than it was in 2010. During this 5 year period, Angel/Seed financings grew 21% year-on-year and accounted for 40% of 11,200 transactions. Over 7,300 deals came in below $5m a piece, totalling $13 billion.
b) Technology companies are household names and their stories are romanticised in the news. This activates latent entrepreneurship.
c) Demand for technical talent outsrips supply. This reduces personal risk aversion (you’ll likely find a job if your company fails) and provides an element of downside protection when investing (acquihires on the rise).
We’re still waiting on a real generational shift toward entrepreneurship. Hollywood and an abundance of seed capital have made starting your own business somewhat sexier, but still relatively few take the leap. We need to build momentum behind this trend of celebrating our entrepreneurs and not punishing failure.
CEO and Co-Founder
“I don’t think it is ‘too attractive’ to get into entrepreneurship… You need to be a certain type of nutter to dedicate your life to building a business. It’s not for everyone, it’s a rollercoaster and all-absorbing. But entrepreneurship is also vitally important component to growing our economy and job creation. If your enterprise isn’t going to be a viable business, you’ll find out pretty quickly in this environment, I don’t believe you’re doing anyone any harm by giving it a bloody good try in the meantime. At the very least, you’ll learn a great deal trying!”
Founder & CEO