What We Expect From Founders
|Jean de La Rochebrochard||Feb 2, 2016|
At Kima Ventures, we invest in seed and series A rounds, both in first-time and repeat entrepreneurs. Even though basic learnings might not be equally useful for all of them at the time we invest, they must be stated at least once. Also, it helps us share our vision and expectations with everyone.
One image that we really like when thinking about entrepreneurs and their investors, is the Appolo 13 Scene where the team manually propels the spaceship towards Earth, keeping the planet in the window. It’s useful to remember that 99% of the time, entrepreneurs are left to themselves and the only thing we can do to really support them as investors (besides the money) is to provide a clear, simple, constructive view on situations as well as the right set of resources and people in our network to help keep them on the right path towards their target.
What we expect from you:
We are very excited to back and support entrepreneurs who work hard to build awesome things that more and more people use everyday. Nevertheless, building a company is a challenging mission and we don’t want to leave you floating alone in outer space without providing a set of resources to help you follow the right path.
We hope the money you’ve raised will fuel stellar execution. You are solely responsible, as a team, to make it happen. Apply simple yet fundamental rules:
Build a great #team. Your culture and your hiring process matter more than anything else. It is not an easy mission to build and grow a team.
#Learn, fast. Constantly keep learning while you run your business. Make sure you learn from your mistakes. If you feel like you keep repeating them, feel yourself overthinking things or accumulating tasks, find discipline and consistency; master the art of getting shit done.
Find a balance between ambition and humility, flexibility and determination. This is a really tough one. Entrepreneurs are #singular, schizophrenic funambulists on a rope.
#focus, prioritize. Many things surround you as an entrepreneur and the only way to keep moving forward is to stay focused. It’s 80% action, 20% anticipation, not the other way around.
Never stop #growing. It’s not an absolute truth at every moment but it is the absolute focus. Everything you do must fuel growth at some point, and rather sooner than later.
Note that our support is not due. You get it from the start of our company-investor relationship but you can only keep it in full by communicating with us on a regular basis with clear, honest and relevant information. We’re not firefighters with money in our hands to spread out. You can’t expect us to jump on an extension-round when you’re suddenly running out of money or introduce you to a bunch of people while you haven’t shared a decent update in months… So:
Communicate on a regular basis and when things go wrong, just tell us. Founders often wait until it’s too late so don’t screw up on this one. Whatever you need/want to tell us, please do so, tell us the good news and tell us the bad news.
Keep it short & relevant: As much as you can, try to keep your messages, requests, even reports short but relevant. The startup with the highest number of lines written doesn’t win a prize at the end of the year.
Cash is king: let us know how much you burn and how much you have left in the bank. Don’t foolishly run out of cash. Don’t tell us everything is going perfectly and a month later that you’re shutting down.
Game on !