A few days ago I attended the UK Startup Conference 2022, the same event Emilia and Svea attended. You can check out their blog posts about it here: https://intopreneur.com/?p=5252 & https://intopreneur.com/?p=5250. They summarized the event fantastically but I would like to add my own thoughts and takeaways.
The event started off with an insight into the UK startup scene through a discussion between various investors and startup-founders.
Some key points that they brought up was:
- 30 billion dollars in investments in startups is a new record for the UK.
- Increasingly more founders are women and people from underrepresented groups.
- Green-tech, edu-tech, sub security, healthcare-tech, law-tech and communities for startups are a few of the thriving sectors in the UK.
They also touched upon weaknesses and how the UK startup community can improve:
- More government support.
- Lack of seed funding.
- Lots of potential from universities – innovation needs to be captured and supported.
- Entrepreneurship and coding/programming should be included in standard education.
- The UK needs to become better at taking their companies across the national border to become global market leaders.
Next up was a ton of startup founders that shared their experiences. What I could take away from their stories was that a startup should focus on key things about their business, and not be too fixated on solving every customer’s problem. I think startups have to balance what smaller details a customer wants and what the products are set out to solve.
To add on to that almost every founder talked about scalability. Your product or service needs to have an inherent scalability factor so that your business can grow. Preferably in a way that they can be accessible globally.
They also touched on tips for getting funding to your startup. You HAVE to be in fundraising mode at all times in order to grow your business. Even if you’ve just landed funding from an investor, you have to look forward towards the next investment opportunity. The key is to be passionate and persistent. More practical tips were that you need to know the venture capitalists you are approaching and if your company is a fit for their portfolio. Metrics are of the greatest importance in a pitch; show how much capital is needed, which are your customers, your market, your business plan.
They also touched on the subject of finding the right co-founder. Jose Cayasso (a sort of a startup guru) said this: “Your relationship with your co-founder is like a marriage without the fun stuff”. I thought that was a really clever way to describe it. In a startup company you will have serious and uncomfortable discussions with your co-founder every day and sometimes it will be very hard for both of you. So finding the right business partner is like finding the right life partner.
All in all it was a great experience to be a part of as a newcomer to the startup scene.
Until next time,