Yesterday, I went to the Sup46 FemTech event. It was the first time that I was attending this kind of event and I wanted to share my feelings with you guys.
First thing first, I was quite surprised with the whole event organisation. Quite fancy and professional but pretty casual at the same time: I guess this is the good atmosphere they wanted to give us to make us feel comfortable. Free pop corn and drinks were offered to us so as well. During 30 minutes, I had the chance to put in practice my introduction pitch with quite a lot of female entrepreneurs, listen back to their presentations and just network! This comforts me in the idea that Stockholm seems to be a great place to start a company in ! There are so many new ideas, so many ways to improve the world and the new entrepreneurs generation seems to be very excited about it.
Then, during 45 minutes we had the chance to listen to Adiba Barney, CEO of SVForum. SVForum is a platform to connect innovators, entrepreneurs and business partners within the Silicon Valley (USA). Founded in 1983, SV Forum is organising 150 events a year and a lot of workshops to allow people growing their idea and improving their entrepreneur skills in a technology incubator.
Some “AHA” moments I wanted to share as well :
- It often takes 6 to 12 months to get investors giving you money
- A fearless attitude from the young generation has been observed the last couple of years
- Sweden is in the Top 5 in Equality ranking vs USA in position 26
- Woman co-founders companies are returning 35% more in investment, generate 12% more revenue and spend 1/3 less than male co-founders companies!
I really enjoy Adiba’s interview. She is very good at sharing her story and attracting your attention without showing off. She was very close to us, very accessible and pretty nice as well. Among all her advice I wanted to share some take home messages.
At the question “What should you do before starting a company?“, Adiba highlights 3 key points:
- Knowing why you are doing it : building a company requires a lot of passion and a lot of energy. If you are only doing it for money, it is probably not going to work. Being sure why you are willing to put yourself in such an adventure will help you focus on a main goal during your journey
- Knowing what kind of company you want : is it a lifestyle company? a tech company? People in the Silicon Valley are insane and pretty open to everything but very professional at the same time. Know your market, your competitors landscape or in other words be an expert in your field! Preparation is the key to defend your idea. They are expecting a lot from entrepreneurs even if they look very friendly and nice to you, they are actually judging your potential and your idea while you are talking to them! Do not underestimate Americans.
- Who do I want to do it with ? Investors are often expecting a 1 or 2 co-founders with you. Building a company by your own is not well seen. On the other side, having a too crowded starting team is not helping neither. If you decide to build a company with your best friend(s), make sure you are still doing all the official business papers. You never know if you are going to hate them in a few months! Also, try not associate with people who are exactly the same as you: diversity is a strength!
At the question “What are the key qualities to be a successful global company?“, Adiba shares her thoughts:
- Having a dynamic team – obviously
- Act and react properly : Adiba highlights the number of entrepreneurs who are not able to react properly to investors or even coworkers feedback. A good entrepreneur needs to take into account good and bad feedbacks- this is how we are progressing. Otherwise, you are just going to loose credibility and trust!
Adiba is a very young business woman I admire for her professional orator skills but also for the events she has been through in her life : a civil war, 2 breast cancers and now a incurable cancer coming back in stage 4. Despite this, she was very warm, smiling and close to us.
A Q&A session followed her interview and 30 more minutes to network with the audience.
I really enjoy this first experience within the entrepreneurs “community” and will shortly try to attend some more events like this!
Any questions, please feel free to give me a shout!