Dennis Just, CEO of Knip, is still in the US during the venture leaders development trip in Boston and New York. This time he introduces a few venture leaders colleague with whom he spents some time. Dennis, take it away:
It’s weekend time and as the one in charge of paying the bills and salaries for more than 50 employees, this is usually the time when I reflect upon the week, sort myself, relax and get the stuff done that I didn’t have time for before. Being in the closing phase of our SeriesB financing round does not bring more relaxation to my personal life over here in Boston – but this is why we do it – right? ;) Right!
We are growing together as a Swiss national team here, playing soccer, tennis and just trying to learn as much as possible from each other’s experiences. So great to see that there is a culture of failure in the team, which I miss a lot in the Swiss economy.
This is also the reason why I wanted to take the time to introduce our venture leader founders and companies that take part in the program, starting with the ones that really pull off my hat. Starting a consumer business with a fast iterable product is easy compared to what our medtech and biotech guys & girls do. Just imagine the time it takes to develop the differentiator and products for a major efficiency increase! Here is a very informal way of introduction:
Simone (HYLOMORPH): His hair tends to grey out, but he is the night-time energy machine!
Xiang (ZuriMed): Quiet guy with an amazing product and technology know-how that enriches every conversation.
Pascal (AVA): I just don’t know how he stayed so fit and young at his age – what is his secret?
Miroslav (Spinal Dynamics): My face would cramp if I smiled that much ;) Must be a fulfilling job to invent something great.
Ruben (Polyneuron): If he can really fight autoimmune disorders the way he wants – it will change the world!
Coming back to the financing round: there are some things that I learned in the past 4 companies and several rounds raised that make your life easier and ensure a smoother process until the money is on the bank account: prepare your data room before starting to pitch and meet with investors. Be as transparent as possible. They will appreciate it.
- When you have one investor that commits to leading the round – all the others will come around. Try to enforce this situation right at the beginning.
- Get your current business angels to commit before you approach other investors. The other party will feel way safer.
- Prepare your relatives, friends and family for what will happen in the next six months. It will be an intense roller coaster ride that you just cannot exit until everybody signed. Make sure you have full support!
- Don’t sell the product in the pitches, sell your personal vision. They will invest because of you and your ability to build great things.