Podim: Diversity Matters - And What Startups Should Know About Chasing Investors
Date: May 16th 2018
Author: Alenka Lena Klopčič
Diversity is very important, in a company or any other team. This was the message of one of the two closing panels on Day 1 of the Podim Conference 2018 in Maribor, Slovenia. Meanwhile, the other panel provided tips and tricks for stratups that are still seeking investors.In the former panel, panellists Sara Usinger and Maris Prii (SwissContact), Carolyn N. Spencer (Amazon), and Žiga Vavpotič (OUTFIT7) agreed that only diversity can help us deliver the best possible solutions, and even as quickly as possible, “especially because diversity also means difference in opinion, and exchange of opinions can give inconceivable results,” said Maris Prii of the Estonian office of SwissContact, while her colleague Sara Usinger of this foundation’s Swiss office added that “diversity should be our aim also in our personal lives, for instance by seeking new career challenges”.
Carolyn N. Spencer of Amazon promotes diversity in her environment by supporting people to openly express their thoughts and feelings. “This is the only way to truly grow – personally and in business.” And according to Žiga Vavpotič of Outfit7, on personal level we can achieve diversity in life by travelling, i.e. moving out of our native environment. In his role as the Chairman of Outfit7, Vavpotič tries to be the kind of leader employees never hesitate to approach.
What startups should know before pursuing investors
Today, diversity is an indispensable part of business – this was one of the conclusions of the panel. Meanwhile, another panel looked into the tips and tricks for getting funded. The panellists - Carlos Eduardo Espinal of Seedcamp, UK, Enis Hulli of 500 Startups, Aleksander Tõnnisson of Buildit Seed Fund, Matjaž Slak of Cofound.it, Slovenia, serial entrepreneur Cristobal Alonso, and Jakob Gajšek of ABC Accelerator – agreed on the following: the more interesting the technology that a startup is developing, the fewer the challenges when pitching this technology to potential investors or the better the chances of getting funded.
On the other hand, startups should be careful: those with multiple investors are more likely to come into a situation when investors are less eager for them to succeed. And vice-versa: when a startup has just one investor, this investor will be more eager and committed to pursuing a bright future for the startup. According to Jakob Gajšek of ABC Accelerator, one strong investor instead of several smaller ones requires substantially more effort on the part of the startup.
This article is available also in Slovene.
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