How to start a startup (pt. 1)

Today we conducted the 1st part of the 2-part workshop called "how to start a startup", which is aimed at demystifying what building a startup is actually like and helping you get your first idea off the ground.

We proudly presented Alex Crompton from Entrepreneur First (ef) as our speaker. ef is one of Europe's leading early-stage investors in deep technology companies. The help Europe's most talented individuals to build high growth technology companies from scratch. Goal of the part 1 workshop was set for students to understand the concept around founder-idea fit.

To begin with and to found a basis for the founder-idea fit discussion, Alex stated that a startup usually faces a so-called "risk triangle" between market, execution and skills. This means either the market, the execution, or the skills could present a risk for the product of the startup. These risks can be mitigated by being stronger in a certain part of the triangle, such as knowing something in the market that noone else does, executing better than anyone else or building something that noone else can. Look e.g. at Rocket Internet: They minimize the risk of market and skills by going into a highly validated market, hire an incredible skillset and then simply executing it in a new market (such as Asia) with tons of success. The point is: Every startup is part of this risk triangle and faces a trade-off between having risks and being strong in the market, the execution and the skills.

The founder-idea fit builds on the idea of the risk triangle: Where in the risk triangle do you position yourself as a founder with your idea? Where do your ideas fit? Are you good in the market? At execution? With skills? (According to ef, technology startups mostly have to rely on their skill-set).

You will see that positioning yourself / your idea in the simple risk triangle is not too easy. See where your friends would position yourself or your idea and you might be surprised how different the outcome can be!

See part 2 of "how to start a startup" for further information about ideation constraints and idea evaluation.

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