Entrepreneur, Viewpoint 18.11.2016
By Niels Vejrup Carlsen

Building your company from a basement shows willingness

We are well on our way to have built an entrepreneurial culture in Denmark, where entrepreneurs sacrifice secure jobs and spend their savings chasing their dream. For me, it is always exiting to meet entrepreneurs, who are willing to go the extra mile to get their startup off the ground. Entrepreneurs who can sell ice to an Eskimo and who, without external funding, have managed to build a first product and attract the first customers.

That form of bootstrapping, where the entrepreneur drives the project forward provides him or her with an enormous focus on getting the most important things done first, test the product in the market quickly and introduce a cost-conscious culture.

All of this adds up to a higher probability of success in the long run.

Occasionally I meet startups, who want to raise capital based on their pitch deck and concept. They would never dream of asking their friends and family for help nor would they be willing to take a pay cut. This scenario does not excite investors. Sure, we all got to live, but all I am saying is, that if you can show me you mean business, we are already one step closer to each other.   

"A team, who has gotten off to a good start by bootstrapping, is for me an indication of their ability to execute and go a long way with limited resources. It, simply put, brings down the risk of investing."           

Luckily that does not happen too often anymore. Over time, we have in Denmark seen an increase in entrepreneurs willing to put their money where their mouth is and “stick their neck out” so to speak. I now often see bootstrapped companies, who have made impressive progress without any funding. And that is something that makes my investor-heart pound.   

Morten Strunge is mostly known for selling Onfone to TDC at the age of 25. However, the road there was paved with obstacles. By the age of only 18, Morten was already DKK 2 million in debt due to a failed startup and his parents had been forced to sell their house. However, he kept on going with Onfone, which his parents supported and, in the end, that paid off.

Subsequently, Morten did not waste any time. He launched Mofibo with funds, once again, from his family. The funds were initially used to develop a strong product before he came to see us. The decision to invest in Mofibo wasn’t a hard one!

As Investment Partner, I always focus on the team who, who will be executing and kick-starting the company. A team, who has gotten off to a good start by bootstrapping, is for me an indication of their ability to execute and go a long way with limited resources. It, simply put, brings down the risk of investing. It portrays a strong will to sacrifice and share the risk and heightens the chances of me investing considerably. 

Oversat fra dansk. Original bragt på Finans.dk

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