Entrepreneur, Viewpoint 30.11.2016
By Ulla Brockenhuus-Schack

Why you shouldn't build your startup with people like yourself

Having been part of the Danish venture industry for many years now, I have met my fair share of startups. From my experience, the team represents the single most important asset when building a company from the ground up.

Many students now start their own company, which is a very positive thing. However, a large share of them are starting their company with close friends, who share their educational and social background. This is essentially not a good starting point. It is extremely demanding to build a company and only the strongest and most dynamic teams survive. It is therefore essential to consider the importance of diverse competences, when putting together a dream team for your startup.

"It is therefore so important to get out there and find some people who think things differently than you. At SEED Capital, we usually say that a great team has a product visionary, a technical profile and a commercial profile. In my experience, having these competencies covered simply creates the best basis for success."

Of course, there is no exact formula for the perfect team combination. However, I do think it is a problem when there is only one founder in a startup. Building a company demands complementary competences, which one person rarely possesses. Further, you as a founder will not have a partner to discuss confidential matters with and this should not be underestimated.

However, too many founders in a startup can also result in everyone wanting a say and it can be hard to reach agreement. A ship only has one captain. Two to three complementary co-founders is a good constellation to work from.

We sometimes see great projects, where the only thing missing is someone to execute. That does not work. Being an entrepreneur is about passion and energy being transformed into action.  It is important that the people executing the idea are the same people who passionately came up with it to start with, and are keen to see it become reality.

A great team will attract attention from people like myself and they will also be able to attract talented people as if they were magnets. The pillars for such a team is, however not something that I, as an investor, can create.  

Oversat fra dansk. Original bragt på Finans.dk

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