“b-labs is a tech orientated organization.” From very early idea stage to seed to helping with outside funding, b-labs has always supported tech startups. “We are looking for companies that want to make this world a better place.” Hence, Thomas says b-labs is dedicated towards realizing UN sustainability goals as they believe these are important topics. The focus is primarily on renewable energy solution as well as healthcare and education solutions to less developed and underserved populations around the world.
He got pretty candid with the co-founder of Gaper.io; and shared some deep insigts with sage advice.
Starting off on an Entrepreneurial Journey
A serial entrepreneur, Thomas started 13 companies over the last 25 years. Starting with a pizza delivery company in the late 80s it was “real innovation” at the time. Then a 10-year stint in the telecommunication industry followed.
In early 2000s he finally reverted to his hospitality industry roots managing to find his better half, starting a fancy (upscale) bar. A restaurant chain later, Thomas finally moved to New York in early 2019 after selling it. Currently he is working on pushing startups through b-labs. It was a logical progression through his years as an entrepreneur. Being too early to retire, Thomas spent the latter part of 2016 helping and consulting would-be founders and other aspiring entrepreneurs. He finally started b-labs in December 2019. He advises research organizations on entrepreneurship (especially as researchers are not natural born entrepreneurs) to build companies and products. He brings his business background to these companies, coupling it with the tech and scientific backgrounds of those he mentors.
Through they years, Thomas has seen amazing entrepreneurs from a host of backgrounds with varying education qualifications.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from.
The most important thing is to be willing to learn and question your own knowledge, to be curious of what’s new out there and how to make better products or services. Always trying to find the better thing.”
Thomas shares that he has noticed differences in approaches and probably focus. Europeans, for example, want to be perfect before they go out there. On the otherhand Americans (what he learnt) go out there much earlier. They tend to learn from the response they get from the market.
Advice from a Serial Entrepreneur to a Gaper Listener
“Focus on your core strength”
Instead of tweaking to keep serving each individual customer, Thomas pushes that “you have to really find your product and go with it.” He believes focusing on one thing to make it the right product-market fit is the way to go.
Furthermore, he advises young entrepreneurs to listen to advice. Because other people can be smarter than you, whether in a niche, but know more about it than you do – so listen to them.
In the current scenario, and generally otherwise even, Thomas acknowledges that funding may take time. However, the billions injected into the market (in the current scenario) will still be focused and accumulated where money accumulates all the time. This money needs to be reinvested, he reflects. “So hunker down a little bit, cut your costs, make no expenses that are not absolutely necessary for your growth, stay low-key for a while and then go out with good metrics and you will get money.”
This is what Thomas had to say when asked for advice for upcoming entrepreneurs. Hear on to what he had to share about remote employment, his experience and more that he shared on our podcast sponsored by Gaper.io