The Future Of Remote Employment – Volume 2
We pick up from where we left off. While we shared a snapshot of our female startup founders, we now switch our focus on the investment and accelerator side of things. We talk about all things investment and how accelerators play a major role in the Future of Remote Employment.
Accelerators, Venture Capitals, Investments and What It Means for the Future of Remote Employment
The Accelprice Perspective:
We sat down with Whitney Sales from Accelprice to talk about the Future of Remote Employment, Selling Remotely, and Fund Raising. Talking about the accelerator ecosystem, Whitney states, that if you are not in the top, probably 20 accelerators globally, it’s pretty hard – although a lot of global accelerators are popping up.
She says that when you want to sell then cater according to the market. Adjust your model around growth and catering to such businesses.
Pulling a bit from research done previously, Whitney also shares that “VCs that are more likely to invest in your space in a down market are those who are actually pretty familiar with the market.” VCs understand market dynamics better so they utilize their knowledge to avoid taking unnecessary risks. “They have relationships in the space to help push that product to market, and support the founder a little bit better.”
Do your research on the funding space for your particular product and go to market model and approach such teams – “target the funds that have some experience in the space.”
Csaba from Capital talks about funding and coffee meetups on Founders Grid sponsored by Gaper.io:
Csaba shares how COVID might actually be a catalyst for multiple businesses. He shared how it is, “insanely fortunate timing for us because we can help so many entrepreneurs by providing alternative funding sources to them. So typically, when you see volatility and sort of economic downturn, and when unemployment rises, traditional sort of investors who don’t have dynamic real-time data access, they might become more conservative and just tighten their investing or lending standards. And basically, since we build dynamic access to data so we can evaluate and monitor the performance of companies in real-time. We’re able to be a lot more advantageous and provide funding to various businesses. So it’s not only great for us, but I think this is also great for a wider entrepreneurial community out there”
He stated that technology is creating a lot of efficiencies in our daily lives. On Hedge Funds and Investment Banking his take was on raising funds via Zoom and whether it would have to go back to the “old normal”. His recent conversation, with a friend, sheds light on the same, “So I was just having a chat with a friend of mine. I said, ‘Look, I think the number of coffee meetings I’m going to be taking in the future is going to decrease dramatically’; at least coffee meetings for business purposes because I can be just as effective through a Zoom call or Google hangout call. And I don’t have to commute anywhere, and I don’t need to drink any more coffee. Still, I’m going to enjoy taking coffee meetings socially, etc.”
Signing off he said, “This pandemic is more of an amplifier and it amplifies the good and bad.”
He is confident that money is still chasing new ideas and that investors are looking for sure bets in this momentum-driven market. While investors are maybe a little more selective, there will hardly be any change to businesses that are the pre-revenue stage.
“Accelerators become more important than ever.”
Startups are looking for sustainability through COVID. “It becomes imperative for companies to become metrics-driven and capital-efficient,” as VCs are looking for risk-averse options. In such times, “accelerators should be … helping entrepreneurs figure out the best way to navigate any time, and how you get wind in your sails for the best possible outcome.”
This is a brief of what Amos had to share about strategizing.
Advice for Remote Employment’s Future and Startups:
B-Labs and Achieving UN Sustainability Goals:
“b-labs is a tech orientated organization.” From the 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 solutions 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 insights with sage advice. Through the years, Thomas has seen amazing entrepreneurs from a host of backgrounds with varying educational 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.”
“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.
Walking into Capital Innovators Literally as well as Figuratively with Brian:
Talking about investments at Capital Innovators he shares; “We seek companies from all around the world. Right now we are running three programs a year. Two are focused on technology and consumer products and one is focused on energy technology that we run on behalf of an energy corporation that is based out of St. Louis.”
Capital Innovators vets around 1100 – 1300 companies from across 60-70 countries every year and they do their due diligence before they bring the number down to just 6 per accelerator program – in which they invest in.
The reason why they keep the cap at 6 businesses is that Capital Innovators is very intensive during the 12-week accelerator program. It is very hands-on and very high touch. They even differentiate themselves through their mentorship program.
Speaking on the topic of remote employment, Brian is of the opinion that more and more companies have become skillful at operating remotely even if they have localized teams. However, when it comes to engineering, companies face a huge challenge to fill in the talent gap.
“9/10 they have a big challenge trying to find really great people where they are located,” hence, they “leverage remote engineers that can help and scale their products.”
When asked what he would like to tell his younger self, he emphasized that “Recognize how non-linear the path is in entrepreneurship,” and that, “You have to play the long-game and say put one foot in front of the other and do the best thing that you can every day and see where you end up; because you cannot always see the next step.”
Coming to the topic of remote employment, Collin said, “Remote has been a fixture more than people know. Remote will continue to grow as a piece of the economy.” They will always be a need to fill the talent gap geographically with problems and challenges being pretty similar across the states. The biggest challenge that a startup faces is hiring the top talent at a reasonable cost, which is why not sticking to a rigid geographic location is the way out for most – if not all – startups.”
Going fund hunting is imperative for startups, and the advice Collin shares is; “The more you can accomplish on the customer traction side, the easier will it be to raise money.” He believes that going to venture capitalists, who have an array of choices segregated into two categories namely:
Money to build product
Money to go to market
The latter would almost always win out; because venture capitalists are usually looking into investing in products that can sell.
Putting it All Together:
The quest for making remote employment successful in the future, Gaper is all out to include as many top-tiered accelerators and venture capitalists share what works and what doesn’t.
So that startup founders can easily leverage this knowledge to get a headstart and find their niche to move ahead of the curve.