With a full house, Finance Board 2018 brought together passionate entrepreneurs and knowledgeable investors to one place to work towards a common goal, to create and maintain the most successful entrepreneur culture in the world.
Check out the key takeaways from Finance Board 2018 below!
1. Focus on what is crucial for your company
Do not spend time on things that are not crucial to the company. The founder of Supermetrics Mikael Thuneberg emphasized in his keynote speech that he focused solely on developing the product. You also need to know your business model, market and customers inside out. Also, you need to know how all these elements change as you grow and scale the business.
“Look for quality investors. If you cannot get quality investors, fix your business”, Chied Value Office Teemu Kaltea said during his keynote. > Check out Teemu’s 7 tips for entrepreneurs building their funding roadmap.
2. It’s rarely smooth sailing
Even when you have a great plan, it’s rarely smooth sailing. It always takes more money and time to build the company than you thought in the beginning. Funding will last longer the faster you execute. You cannot rely heavily on your plans and be glued down to them.
Gold&Green Foods found a huge gap in the market and had to scale up in hyperspeed: “The customers were shouting very loudly that they need the product now. Everything was done in a hurry. When you see something burning like that, you have to act. We got the keys to the new factory a day before the machines arrived”, Maija Itkonen, founder of Gold&Green Foods recalls.
3. Communication is key
Don’t be shy about asking questions and getting to know people. Ultimately it is about personal relationships between people. And as in any relationship, it is better to build trust before asking for a favor, like a signature on a huge check.
If you don’t know where to start in order to find the right investor, then network and shop around. Plenty of founders are very active in getting speaker spots in startup events where they get facetime and share their vision and get investor contacts.
“Form a relationship, talk with the portfolio companies to find out what value the VC added to them, ask questions. Find someone you would like to spend the next 10 years talking with every week!” Andrea di Pietrantonio from Inventure advised.
“I got a lot of help from the chairman of the board on how to interact with investors”, said Heikki Väänänen, the founder of HappyOrNot. “What can you ask from investors? What can you not? When should I say this? We were talking almost every day.” All the keynote speakers told they use a WhatsApp group to communicate with their board of directors. Weekly calls or monthly meetings just aren’t enough anymore.
4. It really matters who you take with you on your journey
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about founders, core team members or investors, it is important that you make sure that the people you decide to take with you are all heading towards the same direction. “When I talk with entrepreneurs, I don’t want to talk about money. I want to know what are your dreams, how are you going to change the world”, angel investor Riku Asikainen says.
Investors have different objectives and time horizons, it really matters what type of investors you take with you on the journey. Itkonen from Gold&Green Foods shared how they knew that Paulig Group would be the perfect cultural and strategic fit: “We were going through the possible new products and technologies and the CEO just said that ‘wow, this is great, we have to do something for the next 140 years too’”.
For HappyOrNot it was important to find an investor who shared their vision and appreciation for the team. “Some investors were asking what would our profit be in two years. Some were only asking about money, not about our vision or team. All they were interested in were figures”, Explained Väänänen as to why they didn’t choose certain investor candidates. > Read HappyOrNot’s story – roadmap to 14.5 million A round
Written by Annika Sipilä, Boardman Oy