Growth and innovation are the key drivers for economic and societal development. Gazelles – innovative fast growing businesses – account for an important part of this development. But Gazelles can only exist if there are passionate entrepreneurs building and leading these companies An entrepreneur does miracles, he does – as a popular saying goes – much more than you believe with much less than you believe. He creates something new out of nothing – against all odds. Our purpose is to make a contribution to increasing the odds of success for the entrepreneur, because it is important for all of us.
What does the entrepreneur need to succeed? Years ago I thought that starting a business is most of all about having a brilliant idea and transforming this idea into a brilliant new product or service. Once you have this brilliant product, you put together a small team, write a business plan, found the company, secure the funding and there you go – there is your Start-up that will eventually revolutionize the world! Unfortunately, it is much harder than that. However, most popular discourse about entrepreneurship in the Start-up community, politics, the media and even at universities still circles around these topics. It is believed that in order to foster entrepreneurship we need to help people to create new ideas and new products, we need to teach them how to write business plans and we need to teach them how to pitch their idea to get funding. That is all important, but it is only the very first part of the story – Round1 – and it is the easier part. What follows is the hard part: You need to scale your business. Scaling means you need to be able to grow your business from a little start up team with a product (how cool it might be!) into an organization with 50, 100 or more people and with a sustainable competitive position. This is very difficult, but the good news is that it is in this part where most value is created, value for the entrepreneur, for external investors and for society at large in the form of new jobs and economic growth. It is here, in this “Second Round” that Round2 kicks in.
In order to build such an organization four key challenges need to be mastered.
The challenge of purpose and strategy (the Why to go Where question)
The challenge of bringing and holding together the right people (the Who question)
The challenge of building a system of execution based on processes, rules and routines (the How question)
The challenge of internally and externally financing your business (the with what Means question).
At Round2 we tackle these challenges from two angles. Round2 Capital is providing financing. As we are entrepreneurs ourselves we thought that just providing financing as many other do is not enough. We wanted to go one step further. Therefore, we developed a new kind of financing which puts the needs of the entrepreneur at the centre. More on that in the blogs to follow or visit us at www.round2cap.com. Our second angle is the Round2 Lab. The Lab is an open platform for the development and dissemination of practical and hands-on tools tailored to the needs of the entrepreneurs who want to scale their Start-up into a serious organization. For this purpose, we have developed an education program working with the best entrepreneurs on the four key challenges. Application for the program will be open from June 15 2017 on www.round2lab.at.