A business angel’s view

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Guest lecturer Imre Hild in the Entrepreneurship module

On November 29, 2016, Imre Hild, Founder and CEO of Global Traction visited the Entrepreneurship course at IBS. Mr Hild has been working with startups and scaleups in all qualities – fundraising, strategic advice, tactics, mentoring, co-founder location, lean startup methodology etc. – for the last 10 years. He is one of the most well known and acknowledged experts in acceleration, product development, business modelling, pitch training and international business development. Over the past 7 years he did vital work in the new Hungarian startup ecosystem. Currently he is heading the Startup Panel of the Hungarian Innovation Federation and represents the interest of startups in state-supported programmes and regulations.

Mr Hild left the banking and real estate sector in the early 2000s to enter the world of startups as a business angel. As he put it, money comes when you are creating value. However, he recognised very early that most of the new ventures need something else not just money: mentoring and helping them when drafting their business strategies, supporting them with advice and connections, or even representing them, especially at the beginning of their operation. His credo is that good entrepreneurs not just make money, but support other startups with their experience.

 

During the riveting presentation, he made some surprising statements. Here are just a few examples:

  • The more you think you know what your startup will do, the bigger mistakes will turn up.
  • How to work, fast or precisely? A good entrepreneur likes to work fast. Why? Because competition works fast, too.
  • It is not true that you just need to have a good idea, find a good investor and they will give you the money. What to do with the money is what they will not tell you.
  • Coming up with an idea is the end of the process. What comes first is to understand the market. Do the necessary research. The more you learn about your clients, the more you realize that you were dumb at the beginning.

And here is some of the advice Mr Hild offered:

  • It may sound boring but to have a venture you need an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is the engine who pulls the whole thing together. You need market understanding and you need a co-founder.
  • You have to be able to verbalize what you want and discuss it. If you cannot do it, you are in trouble.
  • Testing is unavoidable.
  • Validate by going to startup festivals!
  • You should look into the other person and you can see his/her reaction. If they say it is “interesting”, it means the opposite, they are not interested but polite.
  • It’s the execution of the idea, and not the idea itself which is the real motivation.
  • Market comes first. Timing is everything.
  • Go to good accelerators – Paris, New York, Helsinki, Israel or London. Talk to people who are already there, or who came back.
  • Capital will come to startups that create value. The question then will be “Whose money should we accept?”

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