One thing most startup Founders have in common is having to pitch to investors. Some love it and some hate it, but it is part of the job.

On one hand, COVID has made access to investors easier than ever, a 10 min Zoom chat is far easier to arrange than it was when every meeting was a 30 min in person conversation where you physically met in an office.

That said, the massive proliferation of meetings and pitching via Zoom makes it much harder for you to stand out from every other pitch before you.

Zoom pitching is NOT…

A year ago I decided to try and prototype a new SaaS product in the evenings and weekends around my day job. The classic side hustle we read so much about.

On paper I stood as good a chance as anyone. I am an entrepreneur and it was an industry I knew about, or at least thought I did, and I have built and scaled businesses before. I am currently the co-founder of a fast growing, tech business that’s raised over $10m and I also support and mentor early stage entrepreneurs. Surely, I could make this work.

The story is…

If founding a company is hard, scaling it is definitely no easier!

As a company grows from a few people and it’s customers to 10s or 100s of employees and 1000s of customers, things will creak and eventually break.

While no department or process is immune, it is probably the Operations teams where these challenges are most visible. The primary reason being that is where headcount increases happen most rapidly, but it’s also the least specialist department and, therefore, everyone has a view on Operations. Everyone always has a view on Operations!

Speaking to Founders, COOs and Operations leaders of…

It has never been easier to be an Entrepreneur in the UK, however, it has also never been harder either.

This was brought home to me recently by a British friend that has been living in the US for 10 years. We were discussing startups and he said to me that from his personal experience post business school, London wasn’t really set up to support Entrepreneurs or startups yet. Being a proud Brit, I initially dismissed this, but having thought harder, despite probably being only second to the US for startups globally, the UK is, in absolute terms, miles behind.

Social care employs more people than the NHS. Our ageing population and headwinds impacting staffing, mean we are at the start of a workforce crisis that is only getting worse. One day we will all need social care, it’s almost a guaranteed certainty, if we don’t think differently then it may not be there for us when we need it.

A challenge of this scale needs both national level engagement and a willingness to change outdated processes and thinking at the coal face. However, at a political level, social care will always be the poor cousin of the NHS. The…

I recently met an early stage first time Founder, she had a great idea that solves a problem, she had done some testing and was very driven and passionate. She needed to turn it into an MVP, get some traction before going out to raise some Angel/Seed capital to scale.

Her business is a consumer facing tech business that will require clever social acquisition. So what she needs is a basic product and some marketing to get it out there. Both of which she has some ability in but not enough.

We had a chat and what was clear to…

Glitz, glamour and free acai bowls. That’s the world of a startup founder right?

“Ummm, not exactly!” would be my response.

Having chatted to a few founders, here are a few things no one tells you.

1. It will dominate every moment of your life — you will think about your company all the time, I mean all the time. When out for dinner, on a date, in bed or with your family, your mind will be thinking about your startup. You will be so obsessed about it you will find it hard to engage in other things. …

Having an idea for a tech business is a great start. However, how do you work out if it is something that can become a real business? Simply put, you need to engage with users as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is build an MVP.

(There is a trend towards using other acronyms e.g. MLP, but there is no difference to you at this stage. You just need to get it in the hands of users. That’s all that matters.)

An MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a way in which you learn more about your…

I have been involved with hundreds of pitches as a Founder raising myself, an investor being pitched to, watching others pitch and listening to people practice. I have raised millions but I have also had a lot of outright rejections and a few people have even laughed at me.

First up, your chances of getting funded in any pitch are low. It’s a numbers game. You need to kiss a lot of frogs. You need a thick skin and never take it personally. It’s business after all.

Start by pitching to investors you don’t want. This way you will make…

An idea you could actually see landing as a business strikes one day. After the light-bulb moment you think about getting it off the ground.

In many cases when these things happen they are normally are left as just that, shower thoughts or ideas.

However, what do you do when ‘the one’ you can actually see yourself doing happens?

Do you spring into action and create the next iPhone or Facebook? No, instead you stress about the details of life, how will you fund this, how will you spend more time on developing this idea, who will support you when…

Dan Blake

Founder — Passionate about helping startups and their Founders succeed and to avoid the silly mistakes I have made myself

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