On May 7th, I had the pleasure to be invited by IFJ/venturelab (Institute für Jungunternehmen, based in St-Gallen), the oldest and renowned entrepreneurs training in Switzerland, to share my journey so far to students from the Berner Fachshochschule in Biel/Bienne (very close to my home
city village). To my big surprise, there were only German-speaking attendees (Biel/Bienne is the only true bilingual city in Switzerland (65-70% German-speaking, 30-35% French speaking) and only one woman present. The latter point doesn’t surprise me that much, however. Tech startups are mostly (and unfortunately) a “man-thing”. It’s the reality, even though I had the pleasure to organize a pitching event on May 11th (SICTIC Investor Day Lausanne) with 5 (out of 8!) female entrepreneurs pitching. Probably the exception confirming the rule (…).
But back to my presentation. The first speaker was Matthias Hell, an entrepreneur who has built an amazing solution to help disabled people to drive their car with a joystick: Joysteer. He shared his journey (started as a research project back in… 2004) and that they are now break-even (9 years after incorporating the company, proving once again starting up it a journey where you have to be patient and persistent (and financed!)).
Then I’m jumped in and presented my journey so far with Coteries, presenting who I am, how we came up to the idea, how we realized it, with whom we are working, how we’ve financed ourselves, etc. IFJ asked me to present learnings and advices I’ve collected along the way. I’ve shared 7 learnings and 5 advices, for wannabe-founders as well as for myself (the only thing I know with my startup is that it is the first one… but probably not the last one!).
Our both presentations were very complementary and we’ve seen that many things were similar. So when starting up a software or hardware company, you face very similar challenges.
Unfortunately, I’ve forgot to share my 2 most important startup learnings (…), so here they are:
- Don’t be over enthusiastic about what you realize or what’s coming!
- Keep your capacity to fill with enthusiasm (otherwise you get bored)!
Here is an extract of the presentation, don’t hesitate to comment or ask me any question: