End of January… it is almost late to share my 2015 wrap-up. But still time. I was planning to do it until mid of this month, but you know how life is: days have only 24 hours!
You may have seen that startupolic.com turned 4 on January 12th. Already 4 years! It has gone so quickly and it is such a long time ago in the same time. I have lived so many amazing (and less amazing, true!) experiences: what I can say is that I don’t regret at all to be a real entrepreneur (and not “simply” an advisor) and a blogger!
I had defined that 2015 would be the year of “monetization” for me. It was. Not that I’ve made any tremendous exit (no exit at all, by now). But my partners and I have been able to transform my startup into a profitable business. Not exactly on the initial product, but anyway. That’s the reality of startups: to adapt to the market! We are now a team of 9 people… and are following a “Google approach”: 80% on customers, 20% on our own projects (I will communicate about our amazing new products soon – register to my mailing list to be informed!).
Here is an extract of experiences that happened to me in 2015:
- I moved in my new house in January (after months of handwork – was also great to be less digital ;-)!)
- In March 2015, we organized the 1st Startup Weekend Biel/Bienne. Again, a crazy idea. But it was so cool and so different from SW in high schools…
- I was invited to share my learnings / startup journey with students from Berner Fachhochschule. You know, when you are running for your startup, you have not often time to think back. This opportunity was great also for this, I had to take time to think about the journey so far! And it is always a great experience to share your passion with new or wannabe entrepreneurs! I had normally 15 minutes, I’ve done 28… They called it “the Romand effect” 😉
- I was recruited by Guillaume and Laurent (Managing Partners at Polytech Ventures) to run the newly launched fintech acceleration program Fintech FUSION in May. Being active on startup scene from a long time, as well as being entrepreneur myself, helped me to be operational from day 1. It was quite strange to have such a low learning curve! It is a great experience to define an acceleration program, run it, organize events, market it, recruit mentors, etc. FUSION is like a startup in terms of speed and culture: we’re running fast and lean!
- I did less international travels last year, except 2 stays in Belfast and Barcelona (which I had the chance to – quickly – discover). But in 2015, I flew for the first time to Brazil… and for business purpose (!). I got an invitation from Switzerland Global Enterprise to participate to a “Swiss ICT Roadshow” (evangelizing about Switzerland as a key location to enter Europe) in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre. I did some presentations and a workshops about “startups goind international”. At first, I thought that I had not that much experience… But again, taking the time to analyze all temptatives done with The Mobile Fans Club of musicians (our first product), I had… a lot to say! It was an amazing experience…
- In November/December, I did a lecture about “Startup Financing” for the first time at Haute Ecole de Gestion Arc, in Neuchâtel. Again, a new experience… even though it’s completely different to teach to students (that have to be there) compared to presenting to people who attend an event freely! More than the learnings & stuff you share, the human experience is something invaluable. Helping to be better at presenting, too ;-)!
One of the most incredible experience of 2015 for me was to be completely offline (even no text messages or calls) for 5 days in a row. It sounds absurd and weird. But really deconnecting for a moment (selected carefully, end of July, when business activity is at the lowest!) is a MUST-do for every entrepreneur.
Of course there were also some critical downsides. As ever in life, every critical thing happens at the time you’re the busiest. For the first time of my life, I thought that I may explode in managing everything I was involved in and committed to do. Astonishingly, my busy business trip to Brazil (even if I continued to take care of the business from there) refilled my batteries… I think being in a good mental (thanks to my kids and the wonderwoman I share my life with) and physical shape helped.
The down-side of the my over-activity of 2015 is that I had less time to blog here on startupolic.com… But don’t be worry, I have plenty of blog posts in the pipeline. Even if I don’t publish bi-weekly like it happened to be!
2015 was great. 2016 will be even greater. A lot of challenges (scaling will be the key word) facing me in my activities! EXCITED!