Peer Support and Self Management Saturday’s – A Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant

Welcome to this week’s Peer Support and Self Management Thread.

This is a Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant.

The goal for this thread is to help one another manage mental and physical health so we can more easily find success.

We all struggle sometimes and it is important to recognize that the struggle is part of the journey. The important thing is to learn how to overcome that adversity to grow and succeed.

Be tactful and classy in how you vent your feelings and share your frustrations. Act in a mature manner.

Ask questions, share experiences, and be there for one another. Practice empathy in giving advice and remember that what worked for you isn’t guaranteed to work for others. Make suggestions, not demands of others.

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Raising Series-A: Where do I Find Other Founders At A Similar Place?

Technical Co-Founder CTO, my company is raising a Series-A we're doing great. I've come to realize that since we've been so successful, the people around me mostly cannot relate and can no longer offer me much advice. I don't know any other technical co-founder who has ever made it this far in the startup world and I'm realizing that I need to build a new community of peers that I can talk to who are going through the same things. I know tons of technical folks, but nobody in a similar spot and most of the tech people I know are actually pretty jaded — they say things like "I don't even take equity any more. I just take cash because options never turn out to be worth anything."

Where should I look?

Ideas I have:

-Reach out to our investors / advisors and ask for intros to other CTOs of companies that they have invested in that are in a similar spot.

-Referrals from my existing network

-Ask around at the local CTO roundtable that I attend

Curious of any other suggestions. When I google around about finding founders all the websites are about looking for a co-founder which I'm not. I'm looking for others who are experiencing similar success and growth.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

In 2020, Warsaw’s startup ecosystem is ‘a place to observe carefully’

If you listed the trends that have captured the attention of 20 Warsaw-focused investors who replied to our recent surveys, automation/AI, enterprise SaaS, cleantech, health, remote work and the sharing economy would top the list. These VCs said they are seeking opportunities in the “digital twin” space, proptech and expanded blockchain tokenization inside industries.

Investors in Central and Eastern Europe are generally looking for the same things as VCs based elsewhere: startups that have a unique value proposition, capital efficiency, motivated teams, post-revenue and a well-defined market niche.

Out of the cohort we interviewed, several told us that COVID-19 had not yet substantially transformed how they do business. As Michał Papuga, a partner at Flashpoint VC put it, “the situation since March hasn’t changed a lot, but we went from extreme panic to extreme bullishness. Neither of these is good and I would recommend to stick to the long-term goals and not to be pressured.”

Said Pawel Lipkowski of RBL_VC, “Warsaw is at its pivotal point — think Berlin in the ‘90s. It’s a place to observe carefully.”

Here’s who we interviewed for part one:

For the conclusion, we spoke to the following investors:

Karol Szubstarski, partner, OTB Ventures

What trends are you most excited about investing in, generally?
Gradual shift of enterprises toward increased use of automation and AI, that enables dramatic improvement of efficiency, cost reduction and transfer of enterprise resources from tedious, repeatable and mundane tasks to more exciting, value added opportunities.

What’s your latest, most exciting investment?
One of the most exciting opportunities is ICEYE. The company is a leader and first mover in synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology for microsatellites. It is building and operating its own commercial constellation of SAR microsatellites capable of providing satellite imagery regardless of the cloud cover, weather conditions and time of the day and night (comparable resolution to traditional SAR satellites with 100x lower cost factor), which is disrupting the multibillion dollar satellite imagery market.

Are there startups that you wish you would see in the industry but don’t? What are some overlooked opportunities right now?
I would love to see more startups in the digital twin space; technology that enables creation of an exact digital replica/copy of something in physical space — a product, process or even the whole ecosystem. This kind of solution enables experiments and [the implementation of] changes that otherwise could be extremely costly or risky – it can provide immense value added for customers.

What are you looking for in your next investment, in general?
A company with unique value proposition to its customers, deep tech component that provides competitive edge over other players in the market and a founder with global vision and focus on execution of that vision.

Which areas are either oversaturated or would be too hard to compete in at this point for a new startup? What other types of products/services are you wary or concerned about?
No market/sector is too saturated and has no room for innovation. Some markets seem to be more challenging than others due to immense competitive landscape (e.g., food delivery, language-learning apps) but still can be the subject of disruption due to a unique value proposition of a new entrant.

How much are you focused on investing in your local ecosystem versus other startup hubs (or everywhere) in general? More than 50%? Less?
OTB is focused on opportunities with links to Central Eastern European talent (with no bias toward any hub in the region), meaning companies that leverage local engineering/entrepreneurial talent in order to build world-class products to compete globally (usually HQ outside CEE).

Which industries in your city and region seem well-positioned to thrive, or not, long term? What are companies you are excited about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
CEE region is recognized for its sizable and highly skilled talent pool in the fields of engineering and software development. The region is well-positioned to build up solutions that leverage deep, unique tech regardless of vertical (especially B2B). Historically, the region was especially strong in AI/ML, voice/speech/NLP technologies, cybersecurity, data analytics, etc.

How should investors in other cities think about the overall investment climate and opportunities in your city?
CEE (including Poland and Warsaw) has always been recognized as an exceptionally strong region in terms of engineering/IT talent. Inherent risk aversion of entrepreneurs has driven, for a number of years, a more “copycat”/local market approach, while holding back more ambitious, deep tech opportunities. In recent years we are witnessing a paradigm shift with a new generation of entrepreneurs tackling problems with unique, deep tech solutions, putting emphasis on global expansion, neglecting shallow local markets. As such, the quality of deals has been steadily growing and currently reflects top quality on global scale, especially on tech level. CEE market demonstrates also a growing number of startups (in total), which is mostly driven by an abundance of early-stage capital and success stories in the region (e.g., DataRobot, Bolt, UiPath) that are successfully evangelizing entrepreneurship among corporates/engineers.

Do you expect to see a surge in more founders coming from geographies outside major cities in the years to come, with startup hubs losing people due to the pandemic and lingering concerns, plus the attraction of remote work?
I believe that local hubs will hold their dominant position in the ecosystem. The remote/digital workforce will grow in numbers but proximity to capital, human resources and markets still will remain the prevalent force in shaping local startup communities.

Which industry segments that you invest in look weaker or more exposed to potential shifts in consumer and business behavior because of COVID-19? What are the opportunities startups may be able to tap into during these unprecedented times?
OTB invests in general in companies with clearly defined technological advantage, making quantifiable and near-term difference to their customers (usually in the B2B sector), which is a value-add regardless of the market cycle. The economic downturn works generally in favor of technological solutions enabling enterprise clients to increase efficiency, cut costs, bring optimization and replace manual labour with automation — and the vast majority of OTB portfolio fits that description. As such, the majority of the OTB portfolio has not been heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic.

How has COVID-19 impacted your investment strategy? What are the biggest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your advice to startups in your portfolio right now?
The COVID pandemic has not impacted our investment strategy in any way. OTB still pursues unique tech opportunities that can provide its customers with immediate value added. This kind of approach provides a relatively high level of resilience against economic downturns (obviously, sales cycles are extending but in general sales pipeline/prospects/retention remains intact). Liquidity in portfolio is always the number one concern in uncertain, challenging times. Lean approach needs to be reintroduced, companies need to preserve cash and keep optimizing — that’s the only way to get through the crisis.

Are you seeing “green shoots” regarding revenue growth, retention or other momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
A good example in our portfolio is Segron, a provider of an automated testing platform for applications, databases and enterprise network infrastructure. Software development, deployment and maintenance in enterprise IT ecosystem requires continuous and rigorous testing protocols and as such a lot of manual heavy lifting with highly skilled engineering talent being involved (which can be used in a more productive way elsewhere). The COVID pandemic has kept engineers home (with no ability for remote testing) while driving demand for digital services (and as such demand for a reliable IT ecosystem). The Segron automated framework enables full automation of enterprise testing leading to increased efficiency, cutting operating costs and giving enterprise customers peace of mind and a good night’s sleep regarding their IT infrastructure in the challenging economic environment.

What is a moment that has given you hope in the last month or so? This can be professional, personal or a mix of the two.
I remain impressed by the unshakeable determination of multiple founders and their teams to overcome all the challenges of the unfavorable economic ecosystem.

Startups – TechCrunch

Peer Support and Self Management Saturday’s – A Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant

Welcome to this week’s Peer Support and Self Management Thread.

This is a Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant.

The goal for this thread is to help one another manage mental and physical health so we can more easily find success.

We all struggle sometimes and it is important to recognize that the struggle is part of the journey. The important thing is to learn how to overcome that adversity to grow and succeed.

Be tactful and classy in how you vent your feelings and share your frustrations. Act in a mature manner.

Ask questions, share experiences, and be there for one another. Practice empathy in giving advice and remember that what worked for you isn’t guaranteed to work for others. Make suggestions, not demands of others.

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Peer Support and Self Management Saturday’s – A Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant

Welcome to this week’s Peer Support and Self Management Thread.

This is a Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant.

The goal for this thread is to help one another manage mental and physical health so we can more easily find success.

We all struggle sometimes and it is important to recognize that the struggle is part of the journey. The important thing is to learn how to overcome that adversity to grow and succeed.

Be tactful and classy in how you vent your feelings and share your frustrations. Act in a mature manner.

Ask questions, share experiences, and be there for one another. Practice empathy in giving advice and remember that what worked for you isn’t guaranteed to work for others. Make suggestions, not demands of others.

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Germany’s Leipzig Is A Place To Scale For Innovative Companies In Traditional Industries

Leipzig: Home To Traditional Industries & New Technologies

Ever since the beginnings of industrialization, the region has been world-famous for mechanical and vehicle engineering – turning spindle machines, aircraft, and even cable cars like the one that takes passengers up to the Table Mountain in Cape Town all came from Leipzig, a city located in Saxony, Germany.

But what is it that makes businesses thrive in this region?

According to Helen Stöhr, Manager of International Markets at Invest Region Leipzig, “The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Leipzig is very much tech-driven and mainly designed by engineers, computer scientists, and creatives with a very curious and inviting mind. People here are committed to innovation – and owing to the city’s size, its network is strongly interconnected. Developing business here is often easier than in bigger cities with an overloaded run of requests”.

And – there’s more!

Excellent Logistics Location

Leipzig offers excellent conditions for efficient, innovative, and digital manufacturing for companies even with logistically extensive supply chains. The region is an attractive location due to its central position in Europe and a trimodal traffic connection with the second-largest freight airport in Germany. With its 24-hour operation, the Leipzig/Halle Airport is a significant locational factor and the reason for well-known manufacturers such as BMW, Porsche, Future Electronics, or Dow Chemical settling in its vicinity. It’s one of the top 5 European cargo hubs, making it easy to access the growing markets in eastern Europe and Asia.

A Place To Scale

The sharp increase in employees and companies in the region is no accident as it offers optimal framework conditions for sustainable company growth. The rapid development of Leipzig-based startups and scaleups such as APPSfactory or DeskCenter Solutions shows that companies benefit from location advantages such as comparatively low rents, competitive wages, and outstanding (IT) infrastructure.

The Tech Industry As A Driver Of Growth

With more than 1,200 companies and around 14,000 employees, the tech industry has been the fastest growing industry in Leipzig for years. The city has one of the densest tech ecosystems in Germany – almost 28% (2020) of all inner-city office space is occupied by startups and established companies in the digital economy. With the rapid growth of the e-commerce company Invia Group, formerly known as Unister, the region also moved onto the European e-commerce map at the end of the 2000s. Driven by strong growth, the location has extensive expertise and networks and is considered one of the top developer locations in Germany.

It’s Affordable

Despite strict rent control laws, you can still expect to pay €13.20 per square meter for accommodation in Berlin and Hamburg. In Leipzig, it’s just €7.21 per square meter (2019) – on average you’ll pay €512 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center – so you can more comfortably afford an inner-city life.

When it comes to trained specialists, more than 45 vocational schools in Saxony train the next generation in technical professions. Currently, there are 36,000 engineering students enrolled in Saxony along with 19,000 highly skilled professionals in the workforce. Moreover, companies based in Leipzig benefit from attractive salary structures. In a nationwide comparison, the remuneration of qualified specialists is well below the average: the average salary per year is 63,531 EUR in Western Germany compared to 45,124 EUR in Eastern Germany, where Leipzig is located. This results in enormous savings potential and competitive advantages.

The interplay of logistics-relevant location factors as well as the quantitative and qualitative depth of existing companies together with relevant locational factors are unique in a nationwide comparison. This combination forms an important cornerstone for the development of the Leipzig region towards a modern, effective economic location with international significance.

Advancing Digital Manufacturing & Industry 4.0

The Leipzig region is a traditional hub bringing out solid but innovative manufacturing tools and techniques. Businesses in the region are experienced in advanced manufacturing technologies, from digital manufacturing to robotic automation and cybersecurity. Particularly technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), big data, cloud computing, and additive manufacturing are implemented at the location. Clusters additionally enable companies to make use of all it has to offer. “Building 3D”, for example, bundles manufacturers, service companies as well as R&D institutes from the region within their value-adding “3D House” network with nationwide impact.

Apart from these clusters, the university association “Saxony5” fosters innovation in the digital manufacturing industry through Co-Creation Labs such as the “Factory of the Future”.

Connecting Logistics & Supply Chain

Logistics location Leipzig – that stands above all for tailor-made solutions for the various industrial value chains in supply and packaging logistics. The Saxon logistics industry also proves its strength in the field of information technology, in particular in the fields of supply chain and warehouse management or for digital fleet management. Available skilled workers and attractive prices for commercial space ensure that numerous leading industrial and logistics companies, including well-known and internationally operating companies such as DHL, Amazon, and DB Schenker, favor the region.

Because of Leipzig’s unique offerings, it is home to many testing projects. One of these projects – currently ongoing – is “SMile – Smart Last Mile Logistik”, coordinated by the Logistics Living Lab.

Cradle Of Innovative Champions

Whether it is digital manufacturing and industry 4.0 or logistics & warehousing – the Leipzig region is developing into a nationwide hotspot for research in the fields of Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and 5G Connectivity.

The KI Hub Sachsen, for example, focuses on the practical use of AI to make daily work processes more efficient. A total of 17 entrepreneurs and scientists from the Leipzig region have been part of the initiative since 2019, when it was initiated by InfAI. InfAI sees itself as a transfer institute and innovation engine for solutions based on current information and communication technologies.
When it comes to cybersecurity, Europe’s independent specialist in anomaly detection and network security, Rhebo started its business as a team of the first cohort of SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator in Leipzig in 2014. In 2019, the decision was made to locate the Federal Agency for Innovation in Cybersecurity at Halle-Leipzig Airport. Its aim is to protect military and civil computer systems from hacker attacks and to award research contracts in the field of cybersecurity. Another innovative champion is ipoque, a Rohde & Schwarz company, a global leader in the world of deep packet inspection and network analytics software.
What’s more, through the Tri5G project, northern Leipzig becomes a 5G pioneer region within Germany. The core team of the project consists of the BMW Group Plant Leipzig, DHL Hub Leipzig, Airport Leipzig / Halle, Leipzig Group, Leipziger Messe, DB Schenker, City of Leipzig, University of Leipzig, and HTWK Leipzig.

Get Settled With Invest Region Leipzig

Leipzig is a growing city with a broad economic base that welcomes innovation. Its lively corporate and startup scene as well as the vibrant higher education system foster highly-skilled talent while the city also offers optimal infrastructure, an outstanding R&D landscape, available funding, international networks, and high quality of life.

Considering Leipzig when expanding to Germany is a great opportunity for startups & scale-ups and with the right partners such as Invest Region Leipzig, settling-in to this fast-growing region becomes even easier.

Invest Region Leipzig designed a process for you to find out if the Leipzig region is the right place to expand – without any risk or costly investments. The package offers custom support on all topics, including:

  • Funding
  • Recruitment
  • Scaling
  • Building a business network

“Our strong relationships with associations, industry members, administrators, and investors will connect companies with all the interesting players,” concludes Helen Stöhr.
If you are looking to set-up your business in Germany, visit Invest Region Leipzig’s website & get in touch!

 

 

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StartUs Magazine

Peer Support and Self Management Saturday’s – A Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant

Welcome to this week’s Peer Support and Self Management Thread.

This is a Safe Place to Vent, Seek Emotional Support, Share Self Management Techniques and Experiences, or Just Rant.

The goal for this thread is to help one another manage mental and physical health so we can more easily find success.

We all struggle sometimes and it is important to recognize that the struggle is part of the journey. The important thing is to learn how to overcome that adversity to grow and succeed.

Be tactful and classy in how you vent your feelings and share your frustrations. Act in a mature manner.

Ask questions, share experiences, and be there for one another. Practice empathy in giving advice and remember that what worked for you isn’t guaranteed to work for others. Make suggestions, not demands of others.

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!