#EndSARS: NCAA denies alleged shut down of airspace, as Turkish Airlines takes off tonight – Nairametrics

#EndSARS: NCAA denies alleged shut down of airspace, as Turkish Airlines takes off tonight  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

3 Signs a Founder Has What it Takes to Scale a Startup During Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic horizon stretches onward and a return to normalcy appears ever more distant, adaptation is the only option. Founders must prepare for a lengthy economic downturn, a slower sales pipeline, extended fundraising timelines and a deeply disrupted workplace — circumstances no one was planning for at the start of 2020.

Simply staying afloat will be difficult from now into the foreseeable future, and scaling your startup will be even more challenging due to the knock-on effects of the pandemic on the business environment. How do you invest in additional capacity if sales and funding cycles are extended? How do you source quality hires without meeting them in person? How can you be sure your team engagement stays high when no one is in the office? And even more confounding, how do you proceed onward and upward when everything seems uncertain?

In the best of times (and particularly in the worst), the responsibility for growing a startup falls to the founder and his or her ability to pivot. This is evident with the startups that have flourished during the pandemic, including home-fitness company Mirror and plant-based food producer Impossible Foods. Each was propelled by positive market tides as well as founders with the vision to see this crisis — awful as it might be — as an opportunity for growth. This unflinching mindset is fundamental to managing uncertainty.

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What makes founders essential when fortifying a startup against unpredictable risks?

Why founders matter

Founders presumably understand their startup better than anyone else. As such, investors often see the founder as the person most attuned to a startup’s potential and the obstacles in front of it. Employees can glean a similar attitude; ideally, they catch a founder’s vision and coalesce into a team, animating everything a company does in that image. No wonder people look to founders first to navigate fledgling companies through crises.

Beyond setting the right strategy, however, founders must also be an example for the entire company to follow. In practice, that means setting a trajectory for the startup that people feel excited to achieve. It means imagining what the future looks like and engineering a company to thrive in tomorrow’s world. It also means adapting to the unexpected with bold, confident responses.

Studies show that entrepreneurs are audacious by nature and more certain of their own ability to control outcomes than others. In crisis times such as these, great founders continue to ooze these characteristics, helping the entire startup feel assured and, perhaps most importantly, in control.

Related: 10 Common Traits of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Key traits of effective founders

Many founders are full of ideas and enthusiasm, yet some propel their startups toward growth while others fizzle out. Here are some traits that distinguish the very best startup leaders:

Great storytelling skills

A startup doesn’t need an allegory to succeed (one that begins in a mythical garage, for instance), but it does need a great storyteller: someone who can communicate the vision of the company to employees, investors and customers alike.

Don’t confuse this with needing to be a world-renowned motivational speaker. The goal is to craft a compelling narrative, and this can be achieved without tremendous inborn talent. Like most skills, storytelling develops through practice. Take every opportunity to practice (i.e. conferences, interviews, pitches, follow-up calls) evangelizing about your company. Learn to seamlessly connect the future of your company (and whatever it takes to grow) with its history and founding principles.

A strong sense of foresight

If the goal is to scale fast, promising companies need to stay strategically ahead of the markets they operate in. Thus, foresight is an essential skill for founders, and it stems from understanding an industry in-depth: the market forces, competitive landscape, technical roots and customer profiles.

Deep foresight takes dedicated time to cultivate, so founders must make space in their schedules to ponder the big picture and long-term arc of their industry. A great example of deep foresight is Zoom; the company set out to transform an unloved industry (videoconferencing) and was positioned to seize that opportunity when it suddenly arrived. Zoom was designed for the future, evidencing just the kind of foresight it takes to grow in the face of changing global circumstances.

The ability to adapt

Startups are born to adapt; the trajectory never plays out as planned.

Change can be challenging and disruptive, but effective founders are unfazed. They embrace change, seeing it as an opportunity to evolve and expand upon their first principles.

Startup adaptability is engineered. To build for adaptability, design operations that approach problems systematically and can be optimized for flexibility. And always criticize processes, rather than people. It’s also a good idea to have several parallel strategies in place to insulate yourself from any single point of failure.

For example, one of the startups I advise runs a barbell strategy for business development to ensure it is simultaneously working on prospects that will pay off in a few months and ones that will pay off in a few years. The team is lean, but can manage a number of potential revenue outcomes by proceduralizing commonalities in the work so no single person is stretched too thin.

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Key takeaways

Many problems seem insurmountable, especially those that many of us have faced in recent months. Founders shouldn’t underestimate the obstacles in their path, but they shouldn’t see them as impassable, either. The best startup founders don’t crumble in the face of adversity. They overcome it, one step at a time.

People can learn the traits of successful entrepreneurs, and very few people (even among famous founders) embody all of them without trying. Every founder can retool for unforeseen market environments. And right now, they must if they’re serious about scaling up a startup on their own schedule instead of one set by circumstances outside their control.

The post 3 Signs a Founder Has What it Takes to Scale a Startup During Crisis appeared first on StartupNation.


[Armory in TechCrunch] Armory nabs $40M Series C as commercial biz on top of open-source Spinnaker project takes off

As companies continue to shift more quickly to the cloud, pushed by the pandemic, startups like Armory that work in the cloud-native space are seeing an uptick in interest. Armory  is a company built to be a commercial layer on top of the open-source continuous delivery project Spinnaker. Today, it announced a $ 40 million Series C.

Read more here.

The post [Armory in TechCrunch] Armory nabs $ 40M Series C as commercial biz on top of open-source Spinnaker project takes off appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

[Hailo in BIOMETRIC UPDATE] Hailo takes next steps with new AI chip modules for better biometrics in edge devices

Israel-based Hailo, a developer of AI chips, is now offering its Hailo-8 processor in new form factors that will make integrating the chip into edge devices easier for its customers. The end result will be a new wave of products for smart cities, smart retail, Industry 4.0, and smart homes, many of which will leverage Hailo’s accelerated AI for biometrics functions.

Read more on Forbes here.

The post [Hailo in BIOMETRIC UPDATE] Hailo takes next steps with new AI chip modules for better biometrics in edge devices appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Armory nabs $40M Series C as commercial biz on top of open-source Spinnaker project takes off

As companies continue to shift more quickly to the cloud, pushed by the pandemic, startups like Armory that work in the cloud-native space are seeing an uptick in interest. Armory is a company built to be a commercial layer on top of the open-source continuous delivery project Spinnaker. Today, it announced a $ 40 million Series C.

B Capital led the round, with help from new investors Lead Edge Capital and Marc Benioff along with previous investors Insight Partners, Crosslink Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Mango Capital, Y Combinator and Javelin Venture Partners. Today’s investment brings the total raised to more than $ 82 million.

“Spinnaker is an open-source project that came out of Netflix and Google, and it is a very sophisticated multi-cloud and software delivery platform,” company co-founder and CEO Daniel R. Odio told TechCrunch.

Odio points out that this project has the backing of industry leaders, including the three leading public cloud infrastructure vendors Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well as other cloud players like CloudFoundry and HashiCorp. “The fact that there is a lot of open-source community support for this project means that it is becoming the new standard for cloud-native software delivery,” he said.

In the days before the notion of continuous delivery, companies moved forward slowly, releasing large updates over months or years. As software moved to the cloud, this approach no longer made sense and companies began delivering updates more incrementally, adding features when they were ready. Adding a continuous delivery layer helped facilitate this move.

As Odio describes it, Armory extends the Spinnaker project to help implement complex use cases at large organizations, including around compliance and governance and security. It is also in the early stages of implementing a SaaS version of the solution, which should be available next year.

While he didn’t want to discuss customer numbers, he mentioned JPMorgan Chase and Autodesk as customers, along with less specific allusions to “a Fortune Five technology company, a Fortune 20 Bank, a Fortune 50 retailer and a Fortune 100 technology company.”

The company currently has 75 employees, but Odio says business has been booming and he plans to double the team in the next year. As he does, he says that he is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion.

“There’s actually a really big difference between diversity and inclusion, and there’s a great Vernā Myers quote that diversity is being asked to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance, and so it’s actually important for us not only to focus on diversity, but also focus on inclusion because that’s how we win. By having a heterogeneous company, we will outperform a homogeneous company,” he said.

While the company has moved to remote work during COVID, Odio says they intend to remain that way, even after the current crisis is over. “Now obviously COVID been a real challenge for the world, including us. We’ve gone to a fully remote-first model, and we are going to stay remote-first even after COVID. And it’s really important for us to be taking care of our people, so there’s a lot of human empathy here,” he said.

But at the same time, he sees COVID opening up businesses to move to the cloud and that represents an opportunity for his business, one that he will focus on with new capital at his disposal. “In terms of the business opportunity, we exist to help power the transformation that these enterprises are undergoing right now, and there’s a lot of urgency for us to execute on our vision and mission because there is a lot of demand for this right now,” he said.

Startups – TechCrunch

SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska.

The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying to solve a different set of problems than you might find in these other centers of capital, issues that require digital solutions but might fall outside a typical computer science graduate’s experience.

Saas Ventures looks at four main investment areas: trucking and logistics, manufacturing, e-commerce enablement for industries that have not typically gone online and cybersecurity, the latter being the most mainstream of the areas SaaS Ventures covers.

The company’s first fund, which launched in 2017, was worth $ 20 million, but SaaS Ventures launched a second fund of equal amount earlier this month. It tends to stick to small-dollar-amount investments, while partnering with larger firms when it contributes funds to a deal.

We talked to Collin Gutman, founder and managing partner at SaaS Ventures, to learn about his investment philosophy, and why he decided to take the road less traveled for his investment thesis.

A different investment approach

Gutman’s journey to find enterprise startups in out of the way places began in 2012 when he worked at an early enterprise startup accelerator called Acceleprise. “We were really the first ones who said enterprise tech companies are wired differently, and need a different set of early-stage resources,” Gutman told TechCrunch.

Through that experience, he decided to launch SaaS Ventures in 2017, with several key ideas underpinning the firm’s investment thesis: after his experience at Acceleprise, he decided to concentrate on the enterprise from a slightly different angle than most early-stage VC establishments.

Collin Gutman from SaaS Ventures

Collin Gutman, founder and managing partner at SaaS Ventures (Image Credits: SaaS Ventures)

The second part of his thesis was to concentrate on secondary markets, which meant looking beyond the popular startup ecosystem centers and investing in areas that didn’t typically get much attention. To date, SaaS Ventures has made investments in 23 states and Toronto, seeking startups that others might have overlooked.

“We have really phenomenal coverage in terms of not just geography, but in terms of what’s happening with the underlying businesses, as well as their customers,” Gutman said. He believes that broad second-tier market data gives his firm an upper hand when selecting startups to invest in. More on that later.

Startups – TechCrunch

Austrian crypto-expert Blockpit takes over CryptoTax, its biggest competitor

Today Blockpit, the Austrian compliance expert and software developer who was once a finalist at the EU-Startups Pitch Competition, has announced the acquisition of its German competitor CryptoTax. Both companies were founded in 2017, and provide legally compliant transaction reporting, which can be used to calculate and report taxable profits from trading with crypto currencies…

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This CEO Debunks the Myth of the Overnight Success (and What it Really Takes to Succeed)

In 2015, CEO and bestselling author Robert Glazer started sending a weekly note of inspiration to his team of 40 people at Acceleration Partners. Five years later, that simple note has evolved into an inspirational newsletter that reaches 200,000 people in over 60 countries each week.

Robert’s new book, “Friday Forward: Inspiration and Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started” is the story of how any person can build their capacity, lead others to do the same, and inspire thousands of people without even meeting them.

Robert was especially motivated to write this book when he saw how Friday Forward became a defining part of the company culture at his company, Acceleration Partners. The principles and lessons of Friday Forward—consistent improvement, self-driven accountability, and cultivating relationships with others—can serve as the backbone of any startup team or organization.

Too many of us are flooded with negative, conflict-driven news, and the 52 uplifting stories included in “Friday Forward” will give you the motivation to reach higher heights and elevate others along with you.

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The following is excerpted from “Friday Forward by Robert Glazer, a collection of 52 inspirational stories about leadership and personal growth, which is available for purchase today.

Years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Uri Levine, co-founder of Waze, speak to a small group. The popular social navigation app had just been sold to Google for $ 1.15 billion. At the time, the rumor on the street was that Google had bought Waze a year into their existence. I’ll admit that when I first heard that rumor, my initial thought was, “What a lucky ba**ard.” But I should have known better.

From Uri’s story, it became evident that Waze was not an overnight success. In fact, it was more of a decade long struggle with several near-death experiences that left the management team with very little equity. Fortunately, the company was driven by a founder (Uri) who has an incredible passion for solving logistical issues—so much so that he usually wears a T-shirt that says, “Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.”

Since hearing Uri speak, I’ve read several similar stories that continue to debunk the myth of the “overnight success,” including that of Ben Silbermann. Ben stuck with his pet project after a year of failures, declining traffic, and a lack of understanding about his product from friends and family. What kept him going was a genuine passion for his idea combined with a fear of failure and embarrassment. His grit paid off and now most of us are familiar with or use what became of his pet project: Pinterest.

Related: Former Airbnb Chief Ethics Officer Says Integrity is a Superpower in Business

So, why does the myth of the overnight success seem to perpetuate?

Perhaps because it’s often easier for us to ascribe success to luck or timing as opposed to passion, dogged determination, or thousands of hours of hard work and grit. It’s similar to when someone tries to excuse laziness or underachievement by remarking in their defense that the person is “smart,” as if that entitles them to success. It’s far better to recognize someone’s work ethic, rather than their intelligence. The truth is, nothing worth doing is easy.

We should stop permitting excuses and stories that mask what it really takes to achieve success, simply because we may be too afraid to make that investment ourselves.

The next time you hear about an “overnight success” story, dig a little deeper. Most are decades in the making.

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“Friday Forward” is available now wherever books are sold and can be purchased via StartupNation.com.

The post This CEO Debunks the Myth of the Overnight Success (and What it Really Takes to Succeed) appeared first on StartupNation.


Flour Mills to issue bond within 2 months as it takes advantage of market rate – Nairametrics

Flour Mills to issue bond within 2 months as it takes advantage of market rate  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News