The breakfast and registration room is organized with round tables of 8/10 seats so that we can start getting to know our competitors and colleagues in this event. The atmosphere is vibrant and very enjoyable. We get to speak about agile and artificial intelligence before 8:30am.
Alex Vieux, CEO and Chairman from Red Herring welcomes us and opens the forum’s session with a wonderful speech about the 10 commandments for CEO’s.
1) Dream big and in colors. Map out every step in details. If you think you are a billion dollars company you will be. Do not get stuck on day to day tasks, remember the creativity that put you in the CEO position in first place.
2) Sell sell sell. Do not be ashamed of selling all the time to anybody. Bill Gates was selling back in 1993 and he was great at it. CEOs should always participate to sales. Even the day everything seems lost you have to get up, fight for it and win it.
3) Persevere and never give up. Winning is in the head.
4) Be sure you make people really love the best product, hone it, go the extra mile. Even when you talk to your engineers search for refinement, go the extra mile, think user experience, think what you would like and think like apple. Nobody would have thought that they would be good at mobile phones and now it is 50% of their business. Users love it, it is not only useful or working it has an extra value you have to want for your product to be the best product.
5) Remember to be frugal. It preserves from growing pains. The same way you give kids pocket money assign resources to your company.
6) Measure, control and live by your numbers. Granularity pays off. Be on top of your numbers and measure daily, weekly and biweekly. Measuring monthly is not enough.
7) Lead by example and do not compromise on standards and quality. Tell people what to do and do what you said. People do not like surprises. Be transparent. Share data. CEOs that are more transparent get the best out of their teams.
8) Hire slow and fire fast. Take your time to hire to not find yourself facing the same issue you have at the moment in a later time.
9) Take the money and run. Be humble, offers do not come often. If you sell a company, even if it is a lower off than you expected, you will gain respect from VCs.
10) Manage your life, your health, your balance. At the end of the day it is all about people. Companies last long than CEOs. Take care of your balance between the things you love.
Roundtable: 4 VCs talking about Europe landscape.
We are now sitting with 4 Venture Capitals representatives from Netherlands, US, UK and Spain.
In the room there are about 80 people and all of them are here to learn how to be even more successful. During this session the competition to be Top100 is almost forgotten. We listen to the VCs discussion and it is encouraging. Good people with good projects will get their chance. There is also a competition between VCs so they think it takes more money now to win. They advice to develop a personal relationship with more than a VC firm to be sure you get the best fit for your business and on the other side to mind your diligences and make sure you know your numbers before presenting your business plan. Investors relations is like a marriage.
At 11:30am we jump on other 2 sessions about founders and corporates respectively.
It is really interesting to be here and learn about how financing world works and how many different ways there are out there. From seeding and founding of ideas, to rounds A to almost profitable companies, to Corporate partnerships and Venture Capitals investments B to D.
During our coffee and lunch break we get to meet many of the others finalists too and it is really enjoyable to feel that there are many others good ideas and private businesses out there.
We listen to some of the other finalists presentations in the afternoon, because they are interesting and because we can benchmark against them.