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10 Takeaways from Web Summit

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sarah Jenkinson and Majella Crennan, associates in the Tech and Start-up department at Philip Lee, recently attended the Web Summit in Lisbon.  They have distilled hours of talks and workshops led by CEOs, founders, industry leaders and investors to share with you ten Web Summit takeaways for start-ups.


  1. Raising capital

First and foremost, try and build your business without capital. If and when you determine that capital is required, raise as much as you can when you can.


  1. First-time founders

First-time founders will have to work even harder than those founders with a proven history. Be prepared for investors to request at a minimum, sight of a prototype and more likely, stats on customer usage of a product, before investing.


  1. Failure

To be successful, founders should be prepared for failure – fail fast, recover quickly and learn from your mistakes.


  1. Work-rate and efficiency

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest work rate, CEOs should aim to be a 7 – they should be stretched but not strained. Having a reserve “in the tank” is essential for when crisis hits or pressure is applied and you are expected to “up your game”. The personal health of CEOs is becoming increasingly more important.


  1. Characteristics of successful CEOs

The consensus among CEOs, founders and investors was that the most successful CEOs, regardless of the field, strike the perfect balance between intellect and emotional intelligence.


  1. Attracting investment

Investors want to see technology that is disruptive on a seismic scale – they want to see a product with the “wow” factor. Investors also like to see that staff members are managed well, that your business can scale up if required and that your board of directors is diverse yet aligned.


  1. Data protection and privacy

If your business collects and processes customer data then you must be cognisant of the rules surrounding data protection and privacy. If you are not, your success will be hampered considerably – consumers are becoming increasingly more protective of their data and privacy and expect the companies with which they engage to provide a minimum level of protection.


  1. Diversity

Increased diversity within an organisation will help attract top talent, improve employee satisfaction, improve creativity and drive sales. Set the narrative and appoint a diversity officer!


  1. Globalisation

Globalisation is key to innovation. Stymieing the flow of people from country to country will hamper the flow of ideas and thus innovation.


  1. Watch this space

Investors at the Web Summit think the following will be HOT in 2017:

  • platforms not apps;
  • blockchain;
  • using data obtained from wearable devices for practical purposes;
  • machine identity ; and
  • smart home devices.