While startups and new ventures often struggle to compete with larger, established companies, there is a notable shift. Many “traditional” corporations these days are changing. Their rigid, inflexible structures and hierarchies are no longer suitable for the digital age as technology takes over. This has lead many top multi-nationals to adopt “startup-like” ways of working, such as lean and agile methodologies.
That can only be a good thing. And this is where Mor and the team in Berlin come in.
Where corporates, academy and startups meet
So what is GTEC exactly? Without further ado, we’ll let Mor, who presented our recent cohort webinar session on “Understanding Investors” last month, reveal all.
Lean In EU WBAs Pitching Battles
Before that, a short reminder that you can register for the Lean In EU WBAs Pitching Battles here. Applying is easy, you just complete the form on the F6S platform here. The deadline for applications is June 5th.
If you are an early stage startup or fledgling business looking for funding, it’s a great chance to bring your best sales pitching game and get in front of some investors. Save the date, it’s June 14! Right here at the Starttech Ventures’ HQ.
Right then, time for some insights from Mor.
Q1: Mor, tell us a bit about GTEC. What activities and interests is the organization involved in and what insights can you give about your role in that picture?
A1: GTEC (German Tech Entrepreneurship Center) is the place where corporate, startups and academy meets in order to inspire, guide and grow entrepreneurship. We help corporations to think and act like a startup. By engaging with thought leaders in training, keynotes, workshops and working with some of Europe’s leading entrepreneurs.
We support startups in their efforts to grow faster and access markets, by providing a unique global infrastructure (WeWork offices) and access to experienced mentors and funding. We provide the tools to study and teach entrepreneurship for national and international universities, integrating leading entrepreneurs and up-to-date expertise.
As part of my position, I manage the EU Soft-Landing program that aims to build a European startup ecosystem in order to help startups to engage with different European markets. Furthermore, I manage GTEC’s No Bullshit Lab which helps global startups to access the market better and grow faster.
Q2: What do you think of the startup scene as far as the female factor is concerned? Is enough happening to address the imbalance, for whatever the reasons behind it are?
A2: The simple and direct answer would probably be no, but I don’t think that enough is done or said in everything related to women in the tech sector. But, I learned that in life there are no simple questions, there are always many factors and reasons for any kind of trend. I do believe that it’s a problem that was created by both men and women, therefore both of them should be part of the solution.
Q3: You will be on the panel for the upcoming Lean In EU WBAs Pitching Battles event here in Athens. Tell us, in a nutshell what are the main pitfalls or things WEs (women entrepreneurs) need to be mindful of when trying to pitch to and make agreements with investors?
A3: No matter if it’s women or men, here’s my two cents for pitching to investors:
- Come prepared for that specific meeting: do your research on the investor, portfolio companies, new funds etc.
- Explain your great initiative like you will explain it to your grandmother: not all the investors have a tech background. Especially for startups that have deep technology component, it’s extremely important to keep it simple and clear.
- Clear message: present your financial and development status, milestones and team in a clear and transparent way.
- Short meeting- short message: manage the duration of the meeting in an efficient way. Make sure to have enough time for questions and leave some time for clarifications.
- Be bold, take risks and enjoy the ride!
Q4: What is the role of women in leadership nowadays in Europe do you think? Are there significant differences in the private vs. public sector?
A4: There are so many roles, formats, frameworks and there is no right or wrong. We are different people and as such we have different opinions, needs, dreams, careers, visions, and challenges.
Women should know that they can do whatever they want regardless what their community or environment told them they should.
Nowadays, especially in Europe, we see more and more women in national politics and in the forefront of efforts to reshape and retain global alliances. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Tsa Ing-Wen, Dalia Grybauskaite, Roberta Pinotti are the proof that women can be anywhere they wish to. There is so much that still needs to be done, therefore it’s a great honor for me to be part of such a unique program.
Q5: The ideal female leader’s profile in entrepreneurship. What are the ideal characteristics, and what are the obstacles and challenges she has to tackle?
A5: I believe that the main challenge is the borders of our comfort zone and our beliefs. It’s a never-ending journey and no one is waiting at the end of the marathon with a medal. That’s why it’s even more important to demand what we want (better salary, position, etc) and not to wait until someone will notice we are here and doing an amazing job.
I don’t believe in 5-year plans but to have a clear and simple vision with enough space for spontaneity; a bright mind and the don’t forget to wear the “glasses” that will help you recognize great opportunities along the way.