Monday, April 19, 2021

Always act with sincerity

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Connectd platform that connects startups with investors and advisors

Please introduce yourself and your startup Connectd to our readers!

My name is Roei, I am a 29-year-old entrepreneur and angel investor based in London. My latest venture is Connectd, a platform that connects startups with investors and advisors.

How did you get the idea of Connectd?

Connectd is the answer to all the problems I have come across in my career so far. As a start-up founder back in 2014 I had to go through the hard slog of finding relevant investors who would not only put money in, but really add value to my business.

After that business was acquired in 2018 I became an angel investor myself and saw things from the other side. It can be incredibly time consuming to find the right opportunity, particularly if they are new to the game. As many angels have full-time jobs, it can be really difficult for them as well. 

I believed that there was and is a gap in the market for a community that connects these individuals based not on who they know, or where they are based, but their strategic connection. And add to the mix that of business advisors, mentors and non-executive directors, who want meaningful roles with companies that excite them, and you have the three groups that make a business fly.

Why did you decide to start with Connectd?

It is perhaps ironic that there has been so little innovation in the angel/early-stage investment space, so I have known for some time that there is room for disruption and new ways of working. More specifically, I am an eternal optimist and truly believe that people want to help one another. I wanted to harness this good faith and connect people in a really smart, data-driven way.

What is the vision behind Connectd?

The UK is a hotbed of innovation, where entrepreneurs can truly achieve their goals. Over the last 12 months there has been a sharp increase in the number of new businesses being founded, as people set off on their own due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The vision for Connectd is to build a community that can release pent-up demand from angel investors, empower entrepreneurs from all walks of life and provide business mentors with a more fulfilling role.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

I have to say that launching Connectd has been far easier than my previous business. I learned from my previous experience founding RealSport and was wiser to what was required, which I believe is natural when you’ve done something before. One challenge I’ve learned is the need to quickly build credibility. There is a bit of a difference between the two businesses I’ve founded, so couldn’t afford to take it as a given that I would get backing in a new space. 

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is threefold. The first is entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, the second is angel investors and the third is business mentors such as board advisors or non-executive directors.

Gaining external funding can be a full-time job in its own right, so being able to manage the day-to-day running of your business while getting a cash injection can be extremely tough for many businesses. More than that, many fantastic entrepreneurs that are outside of the traditional ‘club’ perhaps due to their age, location, gender or ethnicity can find it difficult to access investment.

The same is true of angel investors, who have the money and the will to invest in exciting startups, but can often suffer from a lack of focus and access to relevant businesses matched to their requirements, which is exactly what Connectd provides.

Equally non-executive directors are looking for a more fulfilling role in a business that they are passionate about. They want skin in the game of a hyper-growth start-up, not sitting on the board of an SME that’s not going anywhere. This can mean either trawling LinkedIn for hours on end or waiting for the phone to ring. Connectd’s smart matching system solves this huge problem.

What is the USP of your startup?

The real USP is the data that we generate and how that can be used not only to match startups with entrepreneurs and investors but improve the way they engage and grow over many years.

Can you describe your typical workday?

I am typically awake by 5am, jumping on the Peloton for a spin before settling at my desk for about 6.15am to get admin done. From there, I am on calls from about 8.30am through to 7pm. It’s then a case of more admin until around 8pm. It sounds pretty brutal but I also find time to meditate before going to sleep, which I find extremely helpful. 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Connectd in five years?

Simply put, within five years I want to facilitate more than £1 billion worth of funding into startup businesses.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

The three tips I would give to company founders is:

Be prepared to sacrifice. This means friends, relationships, hobbies. Running a business can be all-consuming so make sure you are prepared to miss out on other things in order to run a successful business. Don’t get me wrong, it will be the most fulfilling experience, but it is not without its challenges

Always act with sincerity. This is a quality that will see you through the good and the bad times. The worst thing to do is create a gap between expectation and reality so being truthful and honest is a real virtue

Be humble and don’t lose sight of who you really are. I have seen too many examples of founders who raise a couple of hundred grand, hire a PA and completely remove themselves from the rest of the team. Be available to everyone in your business as people will be your greatest asset.

Thank you Roei Samuel for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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