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Building a Fat Startup: From Israel to Silicon Valley, Qwilt CEO Alon Maor’s Journey (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 24th 2013

Sramana: One of the big problems that we see in big startup teams is that people just meet and try to do a startup together. That’s like getting married after a one-night stand. It’s a disaster.

Alon Maor: What I found out about the team is that it is all about the people. You have to connect to people you trust. You have to connect with people you trust in order to have a high likelihood of building something significant. You have to connect to a team that you can trust blind sighted and you have to connect to the best people.

Sramana: There are different ways of doing things. However, if you want to be with a co-founder you need to make sure you have the right decision. You can’t fire a co-founder. Getting rid of a co-founder can destroy the company.

Alon Maor: All along it should be people that you trust. The level of experience varies. The team that I have today has 15 to 20 people that I have known for at least 10 years from across the globe.

Sramana: Let’s go back chronologically. You and Dan were playing squash and strategizing over a startup. What happened next?

Alon Maor: We started looking for problem domains. After three months we connected to my previous CEO at P-Cube. We had a lot of discussions and talked about the current idea that we built the company on. We raised a bridge loan from 9 angels in order to start ramping the idea and work towards a Series A. Since then we have done a Series A, B and C.

Sramana: How did you get the business off the ground? Did you make money off of your exit at P-Cube?

Alon Maor: I did make money off of P-Cube. We also allowed ourselves to be without work for nine months. We financed ourselves during that time. We had families so we took a risk. We felt that this was our opportunity and we had to fulfill it.

Sramana: What were you able to accomplish in those nine months before you raised your first financing? What did you achieve in terms of validation, customer engagement and product development?

Alon Maor: I don’t think that people are able to raise money today if they do not make the commitment to leave their day jobs and incubate an idea on their own. They have to make sure they are able to get the business off the ground without getting financed. If they can’t do it on their own then they are probably not going to get investors who are willing to trust them with their money.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Building a Fat Startup: From Israel to Silicon Valley, Qwilt CEO Alon Maor's Journey
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