Sramana Mitra: How do you get things off the ground?
Camilla Valentin: We made a business friend. All three of us had many years of business experience. We had some idea of what was needed. This was our first own startup. We found some good templates online that we applied to generating the business plan and started the architectural design of the solution in parallel. It was not overly comprehensive, but we covered most of the things that we found later that we needed to operate the business. >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 432nd FREE online 1Mby1M mentoring roundtable on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/5 p.m. CET/9:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea. You’ll receive straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and answers to any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording of this roundtable here:
Camilla Ley Valentine: I moved into a company called EDS at that time. Now, it’s been acquired by HP. I managed a bunch of projects. A lot of them had to with the transportation industry. Going from there, I went into the company and met Niels and Martin, my two Co-Founders of Queue-it. This was a software and consulting company.
In that company, we’re mainly dealing with very big and complicated software solutions for government companies and ministries. We developed solutions based on EU tenders. I was the Director for Business Development and Software Architecture. I handled the whole process of winning the deals in close collaboration with my two co-foundersr. We worked together in that company for six or seven years. >>>
Sramana Mitra: How are people thinking about this unicorn versus non-unicorn versus niches? How is the Canadian investment in general thinking about this?
Alireza Rahnema: I’ve work about this when it comes to different scene between startup the ecosystem. I’ve spent half of my time here and half of my time down San Francisco. When it comes to talent, there’s no shortage of talent in Canada with its very strong education system and extremely strong technical focus. >>>
According to an Edison Research report, nearly 73 million people in the US listen to some form of podcast on a monthly basis. While podcasts have been around for a while, the service gained popularity in 2014 following the release of an investigative documentary called Serial that provided different views on a murder investigation and trial. Recently, Billion Dollar Unicorn Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) also recognized the importance of the podcast market when it announced two acquisitions in the space. But first, the financial results.
I wrote a book called Billion Dollar Unicorns a few years back. Writing this book took me through the extensive process of talking to entrepreneurs who have built tech companies with valuations above a billion dollars. While there is a tremendous amount of serendipity involved in any extraordinary success story, one recurring theme comes up in these case studies. I am particularly excited to share this nugget because it applies broadly to all classes of entrepreneurial ventures.
Bootstrap first, raise money later.
That’s what Fred Luddy did when he founded ServiceNow back in 2005. Leveraging his domain knowledge and expertise in IT ServiceDesk software, he rapidly acquired 12 customers before raising funding. Initially, he started charging $25 per seat and the 12 customers paid up. He raised $2.5 million in venture capital WITH 12 customers, and ample validation.
Camille tells a wonderful story of capital-efficient entrepreneurship, including scaling a company born in Denmark that now has 40% of its business in the US.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What kind of background?
Camilla Ley Valentin: I come from a creative family. My father was a child TV star back in the 70’s and 80’s, which was when I was born in 1973. At that time, you can imagine that there weren’t many TV stations in Denmark where I’m from. We were part of a mini celebrity family and worked a lot in the entertainment industry. >>>