Execution – a startup’s essential commodity

Brett Commaille
Wikipedia, that wealth of Internet answers, defines execution as “the act or mode or result of performance”. It also has the bits about chopping off heads and ending existence but we’ll leave that for journalists to discuss. Execution is a word I’ve grown to appreciate and use more and more frequently. Not the premature cause of death for bad guys, but the satisfaction of getting things do...

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Landing a meeting with a VC – The value of a referral

Rosalie Seriese
As part of our application process, we ask entrepreneurs for a referral. Sadly, 90% of them have no referral at all. I say sadly, because the truth is, the majority of those applicants end up being declined – and I do not particularly enjoy sending those rejection emails. As one of the ‘gatekeepers’ of AngelHub Ventures, I review more than 20 funding requests a week and I wonder why most app...

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From Banker to VC – A reflective moment

Michael Jordaan
I don’t want your money. No, really I don’t. After 10 years of running our country’s oldest bank, I’ve kicked the habit of looking after other people’s money. It’s not that I’m not grateful for the more than R300 billion that you deposited with us when I was CEO. I really am. It’s just that after many years of countless Board, Audit, Compliance, Transformation and Risk Committee me...

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Your time, it’s worth more than you think

Brett Commaille
Business people are often asked what their most valuable resource is. They’re unlikely to dreamily gaze into the middle distance and respond with a powdery “love”, but they may think philosophically and say “people”.  However, it doesn't take a genius to realise that it is in fact “time". Time is without question the most valuable resource at our disposal. It's true for your bus...

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The Winner Takes It All

Michael Jordaan
“The Winner Takes It All” was a huge 1980’s hit by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It’s a sad song, reflecting the end of a romance. And just like their other hit: “Money, money, money” it’s also a huge issue in the venture capital industry. You see: venture capital is like a game of cricket. In theory the batsmen can hit 6 sixes from the 6 balls in every over, but in practice this is...

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Decision Making: Intuition and the 7 Friends

Mathew Palin
As entrepreneurs we are responsible for making decisions, both big and small, that ultimately lay the path to success or failure. The question is how do we ensure that the decisions we make are correct? We are often told that the most powerful names in business such as Sir Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, and Oprah Winfrey, attribute their success to following their intuition. Sir Branson’s quote...

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Startup Fundamentals: Traction Goals

Justin Coetzee
Traction is the life-blood of a startup – as important (or even more important in certain verticals) than a fantastic pitch deck, great hiring, good cash-flow management, proper budgeting, an awesome product or great PR. Traction is dirty, messy, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous – yet it is the true fuel of a startup venture. Get your Traction Goals and sequencing right, and you will feel...

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Developing Key Skills: Managing Shareholders

Brett Commaille
Over time we get to witness and occasionally experience first-hand how individuals and companies trip-up on common challenges.  It’s tough to watch, mostly because it could have been avoided if they had known what to watch out for.  Some of us also have these bad habits that creep in occasionally if we don’t keep an eye out for them – things that we’re not too good at, so we ignore them ...

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