22 June 2022

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs from Cervin Founders

In these crazy times when valuations of software companies are being reset, we remain as proud as ever of our Cervin founders who define disciplined entrepreneurship.

Many people have aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur. They are driven to start, run, and grow their own business. However, as anyone who has actually started their own company can tell you, it’s no easy task, there's often a lot of trial and error involved in the process. And one of the best ways to navigate the entrepreneurial path is by learning from the triumphs and mistakes of successful entrepreneurs who have paved the way. 

 

Read on to find out the advice that some of our fantastic portfolio company founders have for the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Oren Pic - Oren H YogevOren Yogev, Co-founder and CEO of Blink

Enduring companies are not one-trick ponies. Founders with a long-term vision will recognize that they need to make transitions and moves beyond a highly successful first act and be very flexible with their minds.

 

 

Karthik Kannan-2Karthik Kannan, Founder & CEO of Anvilogic

I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs that it's essential that they develop the ability to recognize a problem worth solving and really go for it. It sounds simple, but it's not. The problem statement for the company needs to be validated by many people, including potential customers, investors, and the early team. Do not be afraid of validating the idea - problem/solution combination. People may throw darts at it, but the defense and ability to further improve the plan is vital, especially with potential customers. 

Secondly, I would advise them to gain a deep understanding of target customers and how much they are willing to spend to solve their problems. Too often, people will agree there's a problem but only when you ask them for money will you understand if the problem is genuinely worth solving.

Thirdly, they must develop the ability to sell. As a founder, you are constantly selling to customers, investors, new hires, industry analysts, influencers, partners, and potential acquirers. Therefore, you need to fine-tune your messaging and value continually.

Balaji GanesanBalaji Ganesan, Co-founder & CEO of Privacera

I talk to many technical founders who are trying to start a company and see many of them approaching things with a strictly technical or product-centric view of the world. I probably did the same thing in my early days of XA Secure and Privacera. I would recommend that aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a B2B company spend some time on the frontline selling or working with the sales teams in their current work. Focus on listening to the customer, deeply understanding their pain points, and creating something they are willing to buy. Having this experience interacting with customers is beneficial in the early days of a startup when you want to drill down into a customer need, differentiate between must-have and good to have, and build specifically for the must-haves.

Dave Blake-1-1Dave Blake, Founder and CEO of ClientSuccess

To aspiring entrepreneurs, I'd say, have courage and go for it!  Just understand that the entrepreneurial journey has the highest-of-highs and lowest-of-lows (sometimes within the same day), but the key is to stay grounded and find your groove right in the middle. Be fearless and focused, have GRIT, and chase your passion!

Rajat Nigam-1-1Rajat Nigam, Founder & CEO of Bungee Tech

For entrepreneurs looking to start enterprise software companies, I would advise that before you jump in, make sure you have a few customers who want to buy what you are building. Also it’s great if you can find a customer or two who are willing to be design partners and early adopters.


Rajeev Shah-2Rajeev Shah, Co-founder & CEO of Celona

Trust your instincts because you know your idea/business better than anyone else.