Last month we had the pleasure of interviewing Alisée de Tonnac, CEO and Co-founder of Seedstars world. Which is a global startup competition aiming to impact people lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. And these are the top 5 learning points from her experience as an entrepreneur:
1) Common vision and complementary skills:
“Find co-founders that have complementary skills, and that share your vision and values, because that’s what is going to keep you going in the hard and great times.”
2) Take the risk:
“I did it and it was the best decision ever. The only risk is not taking risks. Don’t spend your whole life saying ‘If I had’, ‘If I had more money, If I had more time, If I had a cofounder…’ You might regret it.”
3) Scarcity is an opportunity:
“It’s from obstacles that opportunities come. They come from either filling gaps or replacing them with something more efficient. Technology has become a game changer, especially in emergent markets, where you can find many opportunities. Furthermore, considering that 87% of the population live in emerging markets and 57% of world GDP comes from there, and that by 2020 up to 80% of smartphones are going to be there, these markets become an unbelievable test bed for doing innovations.”
4) Technology plays an important role in developing economies:
“When you look at sub-Saharian Africa for example, they don’t have any problem on doing their payments with their mobile phones. Thus, suddenly people that have no access to financial services can participate in that economy, and that is very empowering. You can see the same example in other sectors such as education or healthcare. But basically, in most sectors where digitalization is going to radically change the game. As soon as they can get connected to their device, they potentially have access to all these opportunities.” Also, technology plays an important role on improving transparency and inclusion in those markets.
5) Don’t wait until you finish your studies to start your own company:
“I started understanding finance, human resources and strategy, when I realized we needed them into our organization. I think it is a pity, I didn’t build a company on the side while I was doing my business management courses, because I would have understood much more the concepts and I would leverage them to my advantage.”
Other initiatives from Seedstars
Right now, Seedstars has several initiatives that share the same vision and objective:
SeedSpace which is a co-working hub, there are three of them in Geneva, one in Lagos, and now they are expanding to South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ivory Coast and then to Latin America, Asia and the Middle East region. There is also Seedstars Academy which is an internship program to train local talent and build companies together. There is Seedstars Growth which is an acceleration program to scale and accelerate companies.
Finally, there is Seed Stars World, which is their start up competition that connects and invest in startups from emergent markets, they have presence in over 65 countries and Seedstars Summit 2017 , the final startup competition, will take place at the Swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 6. There are going to be more than 70 startups from fast growing startup hubs around the world, and they are going to compete for equity investment up to 1 million USD. This year’s finalists will participate in a two day bootcamp, where international investors and mentors from top accelerators like The Founder’s Institute and 500startups, as well as top firms such as eBay, Amazon and SwissRe, will coach these entrepreneurs on their business models, pitching skills and growth strategy.
Only the top 12 startups will take part in the final round of pitches during the Seedstars Summit to compete in categories such as Seedstars World Global Winner, FinTech, Education, Intel Solutions, Most Innovative Startup, Best Woman Entrepreneur as well as the Public Vote Winner.
by Christian Melo
Last modified: 21 mars 2017