Entrepreneurial learnings from Nick Kuenssberg

Nick KeunssbergThis month we held our annual showcase at Blythswood Hotel and were delighted to welcome an inspiring group of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, professional advisors, and guests to our event. We heard impassioned pitches from our portfolio, updates from growing businesses, and a truly inspired speech from our board member Nick Kuenssberg.

It was a testament to the strength of Scotland’s early-stage ecosystem to have such a breadth of entrepreneurial talent in the room, and Nick had many reflections on what makes a successful start-up. He noted that it’s often the first step beyond an idea where things can become challenging:

  • Is there anything similar out there to my product or idea?
  • How do I find supporters who know something about my product or target audience?
  • Where do I find funding?
  • Is it just a dream or has it got scalability?
  • What are the critical questions that I need to ask?
  • What does success look like?

These are fundamental questions that any good entrepreneur will need to answer to give their idea the best chance of success, and that’s where Gabriel can come in.

As the sole business angel syndicate in Scotland that focuses on pre-start up and even pre-incorporation, we can add real value to the next steps that a start-up will take to become revenue-making. But as Nick noted, there is a never-ending list of unknowns that can make or break a business, so be prepared for some detailed questioning when applying for investment with Gabriel.

  • Does the product or service solve a current problem, or is just a nice idea?
  • Can the entrepreneur learn from experience and from others?
  • Does the founder have what it takes to confront the lack of salaried day job and the uncertainty of the start-up?
  • How long will it take and how much money will be required?
  • Is there a credible go-to market strategy?
  • What and when is the likely requirement for follow-up funding?
  • Has the founder has thought about a board, or at least a chair, mentor, or advisor?
  • Does the founder understand finance, and money flows and demands for working capital?
  • Have they considered what the longer-term potential plan, whether a high growth business, an exit candidate, or a life-style business?

Can you answer all of the above, and think that your innovative start-up has what it takes? To date, Gabriel has invested nearly £2m directly into Scottish start-up businesses, with a further £36m of equity invested into our portfolio businesses from other partners. So, if you think yours should be next, then we want to hear from you.

As Nick said;

“Early-stage investments are challenging, exciting, demanding, and take us to places we didn’t know existed.”

We would like to invite you Scottish entrepreneurs out there to take us to those places. Contact us today and take the first step in your journey.


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