Starting up a startup foresees hard work and readiness for struggles. Thus, for our first meetup of the year we wanted the crowd to take their own challenges � we invited Tiit Paananen (UAV Factory and ex-Skype) and Guntis Smaukstelis (MightyFingers) to give that kind of advice that would encourage current and future startup founders, CEOs, CTOs (and others) to believe in their success. Plus, we also had guests from Fiedler Capital and Oxygen Accelerator. Lesson to remember? Start easy, run focused.
Tiit shared the differences of starting a new venture in old economy and new economy using the examples of Skype, P�hjala brewery and UAV Factory. Comparing a brewery and a startup, he noted that startups could start easy � investments were low, software free or cheap and market focus was global. Yet, it was a quite opposite picture when the startup needed to be operated � hard to make money, high risk of error, demand not so easy to predict and hard to explain what you were actually doing. Therefore, one should always remember to expect the highs and lows, concentrate on startup�s vision and goal and make the changes when necessary � promise less, but do more!
Up next was Guntis Smaukstelis who revealed the beginnings of his game startup MightyFingers. Drawing a reference to starting easy, Guntis explained the hopeful foundation for the startup, including the secured investment, rockstar developer and clientele. Still, keeping up the pace and running MightyFingers were far more difficult � there were problems with the product and misconceptions among the co-founders, and all of that resulted in lost focus and decreased work attitude. To turn the tables, Guntis made the changes to the team and startup vision, and afterwards MightyFingers introduced MightyEditor, web based open source HTML5 game editor. Adding new features and working closely with the community, MightyFingers gained a new character and was ready to climb up again.
Finally, the guests from Oxygen Accelerator and Fiedler Capital shared a story on how to use the correct ingredients � access to capital, access to markets, talent, networks and expertise � and make the startup success faster and purposeful. In addition, unless you have all it takes to go to the US (such as resources, networks, visas, etc.), try to do as much as you can while operating in a hub that is much closer than the Silicon Valley and still has all the above startup success ingredients, such as the UK and Germany. Get onto an accelerator! Raise in CEE first! Generate traction! Stay lean! As the startup world changes, there are lots of new options available that help startups become global players from every point of the globe.
This meetup was supported by strategic partner Lattelecom, Latvian Guarantee Agency and Oxygen Accelerator. For the meetup history and upcoming ones visit meetup.com � you�re more than welcome to join us in March!