Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, launched a podcast series of AWS Startup Stories. The podcasts profiled the brightest stars of the UK startup scene who revealed their personal experiences building a startup.
Following the success of these podcasts, AWS has introduced a series of eBooks comprised of 25 founder interviews split across five issues. The series is called ‘Notes from Founders.’
Each eBook captures the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit. Startup founders offer insight into what encouraged them to launch their businesses; how they got started; how they overcame challenges; and what they’ve learned along the way.
‘Notes from Founders’ features hand-picked stories from across the EMEA startup landscape, each sharing different learnings and outcomes.
The first volume focusses on Pioneers. TransferWise, Elaia Partners, Freigeist Capital, Pipedrive and Collibra have built ground-breaking global brands that have paved the way for others to follow.
These pioneers share their knowledge, motivations, anecdotes and lessons learned on moving forward with your startup regardless of the obstacles that come your way.
“In the tech world, the only constant is change.
Our relationship with banks is changing rapidly. Ten years ago, your bank was brick and mortar; now it mainly exists on your smartphone. Who knows what the next decade will bring? Progress moves at an ultra-high speed in the tech age and the only constant is change. You can’t assume anything will be the same in a few years’ time. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be in a good place.”
— Taavet Hinrikus – Co-Founder, TransferWise
“If you want funding, you need to stand out from the competition.
Startups always say that they’re the only ones doing what they’re doing, and that there’s no competition. There will almost always be competition. In the six-month period when car-sharing was the current trend, we saw 25 similar projects. We’re now seeing waves of companies focusing on AI. The more you can differentiate your company, the stronger your chances are of convincing an investor that you can do something different and special.”
— Pauline Roux – Partner, Elaia Partners
“You need a great startup team to attract an investor.
The three of us work well together because we have complementary skills. Frank is responsible for marketing and networking; Marc does everything legal and business-related and I’m the technical guy. So, when we’re considering investing in a startup, we want to see that the startup team has a good range of complementary skills, and that each person is fully behind the business.”
— Alex Koch – Co-founder, Freigeist Capital
“What can I do right now?
Everybody has a different way of trying to rebalance themselves when things go wrong. The one thing that always helps me is asking myself: ‘So, what am I going to do now?’ because that’s the only thing you really have control over. It’s easy to think: ‘Everything’s going wrong and there’s nothing I can do.’ To snap out of it, you have to think: ‘Yes, it’s awful and I hate it, but there must be something I can do to alleviate the situation or find some kind of short-term solution.”
— Timo Rein – Co-Founder, Pipedrive
“My job changes every six months.
Just as you have to evolve with your business, you also have to evolve in your own role. My job as CEO changes frequently. As long as I feel like I’m doing a good job and the board feels like I’m doing a good job, I’ll just keep on doing it. You have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, which isn’t always easy or fun, but it’s important. You don’t know what’s coming, so you have to be ready to jump in a black hole and go for it.”
— Felix Van de Maele – Co-Founder, Collibra
Every month, AWS will release a new issue of Startup Stories: Notes from Founders. You’ll meet innovators, disruptors, challengers and change-makers – and get valuable insights and inspiration for your own entrepreneurial venture.