Is venture capital a bullshit job

Reality check: founding a startup is probably not for you!

“You need eggs made of steel,” says Alexander Pinter (Inscouts) in a nutshell. He therefore also names persistence as the most important success factor for startup founders. "Startup success is built from blood, sweat and tears", is Paul Resch's (Greetzly) announcement to prospective founders. These are just two of the many glimpses behind the dazzling startup facade that successful Austrian founders give in the 2015 Startup Report.

Nothing for party and cuddly tigers

“Your startup is not about parties, table football tournaments and newspaper interviews. Your own startup means hard work, sleepless nights and a threat to your private relationships, ”says Martin Klimscha (Hitbox), correcting the perception of young budding founders. Especially among young startup aspirants, the image of the founder stubbornly persists as a hip party tiger. Martin also addresses a second, very important point. A startup needs a lot of time and attention. A fact that a founder can only cope with with the support and understanding of his loved ones - but never against them. For those for whom relationship life is the greatest good, should think three times whether they want to embark on the startup journey.

+++ More on the topic: Startup Report 2015 +++

Defeats - but don't lay down

“A large part of startup life is made up of repeated failures. It happens several times every week, ”says Alex Pinter (Inscouts), addressing a central point. By definition, startups are only looking for the product, market and business model that will make their startup a sustainable company. Startups are all about trying, learning, and improving as quickly as possible. This often means that out of 10 attempts, 9 fail - but that's completely normal. Because the focus is not on the outcome of the experiment, but on the knowledge that is gained from it. Whoever tests and learns the fastest wins. But that means that someone suffering from ongoing failure shouldn't start a startup.

Marathon - not sprint

“Your business plan is most likely bullshit. Assume twice the costs and three times the time you will need - and then ask yourself if you can handle it, ”says Arnim Wahls (firstbird). Almost all founders confirm that the road to breakthrough success was longer than planned.

Often founding teams break because of it. “Many founders get nervous in the first year. Separate yourself from them before they destroy your vision ”, Helmut W. Lehner (MAVOCO) addresses this sensitive point directly. Perseverance is important - and it is even more important to be clear about the staying power that you will likely need. In other words: nothing for hot water snorkelers. Apnea divers only!

Success factor: role models

Are there any role models who inspired the successful founders in the Startup Report to become entrepreneurs? In addition to icons such as Dietrich Mateschitz, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, family role models are often mentioned here. "My father is a consultant - it was normal for me to do my own thing from an early age," says Mirko Kinigadner (Transpaygo), describing how being an entrepreneur became the most normal thing in life for him.

“My father quit a well-paying job 20 years ago to start his own company. I was 12 at the time. I still remember very well how he worked in the basement and the enthusiasm with which he founded and built the company, ”says Hanno Lippitsch (Eversport), describing where he draws his enthusiasm and energy for his entrepreneurship .

+++ More on the topic: What actually is a startup? +++

I myself am firmly convinced that role models have a great influence on career choices. The main reason why I created Startup Report is to present young people who are considering or have recently founded some successful entrepreneurs that we have right on our doorstep in Austria.

Not everyone has a parent who is self-employed. My role model was an acquaintance. One day he gave me his business card. On the back were a dozen logos from companies he had founded so far. And he said: “Florian, I am now at an age where others only think about retirement and are frustrated. But for me, the older I get, the more exciting it gets! I have more and more experience, money, contacts, insights into industries - I will certainly found many more companies. It's just getting more and more exciting. "

Aren't we all a bit of a startup?

Not everyone has to found a startup. Not everyone should found a startup. And not every business start-up has to pursue venture capital, billions in sales and world domination as the goal. But everyone should study the mindsets and business practices of startup founders with an open mind. Not what they do - but how (!) They do it. The methods, tools and principles can be used universally. I'll go so far as to say: someone who thinks like a startup founder will never have to worry about his or her job. Entrepreneurial thinking, and in particular the “startup mindset”, are location factors for our old continent; and ingredients for personal professional fulfillment - whether in your own startup or in a group.