Ubiz Startups Acceleration spirit, in a few words (interview)...
Tanguy, tell us what is Ubiz ? Ubiz is the newest startups accelerator in town focusing only on what startups need : getting cash - through organic sales or fundraising. So, we specialized ourselves around these 2 main axis : Business Development & Fundraising - taking the side of entrepreneurs.
Sales success is our primar focus - managing an organic growth is probably the most important for a startup. This should be the only goal entrepreneurs should focus on. It requires talent, but as well a whole structure and mentality shift, and that's what we will be working on, bringing customer opportunities. Whenever you get that traction, you made one of the most essential step.
Our second support is Fundraising, which can be conducted on many ways, depending on your profile and risk aversion. Crowdfunding ? VC money ? BA ? Debt ? Leasing ? ... We'll collaborate together and go for the best options picking up the most adequate partners from our 1000+ international qualified database, accompanying you up to the closing, negotiating on your side, having previously set up the right financing strategy.
Ok, no incubation ?
No incubation indeed.
You need to already have a product on the market, and sold it to a few customers (and this last bit is a must to enter our program).
The startup stage we adress is a fragile one, the one where you should not boostrap anymore. This is the stage where you already proved your concept, but still have difficulties to view where to navigate next. Ubiz arrives just there, with the goal to accompany you on your growth putting a huge focus on sales, commercial strategy, market expansion and getting that damned cash flow coming in (on time) ! This is a stage only entrepreneurs can understand and tackle. This is the time where you need entrepreneur partners, not employees, civil servants or whatsoever.
Fundraising wise, if there is no history of revenues, we cannot and will not help you out neither.
So, what is Ubiz DNA ?
We mentor & advise startups on helping founders with their biggest pain ; getting their revenues right. Yep, indeed ! That's where our DNA is printed. We managed to get that very different mix of finance professionals with confirmed entrepreneurs, and made it work in France and Africa.
Entrepreneurship is opportunistic, and therefore from a sales & fundraising point of view, we go where there is the best offer in the interest of the startups we accepted to coach and mentor. Ubiz is to create value, and we have a direct interest in the success of the startups we will fight for. Our success are bound.
Result can be reached through more sales or funding, and having that possibility to easily switch from one to another makes our offer damn competitive.
"Result" is the only banknote in which we trust.
So, from a fundraising point of view, you mainly focus on amounts between 500k€ and 2m€ ?
Well, not mainly - only ! We only focus on amounts between 500k€ and 2 million€. Please note that we developped a special "club deal" to speeden up the process. This club deal gathers discrete European-based investors who can each put between 250k€ & 500k€ each for syndicate investment. Concerning smaller amounts (below 500k€), we have special relationships with a few independent actors we trust in. Concerning amounts above 2 millions €, we have a special relationship with a dedicated structure (Havila Partners) who can adequately address this need too - there is no acceleration at that level (even if quite a few need this).
Business development wise, that sounds quite easy cake, how can you justify such offer ?
Well, if it was, we should be having much more unicorns than right now... Sales is probably the part early stage entrepreneurs are the most reluctant to focus on, thinking it is just about "picking a phone and call someone at a random company's friend" - which is completely wrong.
Business development is about :
A business development strategy (pricing, channels,...) depending on your cash flow & market situation
HR, with a structure with the rightly incentivized people at the right place in order to put this in place
metrics for a continuous optimization iteration process
It is from a business development perspective only that we will manage to leverage out the potential of a startup and get the adequate fundraising on time. There are core existing issues to entrepreneurs starting to sell, after having hibernated in the conception of their product, having hopefully build it up through an iteration process with a few different customers. Going outside is hard. Have a read to this previous article on growth development strategies ...
Yes Africa ! My partners know that continent a lot, and we are well connected to this ecosystem. Personnally speaking, I am more a South East Asia & Eastern Europe guy. Our global strategy is to be present in each continents within the 3 coming years. Africa being our first destination.