Roles and responsibilitiesPosted: August 17, 2007
Hypothesis: The role of mid sized European funds is to support innovation and to prove commercial viability.
In order for mid sized European venture capitalists to be able to handle the role they have been assigned, they must posses the following attributes:
– Partners with start-up, funding/financial management, recruiting and product management experience and skills
– International reach with a physical presence in major M&A and financial markets. These stations should be manned by seasoned locals that have connections to large global funds and large enterprises
This is however not enough! Venture capitalists need to partner with export agencies that can provide:
– Experienced local mentoring staff to guide end clients
– Infrastructure services to allow end clients to demonstrate a believable commitment to the market
The role of export agencies is to conduct a due diligence on the entrant and market analysis prior to major investments, provide departure coaching and mentor companies on arrival providing a safe framework to allow focus on execution.
This is also not enough! Ventures and export agencies need a database of independent local operators that can provide:
– Plug and play virtual execution staff
Export agencies do not have the scalability to provide outsourced sales and business development services. A whole separate industry exists for that purpose. At the end of the day all of the above needs to be backed by sales figures, third party validation and funnel. This the role assigned to the independent local operators.
The role of the EU is to take the role of manning export agencies from national governments. Consolidation of efforts would be more cost effective and effective for all parties. An EU coordinated effort would also support new entrants to the union that do not have export agency infrastructure around the globe.
And finally the role of an European entrepreneur is to prove their concept both technologically and financially and then exit moving on to the next concept… serial entrepreneurship. Growth executives are a different breed with a different skill set. As Europeans we need to task our executive recruiters to seek the best match globally and not just in our own geography.
The responsibility of recruiters is to educate boards and management groups about talent needed for globalization and to steer the listeners towards expanding their search.