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Success factors for innovative start-ups in the United States - Francis Skrobiszewski


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Success factors for innovative start-ups in the United States - Francis Skrobiszewski

  1. 1. Success Factors for Innovative Start-ups in the United States Francis J. Skrobiszewski Director, US-Polish Trade Council 1 Forum Nowej Gospodarki November 14, 2011 Krakow, PolandCopyright © 2011. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Fundamental Factors for Success• Personal Qualities – Vision, Commitment, Passion, Risk-Taking, Integrity• Professional Skills and Experience – Intellect, Managed Business, Worked in Given Industry• Research and Applied Knowledge – Knows the Technology and Studied the Market for it• Capital and Complementary Resources – Committed Stake, Investor Support, Mentor Assistance• Supportive Ecosystem – Enlightened Gov’t Administration, Trust, Teamwork 2
  3. 3. Challenges for Innovative Start-Ups • Identifying a marketable technology • Financing and executing R&D -- Self -- “Friends, Family and Fools“ -- “Angel Investors” • Managing the business and tech development • Marketing the proven technology • Growing the company Conceiving and Building High-Tech Firm Is “High Risk Business”! 3
  4. 4. US Advantages in BuildingInnovative Technology Start-Ups• Entrepreneurial Mindset and Availability of Experienced Professionals to Help• Conducive Laws/Regulatory Environment• Established Mechanisms for moving technology from laboratory to market/EXIT• Availability of Capital and Systems to Deploy It Professionally Location – “About 75% of returns come from w/i 25 miles of Stanford” 4
  5. 5. Entrepreneur-Innovators Do Not Succeed in a Vacuum• Market-Driven Demand• Conducive Ecosystem/Inst Infrastructure – Availability of skilled managers – Good business practices of collaboration and TRUST – Enlightened Gov’t providing conducive laws and regs, judicial enforcement – Supportive tax and IP Rights regimes• Venture Capital Properly Employed Compare Conditions in World’s Most Successfull Economies 5
  6. 6. Key Pillars of Silicon Valley• Universities (“Brainiacs”)• Non-Profit Groups (Incubators, clubs, etc.)• Start-Ups (Entrepreneurs seeking Profits)• Service Providers and Other Experienced Professionals – Serial CEOs, CFOs• Venture Capitalists ($$$$$$$$$)• An Ecosystem Rewarding Risk-TakersMoney Makes the World Go Around,but Honesty/Integrity Are Essential 6
  7. 7. Fundamental Factors for Success• Personal Qualities: – Vision – Commitment to Winning, Achieving Objectives – Passion – Willingness to Take Risks – Honesty and Integrity• Professional Skills and Experience: – Management, Management, Management, . . . – with a Track Record that demonstrates you can deliver – Fundamental intelligence – Knowledge of Industry and Understand that Market – Disciplined work skills, Focus – Realistic development plans 7
  8. 8. Fundamental Factors for Success• Research and Applied Knowledge : – Deep Knowledge of the technology, product, service – Understanding of the REAL Market demand – Where? What? Who? How? – Creativity coming together with “in-depth research” – Identifying Competitive Advantage: • Unique Technology/Patents/Barriers/First Mover• Capital and Complementary Resources: – Self-fund commitments, FFF, Public Grants – Investor Financing and “Common Vision” on Returns – Not Just Money, but Mentoring advice/counsel on • Good management practices (financial, HR, etc.) • International contacts, marketing and sales • IP protection support, etc., etc. 8
  9. 9. Fundamental Factors for Success• Supportive Ecosystem: – Availability of skilled managers – Clustering / Communicating / Networking / Teamwork – Good business practices and a “Climate of Integrity” – Synergies created by “sharing” insights/ideas/inspiration – “Risk-Taking” -- Is it rewarded or punished? – Enlightened Government and Administration – Conducive laws and regulations, judicial enforcement – Supportive tax system – Behavior IP Rights regime encourages or discourages? – Allocation of “Rewards” among parties Businesses Built by “Trial and Error,” and a little Luck Helps! 9
  10. 10. Building Polish Capabilities forFinancing Innovative Start-Ups• Extensive Polish Gov’t program of grant support for SMEs through PARP, NCBiR, etc.• Krajowy Fundusz Kapitalowy now financing jump- start of Polish VC industry to fill “equity-gap” – $300 million fund-of-funds, capitalizing new VC funds with investment limit in innovative SMEs of 1.5 million Euros – With KFK committing up to 50% of a VC fund’s capital, ~$600 million will be available to invest in Polish tech entrepreneurs – $150 million already committed to 12 VC funds –• Strong, commercially-focused private equity industry, jump-started by PAEF in 1990, now with BILLIONS in capital, to finance growth 10
  11. 11. Challenges and Opportunities• Speed is of the Essence – The Market does not wait• Building Entrepreneurial Climate of Risk- Taking and Trust• Creating the NEW is more important than perfecting the OLD! Innovative Economy requires Innovative Government• Critical Mass of Capital injection is essential to achieving results – PARP, KFK, Funds “Commercial Objectives” Must Ultimately Drive Decision-making
  12. 12. Technology Knows No Borders You Are Positioned to Capitalizeon Opportunities the Future Offers “Those who will not risk cannot win” – Captain John Paul Jones, US Navy Francis J. Skrobiszewski mobile: +1-202-468-3374 12