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Build Your Start Up Team | Joe Stafford | Lunch & Learn

About UCI Applied Innovation:
UCI Applied Innovation is a dynamic, innovative central platform for the UCI campus, entrepreneurs, inventors, the business community and investors to collaborate and move UCI research from lab to market.

About the Cove @ UCI:
To accelerate collaboration by better connecting innovation partners in Orange County, UCI Applied Innovation created the Cove, a physical, state-of-the-art hub for entrepreneurs to gather and navigate the resources available both on and off campus. The Cove is headquarters for UCI Applied Innovation, as well as houses several ecosystem partners including incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists, mentors and legal experts.

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Build Your Start Up Team | Joe Stafford | Lunch & Learn

  1. 1. February 12, 2015 Building Your Start Up Team
  2. 2. Agenda • Entrepreneurial Characteristics • Early Organizational Phases • Build a Culture That Can Be Replicated • Investing in Your Team • Closing Thoughts
  3. 3. Entrepreneurial Characteristics • Passionate* • Resilient* • Strong sense of self* • Flexible to adapt to changing conditions* • Vision* • Trust and Loyalty – Sometimes to a fault *Forbes Magazine
  4. 4. In The Beginning…. • Start up phase • Picking your partners – Everyone has partners – Don’t sell yourself short – Shared values • Deal with sensitive issues early – Planning on where you want to go – Vision for the company – Ownership structure – Responsibilities – One person becomes the face of the organization
  5. 5. What’s Next…. • Hopefully growth and opportunity – And challenges • Competition • Systems • Resources • Money • People – The hardest day you work, and each day thereafter, is the day you hire someone
  6. 6. What To Look For in Staff • Talent is important, but not everything – Gifted people are critical – Have to match up with culture • Without the right values failure is just around the corner • What to do when the talent is there but the values are not – If the signs tell you that you are headed to the dump, don’t be surprised when you get there
  7. 7. Loyalty • Loyalty is important, so how do you build it? – Invest in hiring process – Provide opportunities for advancement – Listen – Give staff well-defined areas of authority to make decisions
  8. 8. Trust • Trust is also important, especially if the business is growing rapidly – But it is not everything – Don’t sacrifice trust for values or ability – If you hire the people with the right values then trust won’t be as much of an issue • Key positions – HR – Finance – Outside advisors
  9. 9. Hiring Friends and Family • Sounds like a good idea, but…. – Values first – Then ability and talent – Watch your motives • Ask yourself which is more valuable – The working relationship – Or the personal relationship
  10. 10. As The Organization Grows • Business becomes more complex – Initial staff may be challenged • Grow and advance to meet challenges • Stay where they are (and grow disgruntled!) • People talk – Expect criticism – Can create a toxic environment • HR is there to support the staff – Make sure your attorney puts together some good employment documents
  11. 11. Building Culture • As a leader you set the tone – Your actions will be replicated by staff • Something as simple as the time you arrive • Meetings • Deadlines • Set expectations with staff – Do as I say, not as I do doesn’t work – Clear and concise communication – Written is better than verbal
  12. 12. Investing In Your Team • Lunches, massages, parties – Nothing wrong with these – More external than internal • Ask your staff what motivates them – Not all incentives are cash/earnings based – You might be surprised • Get to know people – Make a habit of taking time out of your day to walk around and talk to people
  13. 13. Summary and Closing Thoughts • Decisions that are made early can have long term implications • Have the difficult discussions early • Plan as best as an you can • Focus on hiring for values first • Stay in touch with initial staff • Focus on culture • Get to know your staff • Don’t ever sacrifice family for work!
  14. 14. Thank You! Joe Stafford Linkedin/in/jmstaff