Ten Tips for Taking Off

May 2018 — #Inspiration, #Steven Hess

Ten Tips for Taking Off

Everyone has a point of view.  Our last count put around 700 organisations in the UK offering support to entrepreneurs.  Accelerators, incubators, corporate labs, co-working spaces, on line and off line education training programs, pitching competitions, structured and unstructured mentor programs, early stage hands on investors, angel networks, meetup groups. And so on.  From The Palace to your local council; there is probably a support network looking to help you.

So over the years with all this knowledge and learning accumulating why do so few entrepreneurs’ pilot their startups to take-off?  If we take everything into account I think we must admit that no one really knows.   But in admitting this we have found an open and honest channel to start down. 

There are of course smart balanced things you can do to improve you chances of success:

  1. Stay focussed
  2. Keep your energy up.
  3. Remain resilient
  4. Have a plan.
  5. Experiment.
  6. Build a network of supporters and enthusiasts who really give a shit.
  7. Get a grip on the nuts and bolts.
  8. Keep it relevant to your customers, your team.
  9. Have others hold you accountable
  10. Seek out people who intelligently disagree with you.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing entrepreneurs over the years, in my own entrepreneurial journey and thought SLP.    I’ve learned that entrepreneurship has become trendy, fashionable and as a result lots of people jump in, sometimes it works – sometimes not, sometimes the second time around.  We’ve had SLP fellows meet and become co-founders, we’ve had fellows close their startups and become VCs going on to invest in other fellows.  For example alum William McQuillian  now a partner at Frontline Ventures recently invested in classmate Rajeeb Dey’s second startup learnerbly.  We’ve had mentors invest in fellows.   SLP continues to grow as a vibrant, honest community of world-class entrepreneurs.   More recently we’ve been asked to be the educational partner to the NHS’s own clinical entrepreneur program – making a difference there has huge benefits.

Over the last 12 years (we’ve been in London for seven) we’ve been developing our own style and approach to educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.    It’s very hands on, you will be expected to deliver a class, actively contribute to the network, be honest, supportive and responsive.  We’ll ask a lot and we believe that it will develop you as an entrepreneur, a global citizen and improve your own chances of success – however you will measure it. 

It's not for everyone.But that's not you anyway, right?

SH, May 2018