Many of the things that we do in our careers as entrepreneurs come from an urge to act.
We act when we see that something is missing in the market. Or when we see that something can be done better. Or in a whole different way. That urge germinates into an idea, grows into a concept, and develops into a vison and mission that we work toward actualizing.
By this stage, we would have invested a significant amount of intellectual capital into our “baby.” And for me, this has always been the most exciting part of the journey. Then come the harsh realities of having to consider feasibility, applicability, appeal, sustainability, and so on.
We get on that path, and just like a baby learning to walk, we fall on our face. After multiple mistakes, many stumbles, and several falls, we eventually take our first step. This is the droit d’entrée for all entrepreneurs.
I’ve gone through this more than once. It was clear to me that through this process, I learned more, more quickly and more effectively than I would have in any training, seminar, or MBA course. But I still wish there had been another way.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to feel like they’re alone. Though I got plenty of great advice from friends and colleagues, I alone was taking the risks. I alone was having the sleepless nights. Even having investment partners does not provide the comfort one needs. In fact, investors’ interests and entrepreneurs’ visions can often be at odds.
When I joined my investment firm, Innovobot, as a partner, I wasn’t only joining a like-minded group of people, investing in cool things—though they certainly are, and they certainly do. What was different about Innovobot as a VC is that it has entrepreneurship in its DNA. It was founded by entrepreneurs who want to bring a different perspective and take a new approach to investing in emerging companies. This includes bringing the “smart money” but also bringing highly relevant operational support to its portfolio companies. Support that comes at a reduced cost and during a cash-sensitive stage. This helps maximize the chances of success for early-growth companies and helps them overcome early barriers.
The manifestation of this operational support is Innovotive—the advisory arm of the Innovobot Group. We offer support to both early-stage companies and established companies in transforming markets.
For early-stage companies, we inject highly-qualified expertise on demand, on time, and without depleting their hard-raised cash. For established companies, we bring relevant transformational innovation to allow them to take advantage of new market and technology dynamics and we help them anticipate and prepare for changes that could jeopardize the company’s market position.
Because we believe that a company’s valuation is a factor of value creation over risk, our operational thesis is that we can maximize the valuation through strategic work focused on reducing operational risk and increasing value creation by extending a company’s runway as far as possible with resources that they already have access to.
This results in the company having a stronger competitive position in the market and a higher valuation before their next raise or exit. That’s when we consider ourselves to have achieved our mission of creating a winning scenario for our clients, our company, and ultimately, for society.
About the Author:
Fadi Albatal is a partner in Innovobot and General Manager of Innovotive. A serial technology entrepreneur, he has held key executive positions at privately-held and global public companies.