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During a summit hosted by Endeit Capital, four power women of the Endeit family shared with chiefs working at fast-growing digital scale-ups their key insights on leadership, working remotely and how to create diverse and inclusive teams. These power women scaled and successfully sold their leading tech companies or are working as COOs at portfolio companies of Endeit Capital. In this blogpost you will read their 10 key learnings on these topics. We also included some great videos of this summit.
Remy Gieling (founder of AI.com and former editor in chief of MTSprout) kicked off the event and Ilan Goudsmit, Investment Manager at Endeit Capital, explained a bit about Endeit and the 250 million euro fund it recently raised and the goal of this summit: that participants will learn new ideas that will help them to make less mistakes as scale-ups chiefs and inspire them to create more diverse and inclusive teams.
Remy moderated the panel which consisted out of Quinten Francken-Bosman, the COO of Endeit’s portfolio company Virtuagym and Alex Cappy, the COO of Endeit’s ex-portfolio company 3D Hubs. Last January, 3D Hubs was acquired by US publicly listed company Protolabs for $330 million.
1. Spend more on good people and hire less, especially the core team. This provides the ideal base of people to scale your company.
2. Risk management is becoming increasingly important as we are much more sensitive about what could go wrong and making sure we can pivot if needed.
3. Rethink your strategy about how to engage with current employees and new colleagues, mix up between offline and online, formal and informal contact moments. Organise multiple events and create various methods for employees to interact witch one and other.
4. People are more digitally capable than ever before; they believe working remotely is here to stay. Not for 5 days a week or for every role but mainly as an option as this provides additional flexibility. Important is to leaves this up to the teams themselves and schedule this organizationally to avoid friction.
The panel was followed by Jolanda Degen, the co-founder of Darwin Invest, who spoke about her journey of creating, scaling and selling the leading Benelux & Nordics meta search flight business Otravo.
The main takeaways of Jolanda her keynote were:
5. Keep an overview of the company and all its stakeholders, but also stay close to the floor. Listen to your team as they are close to the customers.
6. Put your company first and above your ego. Know your own strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with different people in various stages that complement your team.
7. Give people responsibilities, space to develop and opportunity to grow with you. This creates trust so they will stay with you as long as possible. If not possible, find a different role for them within your organisation.
The summit ended with a fireside chat between Remy and Sarah Wood, the co-founder of Unruly, about scaling businesses and leadership. Unruly, a former Endeit portfolio company, became a leading global video advertising marketplace company. Unruly scaled to over 200 employees and 15 offices and was acquired by News Corp. Sarah is a board member of Tech Nation, a growth platform for UK tech entrepreneurs and has been named Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year.
Sarah’s key points are:
8. Leadership is not the exclusive domain of a privileged enclave, leadership is everywhere. When you celebrate people taking leadership, it is remarkable what companies are able to achieve, not just in terms of extra hours but also thinking outside the box.
9. Diverse teams lead to more understanding and better decision making. Resetting the rules on leadership culture makes it more diverse, representative and open in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and expertise.
10. Understand why you failed. There is so much that can go wrong in scaling your business. It is not a logical map, you fail, fail and fail and if you are a willing to understand why it failed, it can still become spectacular.
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