Startups and Venture Capital

November 17, 2022

Building a High Growth Team

Tips for startup founders

Transcript

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Founders - we are hosting a live, virtual panel discussion with founders on how to build a high-growth team.

This event is limited to the first 100 founders who sign up. It's for founders who are at the team building stage, or who are getting ready to build their teams. If you want to attend, RSVP to save your spot.

In our panel discussion, we will be featuring three prolific founders on how they have built and scaled their teams, while keeping a strong team culture.

Speakers:

Zach Bijesse: Founder, Payhippo.
Payhippo is a credit-led fintech startup that has disbursed 25,000 loans to SMEs in Nigeria. Payhippo has raised $4 million since launching, and scaled a team across Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Kennedy Ekezie: Founder, Kippa
Kippa is financial management and payments platform for Nigerian small businesses. Since launching they have signed up 500,000 businesses in Africa, and raised $11 million in the last two years.

Jennie Nwokoye: Founder, Clafiya.
Clafiya connects patients to community health workers to provide home based primary healthcare in Africa. Clafiya has a team of 16 strong, and is actively building out their team while maintaining awesome work culture.

About EntryLevel: EntryLevel is a startup reskilling the next 1 billion tech workers, and teaches tech skills to students in 30 days. Want to level up into a new career? Learn more about EntryLevel here.

About Proximity Ventures: Proximity Ventures is an African-focused fund supporting founders with capital, community and content. If you're a founder building in Africa, Proximity wants to hear from you.

Resources

Key insights from the event

Refocusing is key for founders👏

CEO responsibilities vary depending on stage (pre-Series A is fundraising, recruiting). Sometimes it’s just doing random things - you’re kind of doing everything near the beginning.

For hiring, founders focus on:

  • Someone who is curious
  • Empathy (especially when working in healthcare)
  • Potential and learning velocity

Example: Someone sent a cold email on LinkedIn, and kept following up. That person joined as intern and exceeded every expectation.

  • Ability to have informed, independent opinion (trends, market)

Example: An interview question that Kennedy from Kippa always asks: “What is something every team in this space is doing wrongly, that you know or sure but don’t have any proof for.”

In interviews, Kennedy doesn't look for correct answers - he looks for process. Early-stage startups need generalists like that

  • Need to be tough and resilient

Focus on building a solution you’re excited about

  • Investors will reach out to you if you build something great

People follow someone with conviction

  • Don’t be too desperate for investors/funding - focus on building
  • The more you chase the money/funding/investors, the more out of reach it is

In the beginning, focus on building your product

Finding good investors

  • Investors should help you get things done - network, advice, mentorship
  • You’ll have a long-term relationship with your investor
  • Microtraction helped with getting intros
  • Passion was key - investors should want to see you win

Use storytelling to bring in the first few people

Finding team members is like dating

If you prefer watching the Zoom recording instead of the YouTube one (since the Zoom one allows you to view the hilariousness in the chat), here is the link.

Links

Post your startup idea and get potential volunteers and funders: https://kern.al/register?invitecode=ENTRYLEVEL

Find volunteers who believe in your mission: https://catchafire.org/

Find a cofounder: https://www.ycombinator.com/cofounder-matching

An event attendee's startup that helps other startups: hesmallbusinessassistant.org

If you use code ENTRY20 you can get discounts on startup software here: https://www.joinsecret.com/?via=entrylevel

If you want more resources for your startup, here is a resource hub (filter by “entrepreneurship/startups”): https://www.exitlevel.net/upskill

Learn all about Venture Capital and fundraising

EntryLevel's VC program: https://www.entrylevel.net/experiences/vc

Resources to learn more about VC:

https://www.entrylevel.net/post/breaking-into-venture-capital-part-1

https://www.entrylevel.net/post/breaking-into-venture-capital-part-2

https://www.entrylevel.net/events/venture-capital-q-a-with-caleb-maru-gp-at-proximity-ventures

Platform shared by one of the founders in the call: https://www.microtraction.com/

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Presenters

Zach Bijesse

Founder and CEO at Payhippo

Zach is the co-founder of Payhippo. Payhippo is a credit-led fintech startup that has disbursed 25,000 loans to SMEs in Nigeria. Payhippo has raised $4 million since launching, and scaled a team across Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Jennie Nwokoye

Founder and CEO at Clafiya

Jennie is the founder and CEO of Clafiya. Clafiya connects patients to community health workers to provide home based primary healthcare in Africa. Clafiya has a team of 16 strong, and is actively building out their team while maintaining awesome work culture.

Kennedy Ekezie

Founder and CEO at Kippa

Kennedy is the founder and CEO of Kippa. Kippa is financial management and payments platform for Nigerian small businesses. Since launching they have signed up 500,000 businesses in Africa, and raised $11 million in the last two years.

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