Viktor Vetturelli, COO & Co-Founder
The qohubs path between Boostrapping and Finding Investors, and some thoughts on predictions and planning and how they influence the organizational structure of our Start-Up from our COO and Co-Founder Viktor Vetturelli.
1. You decided to embark on an adventure called bootstrapped start-up. You had offers from investors, but you did not accept them. How so?
Quite simply, at this moment, it is still too early. Although we have begun to build the platform with our team at the beginning of 2020, we are still a young company.
Our focus aims, on the one hand, to develop a learning platform that supports the transformation of organizations and their organizational culture. To create an experience for the people who participate in qohubs sessions and manage the project on the client side.
Another focus is on our organization. We want to keep the freedom to define our own goals, the design of the qohubs organization, and the resulting way of working together. We currently have a wide range of customers, from start-ups to cultural organizations and traditional companies, which enables us to keep this focus. We will see when and if we will bring a strategic partner on board in the future.
2. This is a great way to focus your time and energy on building a successful business by taking on a manageable risk. But would you recommend it to people who don't have that much entrepreneurship experience?
I am not sure in which construct the risk is higher :) Do you risk your own assets or the funds of an investor?!
Here are some of my thoughts on the question of what I can recommend to new entrepreneurs.
Every person lives and works in his own context and pursues his own goals. Unfortunately, I can't contribute anything relevant here to help people take the first steps into entrepreneurship. That's what Self-Help Books are for. :) All kidding aside, being an entrepreneur is not something you are born with. It is something that can be acquired. And this process of learning is part of being an entrepreneur. There is no shortcut. It is hard work and perseverance. Nevertheless, that is no guarantee of success. Good luck also plays a role in being in the right place at the right moment. I have been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years (with interruptions), but new situations always arise in which experience cannot help or even be an obstacle. This is where theories and concepts come in handy to help you understand why and for what purpose something happens and what possible opportunities are available.
With each new venture, I reinvented myself and acquired new knowledge, which is also magic for me as an entrepreneur.
3. Are key partnerships the ultimate growth channel to strengthen your value proposition and facilitate growth?
Partnerships are a pillar of value creation for us at qohubs. We know we can not have all knowledge and skills in-house. Today's world is too dynamic and complex for that. Partnerships give us the necessary stability internally and enable us to meet our customers' needs and expectations. They allow us to be innovative and flexible.
As a company, we deal with innovation, i.e., new value creation. We do not see the market as a pie or a zero-sum game. Thus, partnerships are not there to grow quantitatively, but we talk about qualitative growth. Respectively we try to answer the question with the partners "What can we create new together, and how do we get it done?"
4. The education sector is quite conservative and has been slow in adopting new technologies. But it looks like things are starting to change. The global Edtech venture capital funding in 2020 reached $16,1 billion, and HolonIQ predicts the market will reach $10 trillion by 2030. How do you see things developing for your company in the next few years?
That sounds good :) Seriously, all predictions made over a year are not trustworthy. Margaret Heffernan even wrote all predictions over six months were not serious. She describes this in her excellent book "Uncharted: How to map the future."
We do not plan for years to come based on forecasts. We want to continue to innovate together and have fun doing it. This is not my opinion, but an agreement with and between the partners.
Finding and creating opportunities is implemented in qohubs' philosophy. Therefore, we should rephrase the questions from "how do things develop in the next years?" to "how do we organize ourselves to open new opportunities to create value for our customers, the market, and society?". Having these conversations open up new possibilities.
5. What are qohubs biggest strengths and advantages?
As an organization, we are very aware that we can only be successful as a team, and so far, we have managed to put the individual ego behind us. Creating and using collective knowledge (of all people in the organization) and reaching a common understanding serve as a basis for accountability and, thus, value creation. This is also a reason why customers use qohubs.
We work decentralized, but we are in a common rhythm through dialogue and principles. This gives us high flexibility, speed, and adaptability. But we also keep in mind what the American astronaut Chris Hadfield accurately described: "Early success is a terrible teacher. You're essentially being rewarded for a lack of preparation, so when you find yourself in a situation where you must prepare, you can't do it. You don't know how." This down-to-earthiness is a compass for us.
6 . Fun fact about you?
At every airport security check, the red lights turn on when I go through the scanner :)