The European tech scene has been booming. Just in 2021, 98 companies graduated to unicorn status. But what does it actually feel like to be a unicorn founder? It probably seems from the outside that it is an enviable position. The reality is quite different. Founders Uncut was created to expose more of that story — the show interviews entrepreneurs that have scaled up to discover the moments of vulnerability, doubt and unbelievable difficulties that even the most successful founders face, but that never make the headlines. The startup journey is never the easy, straightforward path it seems to be from the outside.
Host Maria Palma, former operator and General Partner at Kindred Capital, says “It can be tempting for first time founders to read the headlines and assume everyone else is having an easier time building a company than they are. Everywhere you look, there are headlines of major funding rounds, other companies closing huge clients or going public, yet the reality feels very different. Being a founder is one of the hardest things you can do, and often the most important parts of that story go untold.”
Founders Uncut interviews scaled founders such as Tom Blomfield of Monzo and GoCardless, George Bevis of Tide, Flori Marquez of BlockFi, Michael Rangel of Novo and others. It’s also important to tell the stories where things don’t work out as planned and companies don’t just have incredible outcomes. One of the first guests on the show is Mike Quinn, who talks about scaling up Zoona, one of Africa’s first fintechs, for nine years before it fell into a death spiral. He wrote a book titled “Failing to Win” about that journey to share learnings with future founders and is currently building his next venture, Boost.
“It’s important to share the ups and downs of the startup journey with other founders, and to dispel myths around fundraising or company building so that people get a more honest representation of the entrepreneurial journey.” says George Bevis, Founder and Former CEO of Tide.
“When you zoom back the startup path of a successful company can sometimes look like it was just up and to the right the whole time, but there are many moments along the way which are not picture perfect or not exactly what you planned. You never know what incident or chaos is going to hit you next.” says Flori Marquez, co-founder of BlockFi.
“As a founder, it’s really important to separate failing — which is an essential part of any innovation process — from the soul-destroying feeling of being a failure. If harnessed and viewed objectively, failing can become a founder superpower,” says Mike Quinn of Boost.
This podcast is also in the minority of VC podcasts led by a female VC partner. It’s an industry which is largely male dominated with only 13% of women at the partner/decision making level.
To check out more, go to Founders Uncut.
Kindred Capital is an early stage venture firm focusing on pre-seed and seed European and Isreali technology companies. Kindred invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. The firm’s five General Partners all have founding, operating and investing experience. Kindred puts founders at the heart of everything we do. We share the upside of the fund with the entrepreneurs we back. This model of Equitable Venture has led to over 70 founders co-owning carry in the fund. Kindred has invested in some of Europe’s most exciting companies, including Paddle, Pollen, OriBiotech, Farewill, LabGenius, and others. We are a generalist fund, but often invest in the infrastructure layer of different market segments. Kindred has raised two $100M funds to date.
About Maria Palma:
Maria Palma is a General Partner at Kindred Capital, a seed and early-stage venture firm focusing on European technology companies. Prior to Kindred, Maria was a Principal at RRE Ventures in New York where she spent time on the investment side and also building out their platform efforts. Before that, Maria was the Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Business Development for a NY-based ad tech company, Eyeview, as they scaled from 23 to over 100+. Maria began her career at General Electric in Operations Management & Supply Chain. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Industrial Engineering from UW-Madison. Outside of work Maria is on the board of African Entrepreneur Collective, a non-profit working with entrepreneurs in Africa, and co-founded NYC Blend, a non-profit that helps underrepresented founders access venture capital.
About Dream Factory:
Dream Factory is a content creation house for startup founders in the heart of Shoreditch, East London. Startups need to create awesome content to win. But making impactful content isn’t easy. It takes money, production expertise and time; something many early-stage businesses simply don’t have. Dream Factory is here to bridge that gap and help founders create groundbreaking content to take their business to the next level. Whether it’s product shots, a podcast series, or a Youtube show; Dream Factory has you covered.
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