Be confident and start it up, investors say!
Simone Riedel Riley has been a member of the Emerald Technology Ventures team for more than six years. For the last two and a half years, she also manages Swiss Technology Fund mandate. During all this time, she has been working closely with startups, helping them to make a business out of their idea. As an experienced professional, she gave us an insight into the startup scene in Switzerland and beyond, from a different perspective: the investor’s.
Two funds, one mission: Making starting-up easier!
Founded back in 2000, Emerald Technology Ventures invests in all types of industrial technologies related to Cleantech, supporting not only the European startups, but the companies based in North America, Israel and Australia, as well. Besides managing its regular fund, Emerald got the mandate from the Swiss government to also manage the Technology Fund, focusing on the companies that have a positive impact on the environment. According to Simone, this fund is different from all the others, because it offers the startups a guarantee to receive better terms and financing at the bank.
Is your startup a fitting candidate?
Unlike a bank loan, which usually can be received only after ten years of positive cash flow, the Technology Fund makes things a bit easier for the fresh founders. To apply for this grant, the startup doesn’t need a positive cash flow background at all, but the criteria are still quite strict and a fitting startup candidate has to prove:
- Positive impact on the environment
- Good market chances to scale up the sales
- Creditworthiness – up to ten years!
After many years of reviewing the candidates, Simone says that she has already met a lot of great Cleantech ideas, but she also believes that the future of the Cleantech industry is yet to come. According to her, it will eventually touch every single aspect of our lives!
Good news, everybody! Founding a startup became cool!
Even though the startup culture is on the rise, and Switzerland definitely offers a great environment for startups, Simone got the impression that Swiss entrepreneurs are more modest than they should be. Compared to the USA, where managers are much more confident about their ideas, or Israel, where almost everyone has a startup, Swiss teams still hesitate to scale internationally. The good news, however, is that people definitely are more risk-taking than they used to be and it’s actually becoming cool to have a startup! If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to share it with the world. As Thomas Edison once said “The value of an idea lies in the using of it”.