After growing and selling a successful business in Switzerland over the last 15 years, you could say that I don’t need an accelerator for my new startup business. You'd be totally wrong. So far I have been in London for two awesome and intense months and I thought it was a good time to reflect on being part of Collider. Each startup will be writing a guest blog to share the highs and lows that come with being an early stage startup. This is your chance to get a sneaky peek into what it is like to be part of Collider and even grab a chunk of wisdom on the way.
Collider delivers direct access to senior marketing guys from big brands like Unilever and as the relationship is already established, their willingness to really help you is priceless.
There are great coaches which challenge you every week, which forces you to develop your business in a fast and focused manner. They made me realise it's all about the product market fit, which we were struggling with for a long time. But in the last two months we developed our business so much more than the six months before. Instead of writing about about the program or my own personal lessons, I want to write about my experience in UK from a Swiss perspective.
Governmental support Founding a limited company in the UK within 20 minutes online costs you £15, which was a great experience. In Switzerland you pay £1300 or more and do lot of stupid 'offline' paperwork. The websites like Companies House or gov.uk are clear, simple, and help you to save time time instead of stealing it. The interest free loan we received from Creative England is helpful and an uncomplicated initiative to start your creative business. SEIS is such an obvious but powerful tool to catalyse the seed money market. Also, the UK has got an established and complete value chain for startups to grow their business, whereas Switzerland is 5-10 years behind, and even Berlin is still far away from this stage.
It’s all about goals It’s impressive how British people are focused in setting and reaching their goals. Most meetings with Collider and the brands are extremely efficient and clear. If something doesn't help to achieve their goals they just don’t do it. People express more clearly what they need, what they expect from you and what they think about your business. The Swiss mentality of 'everyone-feels-well-comfy-and-engaged' is nice but not helpful to really develop your business.
Sharing and Networking If you join a startup event you will run out of business cards soon. Everyone is interested in what you are doing, trying to create opportunities and to connect with other relevant people. It’s a hyper connected place.
London - the marketing brain Lot’s of corporate headquarters, the best agencies and so many people with a great marketing experience are in one place. Combined with an attitude of trying out things and seeing the potential instead of the problems, London is the best place to be in Europe for marketing driven startups like Cooala.
So don’t lose your time and come over!