What to look for in a startup? What should those new to startup investing keep in mind? Willem Schellekens, a startup investor, answers these questions and a few more about his experience with investing in startups.
Interview with Willem Schellekens
- Hi Willem, thank you for doing the interview with us. You have a background in banking, can you tell us how that evolved into investing in startups. Is this something you have always been personally interested in, or is it more related to your current position/career path?
I used to work in lending and thus seen various business models, teams, and industries from up close. It was interesting to see what worked and didn’t work in so many different companies. The common driver was the quality of the team and the ability to adjust to customer needs. Startups have always had a special interest for me, and especially during the last few years due to the quality and professionalism.
- What do you look for when investing in a startup? What are the “must have” qualities?
Team quality (track record), skillset, scalability, problem/solution fit, strategy, key metrics (product market fit)
- What would you say is the most important thing a new investor should keep in mind when jumping into the funding wagon (industry)?
Think if you can miss the money. Most people get carried away because they love an idea or solution, since the risk of investing in startups is relatively high, you must consider that you will never get your investment back and use this as the base. If you put all your savings in and it will really cause you problems if it’s not returned, it is wise not to get too excited. Next is diversifying investments, it’s more fun to follow different initiatives, if one is really hitting it off, there will be other rounds of funding and you can invest again.
- From your personal experience, what would you say is the main advantage of using Leapfunder over other investing platforms?
The ease of use, using Ideal to invest directly without a very extensive procedure. Next the accessibility to the teams and other investors. Leapfunder promotes meeting the investors which I think is excellent, investing in startups is not only about the money, but also a social thing.
- What made you decide to use Leapfunder in the first place?
I have seen the name at various events and speaking to different people, so what better way to get to know how it works than trying it out yourself?
- Tell us something about your current portfolio. How many startups have you invested in, and what was the defining factor to make your decision?
I have invested in 5 different startups (3 via leapfunder). I have to say that I use most of my criteria mentioned in the third question but in a different order, since at first I looked on the site to see what triggered me, before meeting the team!
If you have any questions about investing in a startup via Leapfunder, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’ll be more than happy to answer all of them!
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