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Entrepreneur Agony Aunt

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Location:

United Kingdom

Twitter:

@brockvicky

Language:

English


Episodes

When to quit and how to quit your startup with Vicky Brock

6/13/2018
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This episode I’m talking about quitting. And I’m talking to myself, because when you have a job, have a company, have investors, have staff - there are some things you just can’t say out loud without major consequences. “I quit” is one of them. So based on my own experiences, and the many conversations had with other founders & CEOs feeling trapped in their startups, here’s the if, when, why and how of quitting in your startup…. Quitting your role, quitting the company, exiting a market,...

Duration:00:42:40

Customer problem solving and having conversations that convert with Jamie Shankland

6/7/2018
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Entrepreneur Jamie Shankland has taken products to market in 40 countries and has found problems worth solving in sectors including oil & gas, fashion and online events planning. He shares the lessons he has learned about ensuring customer meetings have meaningful outcomes, better business development, finding out what customers really, really want as he advises a founder with only 7 months cash left who is trapped having lots of conversations that have yet to convert into paying...

Duration:00:33:51

Purpose, focus and collaboration with Dr Vivienne Ming

5/31/2018
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Incredibly inspirational “mad scientist”, theoretical neuroscientist, AI inventor and entrepreneur Dr Vivienne Ming advises a listener overwhelmed by ideas and possibilities that finding your purpose is more important than forcing yourself to focus and be someone you’re not. She talks about the importance of recognising your weaknesses and having a compensatory strategy for overcoming them and why hiring complementary collaborators is essential to entrepreneurial success and to delivering...

Duration:01:01:19

Personal growth & building and incentivising startup teams with Kenny Fraser

5/24/2018
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CEO, Chairman and NXD Kenny Fraser advises a solo founder having an existential crisis about what their role as CEO should be, urges entrepreneurs not to neglect their own personal and professional development - and advises a founder to forget everything they’ve heard about sales and commissions, in order to ensure their team remains aligned to common goals and a shared compensation structure. Great insights on people, teams, incentives and the growth mindset.

Duration:00:36:12

Pay yourself and how to fund your startup in desperate times

5/10/2018
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In a very frank monologue episode, Vicky urges entrepreneurs to pay themselves more and dives into the when, what and how to plan for a salary and the things people don’t tell you about startup founders personal finances (or lack of them). Clearly, on a roll, and without pausing for breath, Vicky also covers financing your startup in desperate times, what worked and didn’t work for her as her company faced running out of money, and what to do and not to do when there are only a few weeks...

Duration:00:28:40

Working in startups: what potential employees and their bosses need to know

5/3/2018
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What are the risks and rewards of working in a startup? And what 3 things do startup employees most wish their CEO would learn? I’m joined by Regina Berengolts, my head of data in my last startup, and now leading the data science team at a high growth TV analytics scaleup for the employee perspective on getting the people part of startups right. We talk about the startup mindset we look for in employees, whether a startup job is right for you, CEO transparency and the questions potential...

Duration:00:46:37

Everything co-founders and how to start a tech company as a non-technical founder

4/25/2018
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My three-time co-founder and product lead, Stephen Budd, shares some hard-learned lessons on what non-technical founders need to know in order to successfully lead a technology or software based startup. We talk co-founders, CTOs, product build and outsourcing software development before diving into all things co-founders. When you need a co-founder, where to find them, choosing friends vs strangers, how to set up agreements, who should be CEO and what to do if it is all going horribly...

Duration:00:47:23

Teams and hiring: how to find, attract and compensate startup employees with Kirsty Mackenzie

4/17/2018
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How do you attract talent to your startup when resources are limited? Kirsty Mackenzie, founder, award-winning entrepreneur and recruitment specialist, explains how to find, reward and retain employees in your startup. She explains how to build your very first team, what to do if you get it wrong, why you need to think very carefully about company values and the skills you need before you hire and the different things to think about once your business grows.

Duration:00:27:27

How to survive the inflection points that all startups face as they scale with Mark Logan

4/3/2018
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As businesses grow, they hit key inflection points that mean the old tactics don’t work anymore. The interplay of people, structures and process have to be updated as a startup develops and so you have to change how you and your people operate within your company. Mark gives very practical advice on how to recognize and survive these inflection points that increase frustration and reduce productivity. He explains how devolving decision making, growing your own people, encouraging them to...

Duration:00:21:51

Customer development and market validation with Wendy Lea

3/27/2018
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Taking a more thoughtful approach to understanding market focus was a major learning for Wendy Lea, when as an experienced CEO of a very hot, very high growth VC backed freemium software startup, her urgency to execute led to mistakes that she now recognizes were avoidable. Answering a question posed by a student startup, she references Steve Blank as someone she learns from every single time they meet and shares her thoughts on why a customer development playbook is a necessary reality...

Duration:00:21:41

Flexible working in practice and at scale with Dana Denis Smith

3/14/2018
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The how, why and what you need to know about flexible and remote working with Dana Denis Smith. After realising her first business could not scale, Dana founded Obelisk Support to keep City lawyers, especially mothers, working flexibly around their personal commitments and to provide clients with quality legal support solution onshore. She now manages 1500 remote working lawyers, with over 1 million hours of capacity, and was named by The Times as one of UK’s Top 50 Employers for Women and...

Duration:00:24:02

Founder focus and the MVP trap with Mark Logan

3/7/2018
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Back by popular demand, Mark Logan joins me to talk about why founders block their company’s success if they don’t learn how to manage their idea flow and communication processes. We explore how product market fit is necessary, but not sufficient, the MVP trap, how to surface bad news internally and why so many startups are in the process of failing slowly. Mark is former Skyscanner COO and IOD Director of the Year.

Duration:00:41:25

Making a multi site office culture work and delivering 10X solutions with Tom Adeyoola

3/1/2018
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How do you iterate your way to product market fit without scaring your investors? And what are the best practices as your company grows to multiple locations, or your team is spread across several sites? Tom Adeyoola, CEO and Founder of fashion technology company Metail, has grown his startup to over 100 people, raised $20million in strategic investment and had offices in both London and Cambridge from day one. He joins Vicky Brock to share the very deliberate people management processes...

Duration:00:34:18

How to nail your Q and A to secure funding with Edge Fund CEO Evelyn McDonald

2/24/2018
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More founders lose out on startup investment because they handled their Q & A badly than at any other point in the pitching process. Evelyn McDonald, is CEO of the Scottish Edge fund, an investment competition that awards roughly £1million per round, with maximum investments of £150k per young business. Our discussion covers what question you can expect to be asked by investors, how to prepare, why the Q and A is so important and what founders need to do and say ensure to have the best...

Duration:00:24:28

Telling good advice from bad, who to trust and why a maybe is really a no with Leah Hutcheon

2/20/2018
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Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, Leah Hutcheon of Appointedd, joins Vicky Brock to help an entrepreneur who is sick of bad advice. We discuss when to trust advisors, when to trust your gut, where to find good advice, how to grow your team and how to manage input from investors and board directors that you disagree with. As Leah says, you need to build and use your network and trust yourself to know that with any people decision - if it is a maybe, then it’s a no.

Duration:00:29:49

Equity investment as fuel and why female founders must ask for more money

2/6/2018
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Equity investment, knowing your value and the importance of raising enough money to fuel your startup for 18 - 24 months of growth. Global Invest Her founder Anne Ravanona and Vicky Brock urge a high potential female founder to think big and ask for more money.

Duration:00:21:59

Exposing your idea, validation and embracing vulnerability with Joel Blake OBE

1/31/2018
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Answering a listener’s question on whether to expose their early pre-startup idea on social media to get validation, guest Joel Blake OBE joins the Entrepreneur Agony Aunt to talk collaboration, iteration, validation and being ready to embrace your vulnerability. He explains: “entrepreneurship changes you to your core - how open are we really to being changed?”

Duration:00:35:41

Hyperfocus, urgency and founding for scale with Dennis Mortensen of x.ai

1/26/2018
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Serial entrepreneur Dennis Mortensen talks about how hyperfocus, urgency, radical transparency and a single KPI have become part of his process for building successful startups at scale. CEO of x.ai, whose AI personal assistants are changing the way meetings are scheduled, Dennis advises a founder looking to inject more pace into their startup team.

Duration:00:24:53

Social impact and how entrepreneurship beats charitable aid with Kate Webb

1/21/2018
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Founder of tourism companies spanning two continents and working with entrepreneurs in Malawi and the UK, Kate Webb of Orbis Expeditions advises a founder wanting to build a business with social purpose in developing regions. In this fascinating discussion, Kate shares her learnings from over a decade of entrepreneurship in Africa, and why she so strongly believes in pursuing business and economic development, instead of charitable aid.

Duration:00:20:30

Funding for Startups Who Aren’t Unicorns with Anne Ravanona

1/14/2018
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Funding from debt, crowdfunding, equity and desperation financing for smaller and early-stage startups with Anne Ravanona, CEO & Founder of Global Invest Her, a global community and platform that helps women entrepreneurs get investment-ready. Speaker, writer and advocate, Anne is an expert in demystifying fundraising and she joins Vicky to answer two listeners’ funding questions, and to discuss Vicky’s personal experiences of raising angel investment, grant and debt funding. This blog...

Duration:00:22:51