LET’S TALK ABOUT IT WITH CLAUS ZIBRANDTSEN, CEO AT INQVATION
Do we have a ‘founder friendly’ culture in the Nordic countries? What does it mean? And more important, how do we co-create a ‘founder friendly’ culture in the Nordic region? inQvation has joined forces with TechBBQ and Synch to take a closer look at the term: ‘founder friendly’ and what it really means. In this series of articles, we’ve asked five central stakeholders in the ecosystem to provide us with their views on the Nordic investment culture.
Let’s face it. There are actually many opportunities in the Nordic to achieve capital and investments from both private investors and governments. However, many founders do not believe that Denmark and the rest of the Nordic countries are ‘founder friendly’. Why is that?
Let’s talk about this assumption and ask a group of investors and founders what we can do to provide better conditions for startups.
Claus Zibrandtsen is CEO at inQvation and has over the years made several investments in some of Denmark’s most promising startups, e.g. Son of a Tailor, GOODIEBOX, Cortrium, Sani nudge, Spiio and Onomondo.
When talking about a ‘founder friendly’ investment culture, Claus Zibrandtsen believes that there must be mutual respect amongst the founder team and the investor(s), since both sides of the table can add different values to the company. In the long run both sides of the table want the company to be successful:
“As an investor, it is crucial that you do not ask for majority shares of the startup in the beginning. At the same time, it is important that you as a founder really understand all the risks an investor agrees to when he/she provides capital. It is not a power struggle! Instead both the founder and the investor have to see it as a long-term collaboration where they work together to develop the company and make them a success. That’s the perfect match”.
Claus Zibrandtsen, CEO at inQvation
How do we create a ‘founder friendly’ ecosystem in the Nordic?
According to Claus Zibrandtsen, it is first and foremost about creating the most favorable terms for the startups. Otherwise, they will move their headquarters out of Denmark. Therefore, Claus Zibrandtsen believes that we have to look at the terms here in Denmark. To mention a few things, Claus Zibrandtsen acknowledges that we should look at the access to talents, access to venture capital, access to mentors and lastly, the public arrangements.
“We must ensure that the startups have access to the right resources all the time. We do not want startups to have too many open positions for too long. The problem is that the best resources often does not exist in Denmark. We need to ensure that 1) we have the right terms to attract international profiles/ talents and 2) we have to make sure that we educate the right employees 5-10 years ahead” recommends Claus Zibrandtsen.