Steph & Ash talk with Chuck Papageorgiou, the Founder and Managing Partner of Ideasphere Partners, LLC, a think tank and consulting company that works with high-tech companies on bringing innovation to product development and operations. Chuck was the Co-Founder and CEO of World Watch Plus an award-winning SaaS Know Your Customer Global Due Diligence AI platform that was sold to Dun and Bradstreet. He served as the Operations and Delivery executive for NeoPollard Interactive, a company that brought multiple US Lotteries online. He brings his global experience in Technology, Operations, and Sales Operations, both as a serial entrepreneur, a consultant, and an executive to actively assist and guide management teams of companies he founded or has invested in, as well as client companies, with strategic, operational, and technology leadership challenges, corporate development and growth strategies, international expansion plans and overall management aspects of their organizations.
As an entrepreneur he has founded and launched a number of companies and products, raising over $20M in startup capital, and as a corporate executive and consultant, he has managed organizations ranging from five-person spin-off divisions to 15,000+ employee international operations. He has led or acted as a Sr. Advisor on completed M&A and restructuring transactions worth over 9 billion dollars.
So, Chuck has made plenty of screw-ups and has learned along the way. He shares them with us, so you don’t have to learn them the hard way!
Top 5 Screw Up (MAJOR Boss Bites)
- 1. Confusing PoC with MVP – A Proof of Concept may resemble a Minimum Viable Product, but it is not even remotely adequate to assume it is a Market Viable Product.
- 2. Confusing Founder Equity with Friendship Equity – Your college roommate is not necessarily your 50/50 co-founder
- 3. Confusing a data point with a trend and using it as proof – Selling one (or 100) products/subscriptions may simply be a data point and not a trend if your scaling plan assumes you will sell to millions
- 4. Thinking raising capital is a metric of success – Raising capital is the creation of an obligation that comes at an expected cost to fulfill. The best capital structure is one you can support on your own or through the 3F’s (Friends Family and Fools). The second best is one you can support through your customers. The third is a grant or government funding you can leverage without equity. The fourth is a bank loan without personal guarantees. The fifth is a loan with personal guarantees. The sixth is smart equity from Venture Capital investors. The seventh is blood equity from Vulture Capital Investors.
- 5. Not doing enough due diligence on investors – There are Great Investors, Good Investors, Bad Investors, Horrible Investors, Investor wannabes, and Predators! Need to know the difference before taking their money.
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