08/23/2021 – Tokeportal’s own content
Our first mentor is Szép Zoltán, a finance, system- and business construction specialist, whose speciality is fintech, SaS, agriculture, small item manufacturing, e-commerce, training and education, and also the assistance of small businesses among others.
The success of any business largely depends on what the team is like. In the case of starting companies and startups, special attention must be paid to group dynamics, as there are no formalized roles here yet. There are two mistakes that you can make at the start: either not regulating the collaboration or over-regulating that. In the former case, more serious tensions can be expected in the medium term, and in the latter, there may be conflicts at the outset. To avoid this, even with accustomed teams, it’s worth involving an external, objective person not only in the strategy creation and the business planning, but also in the formation of group roles. There is no shortage of creativity in startups, but there is often a shortage of members who take and execute quick decisions. These can also be solved during the process, but only if we recognize the shortcoming.
Businesses can find subsidized equity-, loan- and guarantee programs among the domestic ones. Non-refundable funds are the most popular of course. Startups in key industries can apply for R&D and innovation funding, and I am very pleased that there is already a support framework specifically for women entrepreneurs. Previously, programs to support business collaboration were run with the least utilization, but fortunately, young entrepreneurs today are working successfully on collective projects, reflecting the development of the entrepreneurial culture. Startups (especially B2Bs) with high potential are welcomed by venture capital funds, and the now recapitalized Széchenyi Capital Fund has the most experience in second-run investment and stock exchange. For B2C projects, the best choice is Tokeportal.hu, which helps projects in a professional way from the idea to the first round investment. It’s a huge advantage that Tokeportal.hu is watched by a lot of angel investors who can support the project in the long run as lead investors. Due to my 17 years of Széchenyi Card history, I can’t leave subsidized loans out, which can be good choices for companies that have been at least one year old. These can be obtained very quickly with the state counter-guarantee programs in the background with almost zero interest. It is worth looking for a business finance expert to help you find your way around these. There are also a lot of sources in Brussels e.g. in Horizon Program, which supports international market introduction too.
It is worth to clarify what marketing means in the case of a startup. Many people think that they have enough time to deal with it later and a good product doesn’t require advertising. However, marketing starts with the planning of market entry and competitor research. It is worthwile to start the database building even in this period, which is not only needed to the business plan, but also later to the reach of the target group or to the process of validation.
Though the improvement of cooperation at young entrepreneurs is gratifying, it’s really sad that communication was pushed into the background. I believe, that the value of verbal and personal discussions will grow, which I consider indispensable in the business world.
It is worth talking about an other question, which I regard as important – the specialization and the focus losing derived from it. As we work with specialists in every area, there is a growing demand for big picture type of people. We used to call them organizers in the past, today we rather call them project managers. They are the ones who are responsible to people for getting the necessary informations, and not being too focused on the details, and to developments for pointing in one direction. I think, many teams undervalue its importance. Development agreements turns into one continuous brainstorming without moderating, and the project can fall apart without responsible people and questioning. A mentor can assist the team in that task too.
If you want to know more about Zoltán, visit his mentor profile.