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Starting a Startup 
Hild Imre
20 years 
1993-1998 Ithaca, NY - Cornell University (B.S. & MBA) 
2004-2005 Hild Life Annuity, co-founder, owner 
STARTUP ...
What is a startup?
What is a startup? 
Define by non-quantifiable qualities 
A Human institution operating under extreme uncertainties 
An or...
WHY DO YOU START A STARTUP? 
- for good cause 
- for money 
- for fame 
- for fun 
- for being cool 
- for independence 
-...
Startup Operations – Running a gig 
Startup Pirates 
5/2/14 
6 
Idea Funding 
Product 
developme 
nt 
Sales
WHAT ARE YOU AT WORK? 
A. Fast 
B. Precise 
C. Both 
D. …what do you mean by work?
THE STARTUP PROCESS 
• Let’s do startup 
• …I have an idea! 
• Idea = guess 
• Guess = hypothesis 
• Guess about the produ...
• Hypothesis 
• Get out of the building 
• Test and measure responses 
• Learn facts 
• Build MVP 
• Test (measure) tracti...
THE PROPER PROCESS OF STARTING UP 
FOCUS ON PRODUCT OR SERVICE 
BUILD A FOUNDING TEAM AROUND IT 
BUILD STARTUP AROUND THE ...
Who do you have to fight?
Startup Operations – Running a gig – for success 
Startup Pirates 
5/2/14 
12 
Identify 
need or 
problem 
Prototype a 
so...
VALUE PROPOSITION 
Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 
13
VALUE PROPOSITION 
Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 
14
VALUE PROPOSITION 
Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 
15
STARTUP ZONES 
16 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
RISK 
RETURN
STARTUP ZONES 
PREZI 
17 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
BARBERSHOP 
AMAZON 
RISK 
RETURN 
SNAPCHAT
STARTUP ZONES 
PREZI 
18 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
BARBERSHOP 
AMAZON 
RISK 
RETURN 
SNAPCHAT
STARTUP ZONES 
PREZI 
19 
AMAZON 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
BARBERSHOP 
RISK 
RETURN 
SNAPCHAT
STARTUP ZONES 
20 
AMAZON 
SNAPCHAT PREZI 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
BARBERSHOP 
RISK 
RETURN
STARTUP ZONES 
21 
AMAZON 
PREZI 
KNOWN UNKNOWN 
GROWTH 
INCOME 
BARBERSHOP 
RISK 
RETURN 
SNAPCHAT
Startup Operations 
Startup Pirates 
5/2/14 
22 
Product 
Team 
(founders) 
Startup Company
LEARNING IS EVERYTHING 
If you're not willing to learn, no one can help you. 
If you're determined to learn, no one can st...
THE SINGLE THING THAT HOLDS YOU BACK FROM SUCCESS 
Not good enough idea 
Lack of funding 
Customers do not understand 
Few...
YOUR No.1. TASK AS AN ENTREPRENEUR 
REPLACE ASSUMPTIONS WITH FACTS
A STORY 
A father and his son are mountain climbing. 
Both of them fall down and are injured. 
One ambulance helicopter ta...
WHAT ASSUMPTIONS DO TO US 
Clouds one’s vision of known and unknown facts 
Make one think of complicated solutions 
Keeps ...
CHECKLIST - BEFORE THE TEAM STARTS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT… 
Turn assumptions into facts by: 
Testing the hypotheses 
Asking q...
KEY ELEMENTS OF A GOOD STARTUP 
BIG MARKET 
EVEN BIGGER MARKET 
DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THAT MARKET 
(Extensive googling doe...
Richest people on Earth 
30 
1. Bill Gates, Net Worth: $76 B 
Source of wealth: Microsoft 
2. Carlos Slim Helu & family, N...
Day 1
Startup development – a word about the co-founder 
+ Minimum 1 maximum 2 
5/2/14 
32 
+ Dissolving dilemmas, doubts 
+ Rea...
Chances of success – lets do the math 
Startup Pirates 
33 
The Forward labs experiment 
18 months, 14 projects 
20% Great...
How to avoid this trap..? 
Startup Pirates 
34 
Don’t believe the ‘Devizahitel’ hype – it is not in your favor 
BE sure yo...
Cliffnotes 
Energy Challenge – E-OFF 
Study markets 
Lose 
assumptions, 
build upon facts 
Don’t wait, act 
fast 
Break so...
Recommended reading 
- Lean Startup by Eric Reis 
- Early Exit by Basil Peters 
- Startup Nation by Saul Singer and Dan Se...
Contact and more info 
37 
E-mail: imre@icatapult.co 
LinkedIn: hu.linkedin.com/in/hildimre/ 
This presentation available ...
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  1. 1. Starting a Startup Hild Imre
  2. 2. 20 years 1993-1998 Ithaca, NY - Cornell University (B.S. & MBA) 2004-2005 Hild Life Annuity, co-founder, owner STARTUP PIRATES 2009-2012 Primus Capital 5/2/14 2 1990-1993 Hungary - Tourism 1998-2003 Lehman Brothers, New York, NY (Conduit Hotel Securitization) 2003-2004 Hild’s, owner (Securitization Advisory) 2005-2009 OTP Life Annuity, founder, CEO 2012- iCatapult
  3. 3. What is a startup?
  4. 4. What is a startup? Define by non-quantifiable qualities A Human institution operating under extreme uncertainties An organization searching for a solution A group of people conquering the unknown
  5. 5. WHY DO YOU START A STARTUP? - for good cause - for money - for fame - for fun - for being cool - for independence - or to simply to be:
  6. 6. Startup Operations – Running a gig Startup Pirates 5/2/14 6 Idea Funding Product developme nt Sales
  7. 7. WHAT ARE YOU AT WORK? A. Fast B. Precise C. Both D. …what do you mean by work?
  8. 8. THE STARTUP PROCESS • Let’s do startup • …I have an idea! • Idea = guess • Guess = hypothesis • Guess about the product, market etc. • Test, test, test a.k.a. ask questions • Your offer (a.k.a. value proposition) is… • vitamin (nice to have) • medicine (MUST have) • If at least 70% significance = MUST have
  9. 9. • Hypothesis • Get out of the building • Test and measure responses • Learn facts • Build MVP • Test (measure) traction • Learn until you have a repeatable model • ….. Build - Measure - Learn cycle
  10. 10. THE PROPER PROCESS OF STARTING UP FOCUS ON PRODUCT OR SERVICE BUILD A FOUNDING TEAM AROUND IT BUILD STARTUP AROUND THE TEAM …IF NEEDED, FORM A COMPANY
  11. 11. Who do you have to fight?
  12. 12. Startup Operations – Running a gig – for success Startup Pirates 5/2/14 12 Identify need or problem Prototype a solution Test and iterate Fund Scaling
  13. 13. VALUE PROPOSITION Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 13
  14. 14. VALUE PROPOSITION Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 14
  15. 15. VALUE PROPOSITION Value is material, emotional or abstract benefit to user or client 15
  16. 16. STARTUP ZONES 16 KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME RISK RETURN
  17. 17. STARTUP ZONES PREZI 17 KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME BARBERSHOP AMAZON RISK RETURN SNAPCHAT
  18. 18. STARTUP ZONES PREZI 18 KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME BARBERSHOP AMAZON RISK RETURN SNAPCHAT
  19. 19. STARTUP ZONES PREZI 19 AMAZON KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME BARBERSHOP RISK RETURN SNAPCHAT
  20. 20. STARTUP ZONES 20 AMAZON SNAPCHAT PREZI KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME BARBERSHOP RISK RETURN
  21. 21. STARTUP ZONES 21 AMAZON PREZI KNOWN UNKNOWN GROWTH INCOME BARBERSHOP RISK RETURN SNAPCHAT
  22. 22. Startup Operations Startup Pirates 5/2/14 22 Product Team (founders) Startup Company
  23. 23. LEARNING IS EVERYTHING If you're not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you're determined to learn, no one can stop you.
  24. 24. THE SINGLE THING THAT HOLDS YOU BACK FROM SUCCESS Not good enough idea Lack of funding Customers do not understand Few Sales people Too much competition Mixing Assumptions with Facts Not enough customers Slow patent registration
  25. 25. YOUR No.1. TASK AS AN ENTREPRENEUR REPLACE ASSUMPTIONS WITH FACTS
  26. 26. A STORY A father and his son are mountain climbing. Both of them fall down and are injured. One ambulance helicopter takes the father to a hospital in Györ, the other takes the son to a Budapest hospital. The son is rolled into the operating room in Budapest immediately. The surgeon steps into the operating room, looks at him and says: I can not operate on him, he is my son. - - ?? - -
  27. 27. WHAT ASSUMPTIONS DO TO US Clouds one’s vision of known and unknown facts Make one think of complicated solutions Keeps one guessing Makes one come up with additional assumptions
  28. 28. CHECKLIST - BEFORE THE TEAM STARTS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT… Turn assumptions into facts by: Testing the hypotheses Asking questions - develop answers Learning your market’s drivers Being objective Daring to change frequently Being objective with your team’s strengths Only do what you love (the FREE test)
  29. 29. KEY ELEMENTS OF A GOOD STARTUP BIG MARKET EVEN BIGGER MARKET DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THAT MARKET (Extensive googling does not count) REPEATABLE BUSINESS MODEL TEAM THAT FITS THE ABOVE ASKING QUESTIONS FROM EACH OTHER DONE BETTER THAN PERFECT WWYCD
  30. 30. Richest people on Earth 30 1. Bill Gates, Net Worth: $76 B Source of wealth: Microsoft 2. Carlos Slim Helu & family, Net Worth: $72 B Source of wealth: telecom 3. Amancio Ortega, Net Worth: $64 B Source of wealth: retail 4. Warren Buffett, Net Worth: $58.2 B Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway 5. Larry Ellison, Net Worth: $48 B Source of wealth: Oracle 6. Charles Koch, Net Worth: $40 B Source of wealth: diversified 6. David Koch, Net Worth: $40 B Source of wealth: diversified 8. Sheldon Adelson, Net Worth: $38 B Source of wealth: casinos 9. Christy Walton & family, Net Worth: $36.7 B Source of wealth: Wal-Mart 10. Jim Walton, Net Worth: $34.7 B Source of wealth: Wal-Mart 11. Liliane Bettencourt, Net Worth: $34.5 B Source of wealth: L’Oreal 12. Stefan Persson, Net Worth: $34.4 B Source of wealth: H&M 13. Alice Walton, Net Worth: $34.3 B Source of wealth: Wal-Mart 14. S. Robson Walton, Net Worth: $34.2 B Source of wealth: Wal-Mart 15. Bernard Arnault & family, Net Worth: $33.5 B Source of wealth: LVMH
  31. 31. Day 1
  32. 32. Startup development – a word about the co-founder + Minimum 1 maximum 2 5/2/14 32 + Dissolving dilemmas, doubts + Reality check + Reasoning practices + Do more if you work together STARTUP PIRATES
  33. 33. Chances of success – lets do the math Startup Pirates 33 The Forward labs experiment 18 months, 14 projects 20% Great, 35% Zombie, 45% dead After pivot and optimization? = ± 0 Even good team’s good ideas do not guarantee success
  34. 34. How to avoid this trap..? Startup Pirates 34 Don’t believe the ‘Devizahitel’ hype – it is not in your favor BE sure you need the money - VC money is only for growth Do not focus on a market that limits your ‘good team and good idea’ Create value and everything will follow
  35. 35. Cliffnotes Energy Challenge – E-OFF Study markets Lose assumptions, build upon facts Don’t wait, act fast Break some rules Be critical of your environment Speed is key Have fun 5/2/14 35
  36. 36. Recommended reading - Lean Startup by Eric Reis - Early Exit by Basil Peters - Startup Nation by Saul Singer and Dan Señor - Venture Deals by Brad Feld Blogs: - feld.com - avc.com - Open View Ventures blog - Hacker News (YCombinator)
  37. 37. Contact and more info 37 E-mail: imre@icatapult.co LinkedIn: hu.linkedin.com/in/hildimre/ This presentation available at: http://www.slideshare.net/hildimre

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