DQventures is a business builder platform and programme designed specifically to maximise the chance of a startup being successful, by helping to minimise the risks associated with becoming an entrepreneur.
The typical back story of a successful founder is that of the early 20’s college dropout who founded the business in their parents’ basement and went on to make squillions. However the reality is that the majority of successful businesses are founded by people in their late 30’s to 50’s. These are people who have an intimate knowledge of the problems facing their particular industry and who have identified an opportunity to change things, and potentially build something massive. People like you?
Fact: 2018 research published in the Harvard Business Review found that the average age at which a successful founder started their company is 45.
If you have an idea for a start-up, no matter what stage your existing career is, then DQ has the tools and resources to explore the business’s potential thoroughly and take tangible steps towards getting things started. We work with you to flesh out your idea, stress test it to ensure the underlying business model stacks up, and develop a comprehensive plan to get the company going and the first customers on board. All whilst you remain in the corporate world and work out the most effective way of transitioning into the role of full-time founder.
DQ ideates, validates and delivers tangible outputs to make your idea into a successful business, but most importantly it provides a short, medium and long-term strategy with an actionable roadmap. That isn’t to say you get a free ride while we do all the work. We are there to help you through the first steps of the business, before you are generating revenue.
Initially we do a lot of the heavy lifting. Using the lean canvas model, we will guide you through a series of modules designed to ensure the business solves a real problem, understand what the solution will look like, identify the typical customer, and create proof that someone is willing to pay for it. After that, we'll discuss how viable we (all) believe the business is. If we all decide to proceed, we'll help you pitch for your first external capital. We may invest from our own seed fund, DQinvestments. After that you can step in and take the reins.
Once we've been introduced we'll explain how DQventures partners with entrepreneurs. We'll also ask you to take us through your business idea, and explain what makes you the right person to solve this particular problem.
We interrogate the problem and solution to decide how best to start your new venture with confidence. We will ensure the unique value proposition, market, and target audience is crystal clear, and determine how best to create proof that the business will become a success. Outputs may include a business plan, budget, product plan, and introductory deck.
Build Operate Transfer (BOT)
We begin transforming the idea into a product prototype and company. We take on day-to-day administration, product management, and technical direction, so you can focus on potential customers (usually 5-15 hours per week). The objective will be to demonstrate there is appetite for what we plan to build by signing up our first users.
While continuing to expand user traction, we will guide you through the fundraising process. This includes preparation of an investment deck and pitch, support with how best to approach investors, help with the development of a contact list, and formal introductions. We will also ask you to pitch to the investment committee of our fund, DQinvestments.
We will remain onboard as a trusted advisor. As your business grows, we will be there to guide you through key decisions, such as regional expansion, mergers and acquisitions, and eventually an exit.
We are a team of successful entrepreneurs, investors and technical specialists. Collectively we have started, owned, sold, or invested in more than 80 businesses, and we've experienced most of the highs and lows of startup life. Our goal will be to help you identify, quantify and prioritise the opportunities for your company that will return the greatest value. We'll help you build an actionable roadmap, and ensure you avoid many of the pitfalls that await the first-time entrepreneur. You can read more about us here.
1. Don't waste a good idea
YOU WON'T KNOW IF YOU DON'T TRY
Ideas are worthless without execution. Countless entrepreneurs never took that first step and never fulfilled their potential. We help you move forward, so you're not left wondering "what if...?".
2. Don't risk it all
CREATE PROOF EVEN YOU BELIEVE
Most businesses fail. If you're an experienced professional, you probably have a lot to lose. Stay in your job until the business is fully validated, which means you are 99% convinced it's a winner.
3. Share the journey - it can be a lonely one
DILUTION BEATS FAILURE HANDS DOWN
Nobody wants to own 100% of nothing. The founders of most unicorns own low single digit percentages of their companies. Many are topped up with share options. It is far better to own a small slice of a big business, than to fail.
4. Stay employed
DON'T QUIT THE DAY JOB
Our founders all started their businesses while continuing to earn a salary. It is a much more comfortable way to found a company, and provides optionality should your startup turn out to be less promising than you expected.
If the above sounds like you, we'd love to talk to you. We're easy to find, and we have connections all over the world. Drop us a line on LinkedIn, or even better, ask a mutual contact for an intro.