Manager Report: Managing a Start-up

Manager Report: Managing a Start-up

Beata Drzazga – entrepreneur, co-organizer of the new technology conference in Silicon Valley, USA, founder of the Polish healthcare giant BetaMed SA. talks about risk management in a start-up and the qualities necessary for entrepreneurs who try their hand at new technologies;


You operate in the Silicon Valley market and co-organize conferences in the new technology industry. In the case of the creators of start-ups, are the distinguishing characteristics of those who succeed identical to those of successful people in traditional industries?

Start-ups require founders as well as employees to be willing to take risks, create new solutions and start something from scratch, often without precedent, so based purely on business intuition. Here, self-reliance is extremely important, as they often operate in a resource-constrained environment, which requires the ability to make decisions without lengthy consultation with a large team. The world of start-ups is unpredictable and dynamic. You must be ready for surprises and be able to react quickly to changing conditions. Innovation and creativity are very important here. You have to be open to unusual ideas and approaches. Many start-ups operate in technology industries. Understanding new technologies and being able to use them can be a huge asset. Here, moreover, a long-term vision is important. It would be worth it long term. It is like a map that guides the company in the right direction, and passion is the source of energy needed to make it happen. Start-ups are a continuous learning experience. One must be ready to acquire new knowledge and adapt to changing market conditions. In my opinion, and I say this after almost 30 years of operation and observation, in any business, vision and passion matter above all. Regardless of the times. These features are absolutely essential. It is these elements that provide the motivation for action and allow us to survive difficult times. Of course, vision alone will not make us successful, we also need hard work and 101 percent commitment to our company. We must stand at the helm even if we have built a trustworthy team because we are the ones who set the tone for the venture that results from our plan. Our team only helps to realize this, but nevertheless we are the captain.

Another feature is adaptability, absolutely key today. The business world is changing rapidly, so entrepreneurs must be flexible and ready to adapt to new conditions and trends, unleashing technologies that are often overpowering at first and require courage and patience to master. In addition, the ability to build lasting relationships with customers, business partners and employees is extremely important, but this has always been the case. Good communication, empathy and the ability to listen are indispensable in building connections. Customers are the foundation of any company. That’s why successful entrepreneurs always put their needs first. Understanding customers, following up on their expectations and providing valuable products or services are key elements in building a sustainable customer base.

How do you advise managing the risks of start-ups?

The first step is to accurately identify potential risks. This means understanding what risks your start-up may face. These can be risks related to the market, technology, finance, competition, etc. It is important to carefully analyze what can go wrong. Not every risk is equally important. Once risks are identified, it makes sense to prioritize them. Determine which ones have the greatest impact on the business and focus on them first. A management strategy should be developed for each identified threat. This means determining what actions to take to minimize the risk or what steps to take when the risk materializes. Risk diversification is the key word for this strategy. It is worth considering diversifying your investments. This means not relying on just one product or market. With different sources of income, risks can be more evenly distributed. This acct also applies to classic business, but it works even better for start-ups;

What are the most common start-ups you observe in the conferences organized in Silicom Valey?

Silicon Valley, located in California, is one of the most important and well-known regions in the world associated with the technology industry and start-ups. A variety of start-ups are emerging there, but a few industries and categories that are particularly common at conferences there are: information technology and software (i.e., companies focused on cutting-edge technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analysis). Then, medical and biotechnology technologies focused on innovations in healthcare, medical diagnostics, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. These companies are developing new drugs, medical devices, telemedicine technologies and other health-related solutions. Next – Internet of Things (IoT) and hardware-related technologies, smart home devices, sensors, drones and etc. These companies focus on developing hardware and software that connects to the Internet. Finally, entertainment and computer games.

Source: Manager Report