Play To Potential is a series of podcasts where entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts talk about their experiences, and learnings. Karthik Reddy, Founder and Managing Partner Blume Ventures, talks about what investors look for in founders.
Is evaluating an entrepreneur easy? How does an investor decide which founder’s idea to back, especially when he or she typically receives several hundred emails, and calls, and meets with several different entrepreneurs on a daily basis.
Karthik Reddy, Founder and Managing Partner, Blume Ventures, in his podcast as part of the ‘Play To Potential’ series says it depends on a founder’s capacity to learn, listen and not be obstinate.
For an investor, it is about understanding and getting to know the founder better. Karthik says,
“You question them (founders) on whether they have thought through what behaviour they are influencing, why are they doing this, where was the origin of the problem in their heart? Why did they think they should chase this idea? Sometimes, backgrounds throw up cues. But it is more about understanding the person and their motivations more.”
As an early-stage startup investor, Karthik believes the more stubborn founders are at the early stage of the business, the more difficult will it be for them to succeed. This, he says, is because in the early stages, most founders don’t know much.
The founder is yet to understand the challenges of organisation building, what the problems can be and expand into, and which direction the business can go. And all of these are interlinked.
“Great founders realise it isn’t about them, but about building phenomenally great products and ideas across the board. Philosophically, you need to be willing to share rewards, share responsibilities - you have to be willing to take inputs. You have to respect them (investors), if you aren’t surrounding yourself with people you respect, why bother. Extending it one step further, they need to respect that we are partners as opposed to us versus them.”
It is also important to understand the problem that the founder aims to solve. How passionate are they about the problem, and not just the product or solution they have built?
The idea is to build something that customers truly like and resonate with.
“A founder needs to be open to different ideas and customer feedback. It all comes down to how the person is,” says Karthik.
Listen to all that Karthik has to say on founders, and what he personally looks at in founders here.