Ep 17: A European Perspective on Financing and Raising Money for Scalable Startups with Craig Alexander Rattray
I wanted to know if there were differences in Europe and their approach to equity and scalable startups; So in this episode, I interview Craig Alexander Rattray, a chartered accountant (that’s the UK’s version of the Certified Public Accountant) from Glasglow, for some answers. Overall startups have the same issues and concerns in Europe as in The U.S.
Here are some keen insights:
- Available money versus the need
- The earliest stage companies are limited by the amount of money the founders think they can raise. Founders raise based on what they think they can get from grants or angels. They rarely look at what they need to build the business.
- Finance versus operations
- Early-stage companies often have the operational and finance sitting in opposite corners; they really should be working together to provide a complete picture of the business [model].
- Success versus failure
- Success – right business model, right financing, and the right people with the right cachet
- Failures – having the wrong people, too few people, or not enough financing
- In Europe there is a perception that valuations are always higher on the other side of the Atlantic [United States]
- Finance for startup
- Never lose sight of your cash.
- Have at least 13-rolling-week cash forecast and more if you can.
- Startup advice
- Build finance model and raise money based on what you need, not what you think you need
- Build a team and build it early.
- Make sure its documented; this included ownership, contracts, agreements, and all legal documents. Write it down; people forget.
- Make sure everyone is united and moving in the same direction
- Understand what happens if things go wrong such as between the co-founders CEO and CTO.
- Make sure you’re actually getting to market.
- What would you have advised your younger self?
- I wish I just started [on my own] earlier.
About the Guest:
Craig Alexander Rattray was born into a council flat in 1970, worked three paper rounds from the age of 13 and established his first commercial venture at the age of 15 selling discount sportswear to fellow pupils. He self-financed his first car at the age of 17, was the first in his family to go to university, financing that by working in McDonalds, and bought his first house when only 20.
Craig Alexander has significant expertise in helping business owners with the vision and drive to grow their company and help develop and implement effective growth and exit strategies, building value and providing freedom in terms of time, stress and money.
He understands the loneliness of the business owner; the demands on time; the uncertainty; nobody caring as much; nobody doing it as well; how to grow; how to fund; how to exit. He has been there and gone through it.
About the Host:
Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder. Philip has an inquisitive mind and passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s future today. He focuses on helping technical founders unlock their pragmatic dreamer and develop their business skills and social capital. With more than 25 years across start-ups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer.
Philip, can be found camping, hiking, or playing billiards with friends; and he loves a good ‘international’ pot luck.
Words of Wisdom
- Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
- Life is a journey – mole hills or mountains? it’s your choice.
Connect with Philip at:
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/philiptopham
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/thesavvyfounder
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thesavvyfounder
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Website – https://philiptopham.com
Clubhouse – @thesavvyfounder
Free resources: 10 Most Fixable Pitch Deck Mistakes @ https://www.thesavvyfounder.com
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