1. Validation Phase
Sofokus Ventures is looking for early stage startups (or teams) who are ready to pursue growth. We hope to be your first investor and want to sit with you on the same side of the table as you face the challenges. Our goal is to help pave the way for a growth-oriented company.
We’ve been setting up dozens of fast-growing companies, so the challenges are familiar and we’ve learned several workable solutions. We have an entrepreneurial attitude and we value absolute honesty. Rather than “hockey stick” -pitch, we want to learn your actual situation so that we can fully understand how we can help you. We love people who dare to try, fail and learn from their experiences. Regular everyday work surpasses even the best pitch deck.
We believe that the transition to the investment phase should feel natural for both. We want to understand your business idea, your digital maturity level, and your dreams. In particular, we want to get to know you, your team and your approach.
Typical things happening in the phase:
- Objective assessment of the company’s situation
- Identifying problem areas and bottlenecks
- Business idea evaluation and scenario analysis
- Getting to know the team and people’s ways of working
- Mapping the competences and gaps
- Getting to know the company’s future plans
- Analysis of the financial situation and financing needs
- Understanding goals and goal setting
From experience, we believe that the right kind of expertise and sparring is more important than money for an early-stage company. That’s why Sofokus Ventures offer both.
The introductory phase is risk-free for both, and even if we don’t end up cooperating, your actions are likely to get at least a nice little acceleration from our discussions. We believe in a “pay it forward” attitude. Good ideas deserve help, whether it came from us or our network of contacts.
2. Investment Phase
When we decide together to move on to the investment phase, we sit down and work together to create guidelines for the company’s operations. We open direct communication lines to enable easy and fast access to assistance. Sofokus Ventures prefers modern tools like Slack, WhatsApp, Trello, Teams, Zoom, Hangouts and the like. Sofokus Ventures has also developed our own tool to make it easier to reach our network. Our goal is to help you effectively eliminate growth bottlenecks and unleash the full potential of your business.
Typical things happening:
- Equity investment
- Sweat Equity investment
- Signing of the shareholder agreement
- Planning the use of public financial instruments
- Opening communication channels to our community
- Identification of key metrics and KPIs (north star, etc.)
- Setting goals together
After this phase is ready, it is time to roll up the sleeves.
3. Acceleration Phase
We are entrepreneurs at heart. We understand how difficult it is to start a new business and how important a well-timed mentoring session or well-placed elevator pitch can be. Every company encounters different obstacles on its way, but together they can be overcome.
Some examples what has been done:
- Nurturing the work/life balance of founding team
- Tweaking the business model, mission and vision
- Outlining strategic paths and supporting the implementation
- Giving insights on applying ecosystem-driven business models (such as the platform economy)
- Identifying and constructing the use of network effects and virality
- Choosing revenue model
- Setting up a digital roadmap to accelerate growth
- Analyzing competitive factors and construction of a defensible competitive advantage
- Technology and product due diligence and deployment support
- Design and implementation of custom Digital Hearts
- Strengthening the team (recruitment, partnering etc.)
- An action plan for growing the digital footprint
- Assistance in utilizing Finnish public financial instruments
- Increasing the understanding of sales, marketing, customer and product-driven business models
- Customer, partner and investor intros
- Identifying the base values and developing of brand
- Sparring of growth-oriented organizational models (self organizing, flock organized teams, use of OKR model, etc.)
- Financial path planning and implementation support
- Growth mentoring and sparring
- Honing the business concept
In the end, the means and targets for accelerating growth are always company-specific. One startup needs help shaping the digital heart solution, another will need guidance on recruiting digital business talents, and a third will need a hand in planning future financial rounds. However, there is a universal need for all companies from time to time to spar at crossroads with someone who has been there.