A few days ago Todor Breshkov, managing partner at LAUNCHub, asked me to share with a friend what it is about and how it feels to be a LAUNCHub scout. So I decided it’s a good idea to formulate my answer as a blog post .
First things first, I’ll start (and finish) by answering a deeply related question – why did I join the team as a scout?
As with most of the valuable things in life – depending on your perspective – you either don’t have a simple answer, or you have a very simple universal answer – love.
And for love you don’t need a rational explanation… But still, I’ll try to rationalize it :
After the first LAUNCHub Long Weekend in the mid of July I literally fell in love with those guys – no arrogance, no smart asses, approachable, with strong common sense, and last but not least – passionate about what they do and truly willing to help the startups give their best shot. And the way we could communicate directly and openly with each other was a really cool thing (I quite prefer being open and direct, without being (too) rude). In these people I really recognize the potential to do the things the way I believe things should be done in a startup world.
The second reason – helping LAUNCHub with screening startup ideas, giving feedback and sharing ideas on improving the internal processes, educational programs, and events is one of the most effective ways for me to “give back” to the community.
By “giving back” I mean not only sharing my experience as a startup founder in a place like Bulgaria, and trying to help the startups with their presentation and communication skills… But also being involved in the process of building the ecosystem and the mentality here – via keeping a close relation with the LAUNCHub guys, who actually have the tools (read – money, expertize, and passion) to make a difference, right now.
I really believe that giving back is very important if you want to achieve a sustainable success, and also, quite importantly – to develop yourself as a person. And with LAUNCHub I have the chance to do so. (Being an assistant professor in Technology Entrepreneurship in Sofia University is the other way I’m trying to help to the community, but the effect of my efforts there is still quite indirect and more oriented to mid-long term.)
The third reason is recognition. “Scout” sounds sexy! ( They offered me “entrepreneur in residence” and I declined ). Now seriously… From what you just read – it should be already clear that for me it’s an honor to be at least a tiny part of this team. That way also being a part of the first major move ever happening in the Bulgarian venture capital realm.
And one last thing. Getting the recognition and having the chance to interfere with startups is a privilege… that comes along with a great responsibility. So I use this as a chance to push myself to stick with high standards… and to practice what I preach. And believe me – it’s not an easy job .
UPDATE Dec 5, 2012: This blog post was cross-posted in the LAUNCHub blog.