Nick Novak shares what he looks for in an investment and the advice he gives to new start-ups
As a Venture Partner, Nick uses his extensive experience in driving growth in global EdTech organisations to help Ufi Ventures evaluate new investments.
We recently caught up with Nick to find out about his passion for nurturing growth in teams and what keeps him motivated as a Venture Partner.
We asked him what factors are involved when choosing which organisations to invest in and what advice he would give to new start-ups.
Here’s what Nick had to say:
What do you most enjoy about your role within the Ufi Ventures team?
For me, the best part of any team is the people and the impact you have together. I was delighted to join Ufi Ventures in its early days and it has been a joy to help shape the direction of our investments and to grow a portfolio of impactful teams.
What's your best and most frequently given piece of advice for new start-ups?
Impact can be a powerful engine for growth. Measuring your impact should mean an ongoing interaction with customers to understand how you can maximise the value you are adding each day. If you get this right, your customers can become a powerful referral tool that will help to expand your reach whilst also motivating your team to rally around what the market wants from your product.
How do you choose your investment opportunities?
Operating across pre-seed and seed funding levels means that there are different expectations for different levels of business maturity. But looking beyond the basic metrics of commercial success, the most important factor for me in making an investment is always the quality of the leadership team. Typically, the teams that are successful in the long-term are those with leadership that have enough experience to know how to navigate growing a new business whilst also having the humility to actively seek input from those around them.
What is the one thing you wish all founders knew?
Remember that failure is ubiquitous and all entrepreneurs struggle. You cannot learn without failure. But when you are struggling, remember also that the community is here to provide a sympathetic ear and helping hand. We've all been there before and can aid in navigating those rough waters.
Why do start-ups like working with Ufi Ventures?
I would hope to hear that start-ups enjoy working with Ufi because of our commitment to supporting them on their journey whilst also respecting the boundaries of a board observer. We are here to actively support our portfolio, but we also know how challenging a micromanaging investor can be - so we try our best to be the sort of board members we would want in our own businesses!
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