How did Fstage founders get there?
“They” say one can address only 3 big problems: Planet, Food, Poverty. Yet I am attracted to address business challenges. As a certified executive business coach it was always more appealing to challenge coachees to get the confidence and evidence that supports the need to change something for better. I was introduced a missing piece from my poverty formula in Techchill 2022 conference, Riga, Latvia and we had follow-up meeting in Tallinn to make certain the idea is a whole, it was. During Latitude59 conference in Tallinn, Estonia we got confidence from potential mentors/investors to proceed.
Advising others as a advisor, mentor, coach, might become very enlightening and grow one’s self awareness. As a mentor and advisor I managed to find most of my own mistakes from previous businesses. Then after I realised that mentor’s compensation to value created is not enough compared to the changes I brought. Hourly paid service is not an answer. Service industry people are the most vulnerable sector, no matter if they are low paid or high paid. And mentors and advisors represent typical service industry people also – they exchange time for money.
Why do service industry people prefer not to invest? After my last exit I analysed (again) where did I take wrong turns, and why. Turns out, being a human is quite appealing. Yet I’ve always known I had to break free from the “rat-wheel” job scheme. The thing I mostly regret is that I started too late and I was not aggressive enough. How I built my wealth was not via few exits, although it helped. It was investing, always, yet mainly into my own ventures. Tangible result of it is a small real-estate portfolio, which I started after reading some books. Non-tangible – investments in my companies which resulted mainly in salaries, monthly living costs, monthly investments into tangible assets. Save to invest more or… Yes, one could save on living costs, up to some point, but I’d focus on how to make additional income with little down-payment and accumulated wisdom, expertise, network we all have. It’s like having a system that works for me even if I am sleeping at the moment.
So, how to break that pattern? The only way is to invest and get gains from mentoring converted into massive impact as an exit value, to repeat the process…
How exactly can it be done?
– find good deals, yourself or with someone’s help
– get onboard early enough when tickets are small
– generate significant valuation growth
– secure deals legally
– get offboard (exit) at the right time
Looks like too much of hard work? Correct, that’s not one mane job, and the main reason we founded Fstage.vc.
As an early angel I had a lot of time, so I participated in every possible training there was. I joined ESTBAN and soon after I realised, the amount of work is just enormous, one angel has to do before getting adequate about any startup deal. So by far investing is a group sport. No-one alone is able to assess all the risks and strategies in such a short time span. If someone says they know, I seriously doubt their adequacy. Most commonly it’s a calculated risk. And most likely mentors can’t play that “numbers game” with their smaller tickets. According to Patrick Flesner, LeadX Capital statistics it takes 337 investments to hit a unicorn. So, active waiting is not an answer to mentors.
Fstage.vc is designed to create financial freedom to startup founders, investors and mentors by engaging our strengths and compiling it all into a self-motivating collaborative and supporting system.
– Founders get funded because of what they deliver, not what they say they could.
– Investors get financial returns with mitigated risks investing early in set of 5-10 companies outperforming others in 2 months validation period.
– Mentors convert their skills, experience, network into valuation growth – they get paid for the value they create, via investing little tickets on top of mentoring.
Fstage.vc ideal startup profile is not as strong that would let us invest and actively wait. Those are too late for us. We go after is pre-seed, when everything is uncertain, raw, loose, unoptimised, fresh, where we may have to get our hands dirty and brains warmed up. Yet, a problem is an opportunity for our entrepreneurial mind. Every problem solved faster, better, cheaper is an advantage and growth. We are to pick wisely, which problems we want to address to be solved for next few years.
Fstage role is to take pre-seed companies to seed stage,
– monitor for 2 months founders and business;
– invest €50-100k in top 5-7 outperformers of bigger group;
– then after supporting with 18 months mentorship.
Mentoring hours are paid to keep both sides correct and focused. The aim is to implement growth discipline framework as a management system that would allow self diagnosis and ease the communication with all parties. Fstage offers a variety of rotating mentors to address different pains over startup growth period.
Investing decision is to be made jointly by mentors/investors after we have collected and assessed data.
Exit strategy for Fstage mentors/investors is full exit or partial exit.
Next rounds VCs are looking for startups with solid growth traction.
It’s a matter of mentors’/investors’ joint decision if and when it’s right time to get off-board and if it’s fully or partially.
In 2022 Q4 we got 13 startups participating in 2 months validation program. Out of which we aim to invest in 5-7.
The ultimate goal for most startups is having clients in US. The road to US takes through East or West Europe.
Our ideal mentor/investor profile is early angel or business owner or freelancer or specialist who has wants to sell her/his services back to startups gaining financially from the effort she/he has put in as hours or intros on top of little ticket. It could be talent, expertise, market, cash.
We think it is fair expectation that every startup, mentor and investor should win from our cooperation.
Remember, we don’t work FOR someone. We work together, jointly, WITH each other.
What is the minimum ticket for mentors/investors? 10k€ via loan agreement with variable interest payback, in an EU registered syndicate.
What must I do? Help to avoid investing in bad founders, to solve non-existent problem.
When is the time to decide? Today. Investing decision is planned for mid-December.
What are the terms? 1x admin fee 6% and 13% carry, to have maintained 5-7 investments over 5-12 years.
Can I invest in 1 company only? Yes, then the carry is 20%, yet divided investments come first.
Are you ready to proceed?
Step 1 – send an email with your company’s as lender’s name, reg no, where it is incorporated, your contact name, email, phone.
Step 2 – please include the amount you are investing to be divided among 5-7 startups.
Step 3 – please indicate if you can sign via Estonian digital ID, Dokobit, Docusign. Please indicate your email address.
In case of any question please send us email or connect our founding partner via linkedin