The Startup club is thrilled to feature Caroline Wachtmeister, an early investor at the Nordic venture Capital Fund Industrifonden. Caroline shares her insight on how to attract investors, how startups can prepare themselves for succeeding in the present and more in this article.
Caroline, an early-stage investor at the Nordic Venture Capital Fund Industrifonden, covers a wide range of sectors within B2B enterprise tech and looks for teams with bold and big ambitions that aim to define and create new categories within new and existing markets. As a people-first kind of person, she puts a lot of emphasis on team culture and strong leadership capabilities.
The Startup Club: What do you usually want to see in a startup before you decide to look into it further?
Caroline Wachtmeister: First, I need to be intrigued by the founders’ vision of the future and believe they can execute their ambitions. I put a lot of emphasis on the startup’s problem statement before I decide to look further. The size of the problem the company is trying to solve is an important factor. Customer pain points need to be validated with data and interviews and be large enough for global reach. There also needs to be a clear differentiator (technology, product, and/or business model) compared to existing solutions.
The Startup Club: What are the biggest challenges that startups usually face in their very first steps?
Caroline Wachtmeister: In the seed stage, the biggest challenge is to gain traction. A startup founder must be certain that the issue being addressed exists and that the suggested solution will benefit customers – it’s called product-market-fit. Market timing is connected to traction, bringing more complexity to when product market fit can be met.
The Startup Club: What is the most interesting aspect of your job?
Caroline Wachtmeister: Working in venture capital is all about continuous learning, which I love. You need to be curious and open-minded, yet be determined by your view of the market. It’s truly inspiring to meet so many talented teams striving to make the world better through innovation and technology.
The Startup Club: Which industry do you find more successful to operate in based on the current landscape?
Caroline Wachtmeister: No industry will guarantee success. However, there is a great market for cutting-edge and scalable technology within sustainability and climate tech. There is a strong demand from corporates, investors, and end customers to tackle the environmental challenges we face today and in the future.
The Startup Club: How can a startup best prepare itself to succeed in the present?
Caroline Wachtmeister: Build your company for sustainable growth with an emphasis on operational efficiency. Establish a culture where you take data-driven decisions and stay close to your customers. I usually advise early-stage startups to develop the product close to their potential customers. Use a small cohort of users that try your platform, receive feedback, iterate, and improve. Educate your customers on the problem you are solving and how your product fits in. From there, scale to a wider audience.
The Startup Club: How can startups in the Pre-Seed stage increase their chances of attracting investors’ interest?
Caroline Wachtmeister: One of the most powerful tools for both attracting investors and building a brand is to create a strong storyline and use storytelling techniques to own your narrative and position your company in the market.
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