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Startup Advice with Gabriel Barcaru

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

How should the startup founders present themselves and What answers one should hold while approaching investors? Mr Gabriel Barcaru shares his insights with The Startup Club revealing the significance of the people and purpose of the startups. In this article, as a strategic advisor and investor, Gabriel mentions the top three traits that start-ups must have to attract investors.

Gabriel Barcaru is the founder and one of the managing partners of BRIDCON, a business and management consulting company. BRIDCON exist to help companies grow and adapt to a constantly changing market. BRIDCON’S core services evolve around business strategy, and w making a difference by including human behaviour metrics in strategy design.

He is a business mentor for the Centre for Entrepreneurs London, Founder Institute London and Eastern Europe Chapters, Step FWD and Realtor start-up accelerators. In addition, he advises on strategy family businesses and Loyal Venture Capital Ontario and is a member of the Transylvanian Angel Network.

Gabriel believes in people, purpose, and persistence. He mentions that his biggest asset is understanding the complexity of the future and designing flexible business structures.

The Startup Club: What do you usually want to see in a startup before you decide to investigate it further?

Gabriel Barcaru: As a strategic advisor and investor, I seek to measure the people before measuring their idea or business because people are the main driver in startup dynamics. Start-ups are journeys of knowledge and self-discovery that require individuals with solid infrastructures. The people we support and invest in have a positive attitude, are disciplined, analytical-minded, and manage their emotions. The rest of the features are trainable; we build the rest.

The Startup Club: Based on your experience, what are some of the frequent mistakes that startups make in their first steps?

Gabriel Barcaru: People are driven by desire when building startups; most of the time, their actions are a mix of things they know and believe they know. Jumping into action when starting a business provides validation of progress, and it feels like the right thing to do. But without proper guidance and sometimes biased by judgement, founders often lose resources and get tangled in a lengthy growth journey. This is when anxiety kicks in, the primitive brain takes control of the decision-making process, and people lose the motivation to continue. So, venturing into uncharted territories with no experience must be done right.

The Startup Club: Is there a trend that you have observed in recent years in terms of the direction the startups choose to take?

Gabriel Barcaru: I do not think that there is a specific direction the startups choose to take. Still, from what we see, most startups focus on solving significant human and society-related problems, and they employ technology as a facilitator for their solutions. The ones contributing to the development of artificial intelligence and digital technology are highly investable and future-proof. In addition, in the past decade, both B2B and B2C, startup business models evolved and increased in the complexity of their solutions to better serve the market and consumer problems.

The Startup Club: Which industry do you find more successful to operate in based on the current landscape?

Gabriel Barcaru: We are industry-agnostic – which means we can support any startup from any industry. But the ones that benefit more from our capabilities are the ones operating in the B2C arena. Compared to the B2B models, where most of the time there is a system or a process that makes decisions, in B2C businesses, people are the ones that make purchase decisions. Here is where we add value by measuring human behavioural metrics, understanding why people do what they do, and helping startups transform growth from a costly trial-and-error exercise to a predictable and measurable journey.

The Startup Club: What are the top 3 traits that startups should have to be more appealing to investors?

Gabriel Barcaru: Investors put their money in people and their ideas if the growth is realistic, measurable, and scalable. We meet founders from 20 years of age to 70 years of age. Honesty is one of the things we respect the most when we meet them. Being honest helps others to build trust. Another focus is on scalability - scalability is not about handling the present opportunities but also future opportunities; it is about analyzing risk as well, without requiring significant rework of the entire business system.

The Startup Club: Do you have any piece of advice for startups that are trying to navigate the current environment and present themselves?

Gabriel Barcaru: Startup businesses and their teams must have a scalable business model and a simple, functional strategy to be ready to meet their investors – they should master the pitching, have a well-structured deck, and understand their ideal investor profile. Founders should have answers for their legal business side, business model, competition, market, marketing, sales operational and risk. When meeting their investors, founders should be ready to balance the need for capital and the offer and negotiate for a win-win situation.

Thank you so much for your contribution to The Startup club Mr. Gabriel Barcaru. Your insights on what startup founders need to do to attract investors were incredibly informative and valuable. Your emphasis on the importance of having a strong team, a clear and innovative product, and a viable business model with a path to profitability will undoubtedly help many aspiring entrepreneurs as they navigate the world of startup funding.

Your expertise and experience as a strategic advisor and investor have been a true aspiration to all of us who are working to build successful startups!

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