In this series, Rory O’Driscoll and Kate Mitchell, co-founders and partners at Scale Venture Partners, will detail the mindset needed to scale your company. Along with some of their associates, they will explain how the scaling phase differs from the startup phase, what kind of metrics you’ll need as you accelerate and what kind of team you’ll need alongside you for the journey ahead.
Rory: I’m Irish originally. After leaving college, I set up my own manufacturing business in the UK. I told people I had typical entrepreneurial experience, built a business for four years, went into the 1991 recession, didn’t come out, had to sell the company. I immigrated to the States literally with the proverbial $200 in my pocket. I ended up joining the firm that became Scale Venture Partners where I’ve been ever since.
Kate: Rory and I have been working together for a couple of years already in venture capital when we set about starting Scale Venture Partners. I started my career in technology actually when I was in college. I took that experience in computer science and went on to launch the first online banking website for Bank of America. And then I went on 20 years ago to join venture capital where I got to work with a whole group of startups and really see how technology gets deployed across the world in really different ways.
Rory: I’m really focused at this stage, which is this early scaling stage, companies that have got product market fit, have early revenues, and are looking to grow.
Rory: My name is Rory O’Driscoll.
Kate: And I’m Kate Mitchell, and we scale startups.
Rory: I think you have to be very aware about what you bring to the table. It takes genus to innovate, to come up with something out of nothing, and to get a company true technical viability through product market fit, and to having those early customers. It takes competence to help scale those companies, and that’s what we bring to the table. Not the brilliance of creativity, but the competence of execution which is all about taking a company with a million dollars in revenue and turning it five years later into a company with $100 million plus in revenue.
Kate: In this series, you’ll learn how to scale your startup, what it means to be in the scaling phase, how it’s different, what kind of metrics you’ll need, what kind of dashboard you’ll need as you drive the car forward and start to accelerate, and what kind of team you’ll need alongside you, and all that how it comes together for you as an individual and as a leader.
Rory: Overall, what I hope you learn is a set of skills around scaling your business. What I always say is the act of innovation, the act of startup is what sets up the opportunity for greatness. The scaling stage is what allows you to grab that greatness and build a great company.