Looking back on the Wellstreet Launchpad, Sep/2023

In September, we hosted a two-day edition of the Launchpad, dedicated to fast-forwarding our portfolio companies' sales and commercialisation strategies and processes.
October 17, 2023
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Looking back on the Wellstreet Launchpad, Sep/2023

Wellstreet Launchpad is a concept we deliver as part of our investment approach. In short, it’s one or two intense days of insights, hands-on training and 1-on-1 mentoring with our unique ecosystem of entrepreneurs and operators. This is one of the ways we proactively move our entire portfolio of companies forward. 

Wellstreet launchpad

When we say that Wellstreet supports its portfolio with a proactive and hands-on approach, we mean it. And nothing better than a launchpad to demonstrate how we work.

For those of you who are new to us, the Wellstreet Launchpad is our way of training entrepreneurs of the future, to support them in building scalable and sustainable companies for the long term. We offer training sessions, talks on key topics, and one-on-one mentoring from our network of entrepreneurs, industry experts and investors. All our events are curated to match our companies’ needs and asks, delivered in the right place, at the right time, and in the appropriate format.

Our largest Launchpad so far

In September, we hosted a two-day edition of the Launchpad, dedicated to fast-forwarding our portfolio companies' sales and commercialisation strategies and processes. We are very grateful for the time and dedication of this Launchpad's *9 speakers and 26 mentors*, which has already proven helpful to our founders.

During the two intense days, no less than *22 companies* gained hands-on training and mentoring:

  • In total, 17 of our portfolio companies attended the event.
  • 🔓 We also hosted guest companies. This participation is one of many ways we give back to the startup ecosystem. We also use the opportunity as part of our investment process to get to know a company better.
  • 🔓 In addition we invited two external companies, Lawrence and Spillo, which are going through Startup:Zero, a project by former Breakit’s CEO Vigor Sörman

Less than 1% of startups succeed. 

Who succeeds? Critical factors for startup success include a strong value proposition, a functional team that can adapt, adequate funding, product-market fit, effective marketing, customer focus, a strategy for market entry, scalability, and compliance. The mission of our launchpads is to address these and proactively secure the future of our portfolio companies. 

Each Wellstreet Launchpad is purpose-built to nurture better entrepreneurs and guide them towards insights that could save them six months of trial and error. - Jessica Rameau, Partner and Fund Manager, Wellstreet Launchpad curator.

All this couldn't be possible without our network, in this case, translated into our mighty mentors. Our founders were mentored and got to listen to speakers that are some of the most experienced and respected executives in their industries and that have or are working at Google, Meta, Klarna, Ayden, iZettle, Fishbrain, SWISH, Norrsken, Benify, Mendi, Färsking, Storytel, PwC, Conversionista - ARC, IKEA, H&M and Nelly, to mention a few.

Mentor-matching: Bespoke experience over delivers

Our mentors were handpicked not just because of impressive CVs and skill sets but crucially because they are all entrepreneurs themselves and have been in the same position as our founders at some point in time. They are an important cog in our spinning ecosystem wheels since mentoring is the core of our work to accelerate companies. In consonance with Wellstreet’s values, they open up time from their busy schedules to give back to the startup community free of charge. 

Magic happens when we match our companies with profiles in our network according to the company's needs at that precise moment. After training the mentors in our mentoring methodology, the mentors jump in to help solve puzzles. As a mentor you need to be perceptive and persistent as well as know when to patiently listen. It’s not unusual that our mentors end up on the board or coaching a company on their own time between launchpads. 

After the one-to-ones we gather the mentors and discuss the companies’ challenges and potential, an interaction the mentors express as stimulating and rewarding.

But don’t take our word for it. Here are a few thoughts that our mentors shared:

So, what did we learn? 

With the theme of sales and commercialisation, we focused on the tools to scale sales efforts and grow efficiently, profitably and sustainably. This focus is fundamental for short-term survival and long-term success in the current macroeconomic environment. These were the speakers per topic:
Leveraging AI for growth

  • Akanksha Bhagwanani EMEA Solutions Specialist - Data Analytics at Google 
  • John Ekman, Founder of Conversionista (part of ARC)

B2B pricing and market expansion

  • Katarina, Global Head of Marketing from Adyen
  • Peter Gustafsson, Entrepreneur and investor

PMF and partnership leverage

  • Justin Drees, Entrepreneur & Product Specialist, ex-Scoutbee, -Saffron, -iZettle & -Klarna
  • Hidayet Tercan, board professional, investor. Founder of Zemrete & Vethem

B2C Growth Marketing

  • Johan Attby, Founder of Fishbrain, serial entrepreneur & investor
  • Meta: Maria Barthelson, Head of Industry, and Sanne Nilsson, Client Solutions Manager

Good Governance in Scaling

  • MAQS Advokatbyrå: Sara Malmström, Lawyer and Partner, and Mikael Åström, Compliance Specialist and Partner

Three valuable insights from the sessions:

  1. If you haven't started introducing AI in a company’s day-to-day operations, you are already behind - John Ekman
  2. Focus on KPIs and building a team that can prioritize, think “impact of activities” instead of “quantity of activities' '. Kill your darlings and focus on impact on the bottom line. - Katarina Nordin
  3. Product market fit (PMF) is just one part that you need to figure out. You must go beyond PMF to future-proof your business’ customer acquisition/growth with a comprehensive model. A company should set these four fits: Market/Product fit, Product/Channel fit, Channel/Model fit and Model/Market fit - and they connect to each other in a loop. - Justin Drees

As well as mentors finding great value in connecting with each other, the same is true for our companies’. They appreciate the opportunity to exchange insights and learnings among each other, founder to founder. Hear about some of our portfolio founders' experience:

Over and out...  until our next launchpad!

Our launchpads exemplifies the level of proactiveness we offer our portfolio companies ongoingly. The companies will now be busy for a while! Implementing learnings, validating new ideas and working on the questions raised by mentors.

We also learned a lot and are grateful for the two days spent with our portfolios and extended network. See you next time! 🙌🙏