Industry leading guest speakers are regularly invited to speak to students of the New Enterprise Development module. Zoosh is one of the more recent companies to speak to the group. They shared fascinating insights on how they support startups along with advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Zoosh provides end-to-end investment to promising startups, from financial support to hands-on skills that assist startups to achieve their potential. They offer technical, commercial, financial and incubation assistance to startup companies and academic institutes throughout the entrepreneurial journey, typically in exchange for company equity.
Founded in 2014, Zoosh now has 30+ people in 3 countries in Europe with HQ in Ireland, in Mullingar, with operations in Tampere in Finland and also in Hungary. Staffed by experts across ICT, business and finance, Zoosh works across sectors including topical areas such as smart cities, smart devices, e-commerce, big data, digital payment, gaming and renewable energy.
The Zoosh management team and advisors have been leading substantial international high-tech and manufacturing businesses and operations with several hundred million to several billion of turnover per annum as well as being involved in the incubation and commercialization of tens of start-up high-tech companies.
CEO Bert Farrell told the group that Zoosh, “puts a huge emphasis on wrapping ourselves around the entrepreneur and entrepreneurial team. We see ourselves as the support system for entrepreneurs, the last cofounder, supporting entrepreneurs to build the right product, cost effectively”. Speaking about his experience with start-ups, he advised the students that “innovation is often evolutionary rather than revolutionary.”
“Failure isn’t a negative anymore. It’s about learning”.
He reinforced advice often given to entrepreneurs – to fail fast and ‘pivot’ when needed, noting that many client companies have changed their route quite drastically. Failure is intrinsic to the entrepreneurial journey and many entrepreneurs can have the same business idea. Rather than this being a disadvantage, it can help as, “the odds are you not the first person in the world to have this idea. You’re often better off to be the second or third to have a go.”
Zoosh’s advice to NED students – who will have to pitch their product at the end of the semester was to, “know your audience, know the problem you want to solve, know how to do it, how to scale. Put across your ability to roll your sleeves up. What’s your execution plan? Have a clear timeline and process in place for your product and the market you’re entering and have a clear competitor analysis”. Finally, he advised students to, “drop the madly optimistic revenue graph. Nobody believes it and it won’t happen.”
DCU New Enterprise Development student Ella Shiels spoke for all in the room when she commented that “Zoosh are a very insightful company, as they are very knowledgeable in their field and the support they offer to their customers is amazing. The talk was very interesting; both Bert and David were very insightful, their anecdotes were very humorous but useful in getting their ideas across. “Enjoy the journey and learn fast” is a saying I will try to use in my future endeavours. The insights I learned from Zoosh I will use in the future and in my entrepreneurial journey!
Thank you again to Bert and David for coming in as our Key Note Speakers!