New activities are of vital importance for a competitive knowledge-based economy. In the field of mobile apps, logistics, medical technology, gaming, industrial design, environment and foods industry the Netherlands still hold the important position of first mover on the market worldwide. The city of Amsterdam is even considered the centre of the creative industry. Over the past few years millions have been invested in promising businesses like Wetransfer, Blendle, 3D Hubs, Snappcar, Peerby, The Cloakroom, Fitmo and Zazzy.
The key question in starting a business is always: how do you convert a good idea into a success in next to no time? Whole libraries full of books have been written on this question. Winning the market and not running out of cash, is technological entrepreneur Ben Horowitz’s answer. ‘Evidence for demand,’ is Eric Ries’ golden tip-off, author of The Lean Startup, as you will have to keep on harmonizing your product with the critical consumer.
However, strangely enough you never hear one of the many start-up gurus put forward the most practical question: do you have a good lawyer who looks at your plans. Which forms of cooperation will you join as a starting company? Do you choose a general (commercial) partnership, or rather a private limited company? On which legal basis will you work together? Do you have a well-wrought contract drawn up between initiators, partners and investors? How will you hedge against financial risks? What is the investors’ say and how will they be rewarded in case of success? How have the financial risks been spread? And did you actually register your ideas as intellectual property?
This legal link is often completely missing, also by the starters themselves and their so-called ‘incubators’ (innovation platforms taking care of workroom, marketing and potential investors networks). Frequently one is obsessed by fulfilling a dream, whereas in reality four out of five start-ups end up having a blazing row, bankruptcy or a flop. And what is next? Where do you end up when your promising adventure was found to be a venture that turned into a total disaster?
Exactly to avoid any disappointment De Koning Vergouwen often take upon themselves the role of business mentor. We keep in close touch with the start-up-networks in Amsterdam, we are very much approachable and charge reasonable rates. And what is more, we think of possibilities instead of impossibilities. We are very experienced in corporate development (meaning setting up shop with a sound business structure) and have an understanding of the various business models which may appeal to a start-up. That means that we can substantially step up the entrepreneurial process and make a more solid protection against the many future uncertainties that undoubtedly lie ahead.