SpringUp Capital: Spotting, Funding, Mentoring and Scaling startups
An entrepreneur without any funding is a musician without any instrument. In the initial phase, when businesses start, profits are low and funding is needed to allow the organization to meet expenses until profits grow. Sourcing enough funds for startups is not an easy task, where one needs the right set of investors to believe in one’s idea. SpringUp Capital is a Micro-VC fund and Scale-Up Accelerator, focusing on spotting, funding, mentoring, and scaling start-ups. It is supported by a strong accelerator program, which enables start-ups across the world to find a market to scale. We had a fruitful conversation with Mr. Santosh Kotnis, CEO of SpringUp Capital who shared glimpses of his entrepreneurial journey. In this article, we will unravel some of the secrets of what it takes to taste success in the competitive world.
Right from the early days, the company had a clear mission to build and scale a startup. With experienced and successful entrepreneurs, the idea was to scale early-stage technology companies and rapidly grow their businesses. They also knew how to communicate with founders, have answers to their problems, expand them globally through international monitoring and bring a global eco-system of accelerators and funding. The brand, today also is supported by global investment, global accelerator programs, and the technology start-up ecosystem that provides them with the right set of expertise, ecosystem, and capital for growth. Another part that separates them from others is the team. Under the leadership of the visionary man, Santosh Kotnis, they have a global partner team with decades of PE, VC, and Business Growth experience.
The Journey of CEO
Santosh shares that the story of struggle remains the same, perhaps the playing area and people he deals with are different. He opines that leading a business is a difficult job, one has to be vigilant about customers’ needs and play a perfect motivational role for team members. If you take it to the next level is like being an entrepreneur, where one has to be responsible for the activities and make decisions accordingly. Being a hustler all his life, challenges motivate him and are one of the reasons why he highly respects all entrepreneurs. He got to work on multiple interesting projects, for example, building FactoryMind, Norway-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, and trying to bring Artificial Intelligence to manufacturing and plant data thereby helping plant efficiency, predict failures, improve forecasting and improve machine uptime.
The Right Balance
Santosh Kotnis is spiritual and believes in the power of karma. Envisioning a larger purpose for every event calms him down. He explains that when someone believes in the Karmic system, then the job is to just perform the acts passionately. Santosh is also an avid reader which helps him reduce his stress considerably. He incorporates regular workouts, breathing exercises, ample sleep in his daily routines. Another reason that makes him feel destressed is his family, who stay balanced all the time.
Keeping up with market changes
The new trends coming up in magazines, conferences provide Santosh with a broader perspective. However, most of his learning comes from customers who share interesting happenings in the marketplace. Startup founders also provide immense learning by sharing their expertise about innovating some great products. Podcasts also help him stay updated about what is happening especially in the technology and business world.
Innovation grows business
Ultimately, the purpose of business growth is to increase your profits. Successful innovation adds value to your business that in turn increases your profit. He believes, “if you don’t innovate well, your business will plateau.”
Innovation allows you to stay ahead of your competition. In a globalized world, there is more competing business than ever before where innovative thinking can help you predict market trends and customer needs. Innovation makes you a leader rather than watching others and scrambling to keep up.
Building a team
Santosh asserts that while running a business, the team is the biggest asset. It is essential to keep employees motivated on daily basis. Sharing the vision and being transparent is a key and at the same time allowing everyone to grow. Members should be provided with opportunities as they feel more valuable when they learn and enhance their skills.
The CEOs of today
Today, CEOs are judged basis on the performance and the brutal performance review. The good news is there is increased collaboration amongst the peers. The industry is also welcoming as there is increased tolerance towards taking a step in the wrong direction. Santosh strongly recommends exploring the entrepreneurial world as heading an organization gives a great view of how to build the business, acquire and serve customers.
Every day is a milestone if the value is added to the customers. There have been several milestones both in terms of people and revenue. The customer always comes first, if the customer is satisfied with their service, it is a milestone unlocked for them. Every success is celebrated and the company takes pride in adding value to the customers. As an organization, they believe in giving back to society and are associated with educating multiple students or education institutes who are in need.
The future plans
The world is changing rapidly and digital adaption is transforming every business. Overall, it is becoming a customer-centric evolving world. New-age technologies like AI, IoT, Digital Manufacturing, and Blockchain provide huge business opportunities. In the future, the company aspires to lead from the front and build an ecosystem that will help our team to understand the change in the business landscape, help build that innovation culture to bring differentiation to the customers.
An inspirational message
During Santosh’s early phase in his career, he met one of the mentors in the US who told him, “Growth will only happen if you work hard and bring some value to the organization and customers”. The valuable advice fostered him in the right direction and encouraged him to build some great customer relationships, quality deliverables, keep the focus on processes, and lead the team with passion and empathy.
In the second phase, his focus shifted on growth, profitability, and building great teams; which constituted building blocks of accelerated growth. A mentor from Norway guided him towards Emphatical Leadership, which later became a force of his leadership style. Mentors and leaders have played a vital role in his success. All his life his guiding principle is inspired by his guru, who taught him to stay humble, grounded, and what you are.
The final words
Santosh Kotnis says, “ Attitude plays an important role in the success of any individual. It determines how a person grows, matures, interacts, learns in any job or business”. To add on, being focused is another success criteria that help in career and business.