In 2011, our founders Thibaud and Quentin created not just a company — eFounders — but an alternative model of entrepreneurship founded on the simple premise that building a business as a team yields better results than building it alone.
And they were onto something: 11 years later, we have co-created 30 companies of which three are unicorns, whose total valuation amounts to $5bn. Launching a company with us increases a founder’s chance of creating a unicorn by no less than 1000.
It is too simplistic to chalk up our ability to build successful businesses time and time again to one clear-cut reason — there is a good amount of intuition involved and other less tangible inputs that are hard to fully demystify — but our team model has proven to be a critical driver behind our serial entrepreneurial victories.
What is team entrepreneurship?
The stereotype of one or two people sequestered in a basement for weeks on end can of course lead to startup success, but our approach is quite different. Our team of seasoned professionals works closely with entrepreneurs for 12 to 18 months, providing hands-on support in areas such as recruitment, product development, financing, sales, and much more. Throughout the entire process, we work hand in hand with our founders to develop and grow their companies. We don’t just advise, we do.
This makes entrepreneurial progress smoother and quicker. As the saying goes, “many hands make light work,” and at Hexa, we’ve found that tasks that can take years are accomplished in a matter of months. Entrepreneurship is an intense crash course in all aspects of business whatever way you slice it, but having access to experts in law, recruitment, product development, and other areas that can take years to master, relieves some of the pressure. Our team is there to accelerate these processes until founders can handle them on their own.
Every startup has its own distinct path, and our team entrepreneurship process is tailored to the specific needs of each founder. Hexa’s co-founder Quentin explains:
“Some may require minimal assistance when it comes to recruitment, but require significant support in terms of product development. Regardless of the nature of the challenge, our team of experts is well-equipped to provide hands-on guidance and support across a wide range of areas”
1. We help generate the right business idea
At Hexa, we believe that people are the heart of entrepreneurship and that ideas can flow from there — that’s why we don’t require entrepreneurs to bring a fully-formed concept to the table when they join a studio. As experienced entrepreneurs ourselves, our core team maintains a robust bank of potential business ideas that we’re always looking to bring to life. If we see potential in someone as an entrepreneur, we’ll work with them to find the perfect idea that aligns with their goals and vision. Our Heads of Studios keep their banks of ideas updated at the bottom of our website’s Become a Founder page.
But we’re always eager to hear about external sources of inspiration, too. We know that a great idea can come from anyone, anywhere, and ultimately, all it needs is potential and a strong team to make it happen. So whether an entrepreneur is starting from scratch or has an existing idea, we’re all ears.
2. We help find your co-founder
Finding the right co-founder is crucial to the success of any business, but it can be a daunting task. A great partner can bring complementary skills, expertise, and perspectives to the table, providing founders with a crucial sounding board, support, and guidance — but it’s often hard to find the right match. Alix, Talent Acquisition Manager at Hexa, explains:
“We have a huge network and a tried-and-tested headhunting strategy that increases a founder’s chances of finding the right co-founder quickly.”
This strategy proved successful for Evan Testa and Julien Fissette, co-founders of Roundtable (eF#21) within eFounders. When they were seeking a third co-founder with technical expertise to complement their existing knowledge of business and product, our talent team headhunted and recruited three-time CTO Simon Ternoir.
The addition of Simon was invaluable to the Roundtable team, as Julien notes:
“We are a great trio and balance each other out. What you lack the most when you’re a young project are visibility and credibility, and without Hexa, it’s likely Simon would never have heard of us.”
3. We help build your team
Our talent support doesn’t stop there; we also help our entrepreneurs hire their first team members.
“Finding top tech profiles can be tough since there’s so much demand. This is especially the case for early-stage startups, as the recruit has to be prepared to take on the risk that can come with joining a new venture” explains Alix.
In our model, a big part of this risk is taken away as new hires are employed by Hexa until the company gets up and running, making it easier for startups to attract talent.
Recruitment is also a time-consuming process that demands a great deal of patience and effort, particularly when looking for candidates that fit specific criteria. Simon, Roundtable’s CTO, knows this firsthand:
“We were determined to build a development team that encompassed a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Hexa’s talent team spent a considerable amount of time finding profiles that ensured a balanced representation of genders, nationalities, and skill sets, and it paid off. It’s a task we wouldn’t have been able to focus on so diligently without them.”
4. We help develop your product
Having a dedicated product team is a game-changer for founders. Over ten years, we have honed our craft and learned the best ways to build the best products. For eFounders’ Product Manager Alexandre, it’s about setting boundaries in the right places:
“Our process lays out a framework that gets the product from point A to point B, while allowing the flexibility to go from left to right.”
Combining design and project expertise, our team helps entrepreneurs create a great Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as quickly as possible: an important yet difficult task for solo entrepreneurs. As Julien notes,
“eFounders helped Roundtable to create a no-code MVP in a few weeks, enabling us to test ideas, iterate on features, and start finding our product market fit without heavy technical developments.”
5. We help bring your product to market
At Hexa, our studios place a strong emphasis on collaboration with potential clients from the beginning. This not only allows startups to create products that are truly user-centric but also secure clients from early on. Having a brand like Hexa behind the startup further aids this objective, as customers are more likely to trust the product.
Once a company is ready to go public, Hexa’s communications team will help get its message out there. Sarah Hexa’s Communications Lead explains:
“We work closely with founders to help craft powerful stories that land well with the public, clients, and journalists. Drawing on our extensive experience working with B2B SaaS startups, we help founders deliver the right messages to the right people.”
Evan recounts the media attention Hexa helped them generate:
“Sarah helped us to craft a unique story around our Seed Fundraising that journalists responded really well to. We managed to get articles from some amazing tech publications, including Sifted, TechCrunch, and Tech.eu.”
6. We help with fundraising
Without access to investors and the knowledge of how to choose the right ones, fundraising can be complicated. At Hexa, entrepreneurs have access to our tight-knit yet extensive network, which our partners have spent the last 10+ years cultivating. But beyond just providing contacts, we also help them find the right match, explains Alexis, Head of Finance and Investments at Hexa:
“The relationship between startup and investor needs to be right. We help maximize good fit by knowing both the founder and investor very well.”
Investment opportunity matchmakers of sorts, our help can lead to fruitful long-term strategic partnerships, as well as short-term funding opportunities.
Choosing the right combination of investor types is also important, and varies from business to business. Hexa helps founders navigate this complexity of the fundraising landscape, says Evan:
“We managed to raise €3M from 100 business angels. Since Roundtable is a community of business angels, this helped to solidify our brand.”
7. We help with legal matters
Navigating the legal and regulatory landscape can be a tough challenge for many businesses, but also a business opportunity; that’s where Hexa’s legal team can step in. Hexa’s Legal Counsel Grégoire explains:
“Our approach is very market-driven, meaning that we do all we can to make sure you can sell your product as freely as possible, whatever markets you are in”
The Hexa legal team is a great competitive advantage for founders and provides valuable assistance in legal decision-making. Evan adds:
“Greg took care of our legal matters from A to Z, but he also helped us spot a business opportunity related to the regulatory part of the business angel universe. This is now a major part of our product offer, and we couldn’t have done it without him.”
8. We help you become independent
When the time is right, we make sure everything is in place for our startups to successfully fly the Hexa nest. From handling the incorporation process and employment contracts to even assisting with employee stock options issuance, we ensure our companies’ procedural roots are properly planted.
And we’re never too far away. eFounders Studio Founder Matthieu Vaxelaire:
“Our founders are always more than ready by the time they leave the studio, but if they ever need help, our team will always be there — no matter how long ago they left”
The startup studio model demonstrates that the aging adage “teamwork makes the dream work” still holds true. The success of this collaborative approach to entrepreneurship is undeniable, with a 1000x greater likelihood of launching a unicorn than the average entrepreneur. By joining forces with like-minded individuals, founders can tap into a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and resources, accelerating the entrepreneurship process and setting themselves up for success in the competitive world of tech.
So if you’re ready to take the leap and start your entrepreneurial journey, don’t go it alone; reach out to us here. The possibilities are endless, and with the right team, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.