In this interview, we are fortunate to have Lukas Hlavac, a mentor to many startups. He shares the challenges that startups face and provides tips on how to grow your startup into a successful venture.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your experience with startups?
Thank you for having me! I’m an executive, entrepreneur, and mentor. I have extensive experience in emerging markets, growth marketing, venture building, consulting, and mentoring startups across Europe and Asia. Currently, I’m a mentor at Orbit Startups and Stacks Accelerator, where I provide advice to breakthrough startups from around the globe. Additionally, I serve as a Growth Marketing Advisor for SmartGuide, a Business Advisor for Eqvista, and a Strategy and Fundraising Advisor for APUtime.
What was your biggest challenge while mentoring a startup, and how did you solve it?
At SmartGuide, we encountered the formidable challenge of expanding our user base within stringent budgetary constraints, compounded by the reality of our Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) remaining modest. Traditional paid marketing channels were not viable for achieving a positive return on investment (ROI).
To overcome this hurdle, we devised a novel strategy that entailed releasing more than three hundred individual apps, each optimized for Appstore Search Optimization (ASO) based on geographically relevant keywords. We assiduously executed this plan, and it resulted in achieving top-ranking positions for each app’s respective geo-localized keywords, ultimately driving a staggering 800,000 active users to our main platform app.
If you could mentor a startup on just one topic, what would it be, and why?
As a startup mentor, I believe selecting the right beachhead market is crucial for early-stage companies. By mastering the art of choosing the right beachhead market, startups can increase their chances of success and accelerate their growth. Therefore, my mentoring focus would be helping entrepreneurs identify and target the right beachhead market. By teaching them to recognize the critical criteria of a good beachhead market and the attributes that make it attractive, I can help my mentees build a solid foundation for their business and set them on a path toward success.
Definition of the beachhead market:
- Customers within the market buy similar products.
- Customers within the market have a similar sales cycle and expect products to provide value in similar ways.
- There is “word of mouth” among customers in the market.
- The total addressable market for a beachhead segment should range between $20-100M.
Attributes that make a beachhead market attractive:
- Popular pain point: A lot of people have it.
- Tangible solution: The solution is expressed in numbers.
- Believable revenue: You can do it, and customers can implement it.
- Identifiable targets: You can build a list of prospects.
- Unique selling proposition: You must be different and unique.
How can you help startups to raise funds and grow?
I can provide a range of services to help startups raise funds and grow, including strategy formulation, growth marketing, fundraising support, and financial modeling.
Strategy formulation involves developing and refining a business strategy to achieve growth and competitive advantage. By helping startups identify their strengths and weaknesses, assess their market opportunities and risks, and develop a clear roadmap for growth, I can assist them in building a solid foundation for their business.
Growth marketing involves developing and executing targeted marketing campaigns to acquire new customers and drive revenue growth. By leveraging data-driven insights, understanding the customer journey, and implementing effective digital marketing tactics, I can help startups increase their reach, engagement, and conversion rates.
By providing startups with these services, I can help them reach their full potential and succeed in their chosen markets.
How did Eqvista help you in your business?
As someone who coaches and mentors startups, I have found Eqvista invaluable in helping my clients manage their cap tables and equity-related tasks. The platform’s automation, accounting, sharing, and compliance tools have allowed my clients to streamline their processes, reduce costs, and increase accuracy.
Eqvista’s cloud-based equity management system has also been particularly helpful in allowing my clients to access the platform from any device and easily share their cap tables with shareholders, investors, and law firms. This has allowed them to focus on growing their businesses rather than getting bogged down in administrative tasks.
In addition, the flexibility of Eqvista has been a key factor in its effectiveness. My clients have been able to issue and manage any type of shares, convertible notes, warrants, or options, which has given them the flexibility to raise capital and manage the equity in a way that suits their unique business needs.