We recently sponsored a Tech Startups evening meet and greet with London Tech Network (LTN), which in total has over 2,000 members from across the tech industry in London.

It was great to chat with people from all walks of life who found their paths converge in tech, Futureheads’ Ramze Bouhalla wrote about it here.

Andy Milton, who organises LTN, sat down with us for a Q&A to talk about what sets apart a great startup from the crowd.


What qualities have you noticed in successful startups?

I’d say they tend to have a very close-knit founding team or early hires (we recently wrote about how important hiring is for startups here). Lots of startups fail due to founder disagreements or not really knowing what it’s like to work with each other.

They put a huge focus on speed of execution even when funds seem high and everything is going well. If you move slowly, or get complacent, the startup runs out of money and dies.


What makes a standout founder?

I can narrow this down to a few key factors:

  • A very high level of “grit”. Startups can face adversity from so many different angles, and having the perseverance to face and overcome these challenges is key to success.
  • Resourcefulness – the founder can get a huge amount done with very little resources. Many startups will work with resource constraints, so this is an essential trait.
  • They can articulate their vision incredibly clearly and in a compelling way to a wide range of audiences e.g. early-hires, potential co-founders, investors, and users or customers.


What are the most common pitfalls for startups?

  • Trying to raise money at the wrong point in the startups journey, usually too early. Founders often waste a huge amount of time trying to get investors by playing a numbers game, contacting them instead of thinking about how they can show traction first, which will make raising much easier.
  • Another common pitfall is when founders rely too much on cold outreach to investors because they don’t have investors in their network. Founders should map out how to get investors into their network so they can get a warm introduction. Perhaps they know someone who works at a funded startup who can put them in touch with the founder, who in turn may then be able to put them in touch with the investor.
  • Proper networking can take time and great relationship building skills, but it’s much better than spamming investors, and it’s more likely for founders to find an investor who adds much more value than just the capital they are bringing this way.
  • Not talking to their users enough. Founders need to interact with their community and listen to feedback.
  • Building far too much before getting an MVP out the door.


For more advice on startup hiring solutions, contact team@wearefutureheads.co.uk


Andy Milton is the Founder of Blenzen, a tech community all about building real connections, and organiser of London Tech Network (LTN) and DevsDrinks, which in total have over 2,000 members from across the tech industry in London (Founders, Software Engineers, UX/UI, Product Managers, investors and more).

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