Accelerator Guru: Entrepreneurs are Visionaries, Always Low on Resources
2016 April 22
Meet Tal Catran, one of the speakers at LOGIN Startup Fair conference, a serial Israeli entrepreneur, and a founder of seven business accelerators. Tal has also founded TC Holdings, a company investing in startups operating in the fields of software, hardware and advance technologies. He sees entrepreneurship as a major growth engine of economies worldwide, and he believes entrepreneurs are usually visionaries, dreamers, who are always low on resources, meeting naysayers at every corner. The odds are always against them, and yet they still go after a dream and make it into reality, which requires to have a special mindset. Luckily, it can be taught and encouraged.
We had a quick chat with Tal as he prepares for his keynote at the LOGIN Startup Fair conference, powered by DNB bank.
Hello Tal, good to have you here! Israel is widely considered to be a entrepreneurial and a true startup country. So do you believe people inherently have an entrepreneurial nature or does it depend on cultural factors?
I can first talk about Israel, considered to be the Startup Nation, and say it is first due to circumstances of a young nation having to deal with harsh reality of being low on natural resources, but strong on brain power. We had to rely on ourselves, we had to invent and make reality, it was out of necessity. When people have to survive, they tend to come up with imaginative ideas and out of the box solutions. Israel quite resembles this description as a nation.
I believe entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities are everywhere. It has a lot to do with the nation’s and its citizen’s DNA and culture. Entrepreneurship has always pushed us to invent, look beyond, try new things, dream, imagine and challenge science and knowledge. It’s one of the strongest growth engines of our existence.
And yet entrepreneurship can be made regardless of specific location. That said, since I see entrepreneurship and a major growth engine of economies worldwide, I would definitely push developing countries and young nations, to actively encourage entrepreneurship, offering programs, funds, professional guidance and mentoring, setting goals and targets.
Do you consider entrepreneurship to be a mindset or, rather, a tool?
I would have to say both. As I’ve mentioned earlier, entrepreneurship needs a mindset, because it will always involve people (well at least for the coming years before robots with AI will take over). For most people, to wake one day and say ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to develop the next big thing….’ It’s a state of mind. Entrepreneurs are visionaries, dreamers, always low on resources (of course flat broke with not a cent to their name), meeting naysayers at every corner, the odds are always against them (I believe you’re getting the picture)… To still go after a dream and make it into reality, you need to have a special mindset. Hence entrepreneurship is also a tool, a growth engine, pushing people to be creative and change reality as we know it. This tool made much of what we know and what we are, from the beginning of time. As Leonardo Da Vinci said: Inaction weakens the power of thought.
What are the most common beliefs about entrepreneurship you think are wrong or exaggerated?
I would say that people believe most people in the industry on startups will eventually make and exit and get rich. The truth is they don’t. Second is that everyone can be one or be The One, reality is that it’s far from being so. Getting an idea from your mind into a living and kicking startup takes hard work not everyone can do. Raising money is not that difficult if you have a great idea - raising money is always difficult and that is one of the major if not the major activity, apart from developing the technology, a startup will do his entire existence, that and living in survival mode. I believe entrepreneur should look for a real problem, having a large number of potential customers, find a way to solve it and scale it more. If you can do what I’ve described, you’ve increased your survival chances from slim to some.
What is the future of entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is a term used to describe the birth of an idea turning into a business. It cannot and will not stop forever, as long as people want to make a difference, to make good, not to agree with fixed thinking, push the boundaries of reality and , science and want to make money. This is the era of gold mining through technology.
Meet and hear more from Tal Catran at the LOGIN Startup Fair conference! It’s completely free for the general audience to attend!
LOGIN Startup Fair is organised by Enterprise Lithuania and Startup Lithuania