Goals: questioning business assumptions, meeting the lawyers and learning the ins&outs of building a fast-growing company.
They say knowing yourself, and your business is a crucial factor for the success of a startup. GAN calls this authenticity, the ability to perceive your strengths and weaknesses and not being afraid to ask for help.
After diagnostic and goal-setting, in the second week of Maze X, founders invested their time in office hours with mentors and experts to sprint towards their weekly goals. Given the diversity of the cohort, the sessions were tailored around specific topics, such as product, comms, funding, tech and strategy.
Going back to basics
When life gets messy or overwhelming, having the analytical mind of an external party questioning your assumptions can be of great help in the journey of knowing yourself. The same applies to businesses. Often founders are too busy ‘firefighting’ and do not allow themselves going back to basics. This week, the startups started working on the Lean Service Creation methodology with Nikita Savitskiy’s support. We are really looking forward to seeing the results.
PLMJ is the founding corporate member of Maze X. Part of their support is providing pro bono legal support to our startups. Over a fresh beer, 22 lawyers and founders got to meet for the first time and kicked off their working relationship moving forward. It is very fulfilling to see a corporate member set ‘impact’ as a strategic priority to their business.
Breakfast with Miguel Santo Amaro
To close the week, the founders had breakfast with Miguel Santo Amaro, co-founder of Uniplaces and a mentor of Maze X. In a relaxed setting, the founders had an inspiring and honest conversation about building a fast-growing company from the ground. We confirmed that being an entrepreneur requires being comfortable in taking bold risks. However, raising investment too early creates a lot of pressure to grow too fast. And this comes with a cost. We were reminded not to underestimate the value of coaching and mentorship, especially in a fast-growing company where people are asked to shift their mindsets from teams and budgets doubling or tripling their size from one year to the other.
Authenticity is a necessary step for leading a successful startup and, more importantly, a life lived fully. It’s what gives entrepreneurs the humbling attitude to question their assumptions, the strength to adapt the business and themselves and stay tuned to the wellbeing of themselves, the team and everyone impacted by their business (planet included).
Maze X was conceived and initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and MAZE, with the law firm PLMJ joining as a founding corporate member and BNP Paribas and Casa do Impacto as partners.
Photo: Breakfast with Miguel Santo Amaro at the rooftop of Casa do Impacto.