Kadri Tammai: fast food is not fashionable, even in business

Society has changed – fast food, fast fashion, fast actions and in fact almost all fast activities or things are no longer fashionable. This principle also applies to business.

The opposite of fast is not slow. Increasingly, the opposite is sustainable. “Such consumption is not sustainable,” say those who stay away from fast fashion stores and turn to slow fashion.

Kindergarten children already know that fast food is not healthy. But still, it is very tempting at times – your stomach gets full quickly, it has all sorts of bells and whistles, starting with beautiful big labels that attract buyers to children’s meal’s “toys”. However, we all know that from time to time we can allow ourselves some fast food, but in general, we should eat much better.

Similar temptations can be found in the business sector. Here, the keyword is “accelerator”. It’s nice to think that I’m only going on a quick training program and become a successful start-up entrepreneur, millions will flow in the door and a 200 per cent growth is certain. “As certain as the eternal growth of the stock market,” say the ironists.

People and their needs are different, therefore there are also very different approaches to starting your own business. Those who already have experience in setting up several companies don’t really need the training programs at most business accelerators or incubators – the famous accelerators in the USA and Europe are usually only joined for contacts and investors. A very sensible step.

Some believe that despite lacking previous experience, entrepreneurship cannot be rocket science, which must be studied somewhere and decide to conquer the world on their own. There is nothing wrong with this approach either, but the journey to success is usually much longer and tortuous.

However, there are more and more people with a clear vision and a lot of experience, but also enough wit to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others to avoid them themselves. I meet such people at the Startup Incubator every day and their eyes really shine with curiosity. 

Many people actually don’t know what’s the best solution for them. Just last week, I had a long meeting with representatives of European accelerators and successful start-ups, and every now and then I heard the phrase “you have to take into account that while you’re in the accelerator’s program, your company’s technology development is at a standstill”.

“How come?” asks the reader. “Shouldn’t an accelerator help business?” Yes, in the long run, a good accelerator does, of course, but since accelerator programs are often tightly packaged for a short period of time in the interests of cost-effectiveness, the start-up is expected to be 100% committed during these months.

So if you join an accelerator in the early stages of your business and have to quit your main job, you need to keep in mind that a large part of the 25,000 € or 50,000 € investment you receive in return for options will cover your team’s maintenance costs. Three months and it’s over. Goodbye!

Such a quick solution is suitable for those whose product has already been developed and based on market feedback, the product is further developed and the market is conquered fast. However, this approach is too fast for companies in the prototype phase. Such teams are suitable for the Startup Incubator, where six months of the main program helps to go through all the important practical aspects of business, such as finance, tax issues, law, sales strategies and marketing, at a reasonable pace.

We not only teach how to make a good impression on investors with your pitch, but we also help to get your product ready and reach the market with it. We take the time and experienced experts to increase the value of the content in addition to the excellent packaging. It is a shortcut to a valuable and sustainable company that you believe in, we believe in and your customers believe in. In the long run, it saves you time, money and energy.

In an age where we are talking more and more about people’s mental health and, believe me, this is a very important issue in the start-up ecosystem, time is vital. No, this does not mean you have to rush, it means that you need to plan and be strategic. Like in chess. Is chess slow and boring? In my opinion, quite the opposite. It keeps your mind constantly sharp, you can’t lose your vigilance, and success accompanies those who think several steps in advance instead of rushing.

I certainly do not want to say that participating in a short-term accelerator is tantamount to rushing, there are many strong short programs both in Estonia and elsewhere. My idea is that every entrepreneur must find a program that suits their stage of development, and not jump over important stages for the sake of rushing.

This is exactly what I recommend for beginner entrepreneurs. Take a moment to think about why you founded or will found your startup-up and where do you aspire to develop. Reaching a realisation will help you make the right choice for you. And if this option is not currently the Tehnopol Startup Incubator, then we will probably be waiting for you around the next bend!

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