Sunshine woke me up on a very cold January morning in Tallinn. I got dressed and rushed through the door since I was so eager to meet this person and enjoy the morning coffee, downtown. He’s background is in radio journalism, he’s been doing PR for Skype in 2005 and we share the same passion for storytelling. We got our cups of hot coffee in the cozy cafe and the aroma was waking up my senses, so I was fully focused to learn more about Who is he and what is he doing now?
Let me introduce to you, Villu Arak Co-Founder of Funderbeam, an Estonia-based startup that provides data analytics on startups and their investors worldwide. They’re also soon launching (April 21st) this world’s first startup marketplace (data, syndicated investing, and trading). He’s also doing storytelling for startups, so first thing’s first, I wanted to learn how it all started for him?
“Most of the startup co-founders here are engineers. They have difficult time in explaining who they are and what they do. The tone, the language, the story. I’m helping young companies to find that golden nugget in the center and make a cool story around it. Most people over-complicate things. Don’t try to impress people with tech-language and buzz words. You cannot hide behind words. And remember that you need to focus more on the benefits you are providing instead of the features.”- says Villu.
After working in corporations and switching career paths I was interested to learn how and why he got involved in the ‘startup world’.
“The enthusiasm and the energy that startup enthusiasts bring is what got me hooked in. Also for me it was a challenge to help in solving the problem about how startups define themselves to the world. This entrepreneurial journey is like when you sit on a train and the train just keeps on going. Sometimes you’ll need to push the pause button and have a moment to think about the big picture. Make sure that you know exactly what you do, what problem are you solving. There’s also the temptation to try and solve many problems. Instead, focus on one. You need to be able to answer this 4 basic questions: Who are you? What is the problem you are solving? How are you solving it? What is your target market? and you need to have an x ray vision about your business. This is a constant journey of self-discovering. Just make sure you enjoy it, while going through this journey” -adds Villu.
Through General Specifics, he has been very helpful in creating a story to startups like TransferWise, ZeroTurnaround, Fleep, Funderbeam, Deekit, the Estonian IT Academy, Pult.io, HeaFilm, Forum Cinemas, and other ambitious organizations. With his team at Funderbeam they will make the investment process more transparent and also create networking opportunities to cool startups with investors. For me it was a real pleasure meeting Villu and talking with him about storytelling and startups. I wish him and his team great success and I am sure that we will meet again as he promised to visit Skopje soon.
Another #StartUpSelfie from Tallinn is coming very very soon. Stay tuned 🙂