Introducing Eleven Platform: the Swiss Army Knife for our founders
Entrepreneurship shouldn’t be a solitary endeavor. It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village for aspiring founders to accomplish their ambitious goals. Hands-on collaboration has always been ingrained in our DNA, stemming from our roots as an accelerator. By working closely with founders, we gain a deep understanding of their pain points, challenges, and aspirations, allowing us to provide tailored guidance and assistance.
Venture capital goes beyond financial investment – it’s about empathy, time invested, and what really makes the difference – it is about being able to create an ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to thrive. “Builders rather than pickers” – this is the credo that guided us while developing Eleven’s Platform, epiphany of our commitment to provide structured, scalable support to our founders and become their trusted partner throughout their entrepreneurial journey. You may often hear our founders say that “we are #oneof11 family’’. Being a family means that sometimes we may fight, have disagreements or different point of views, but we always have our backs covered and we support each other along the way. We grow and learn together and oh, boy, it is great fun.
What exactly is the Eleven Platform?
In short, it is the support system we have built for our founders – a powerful combination of resources, domain expertise, network and hands-on activities, all blended in an individual game plan for our companies. You cannot imagine how diverse the challenges for our founders are – the creativity of the universe doesn’t stop surprising us. At Eleven Platform, we have a team of superheroes, who are a call away, whenever our founders need them. Their primary role is to orchestrate all resources in the most impactful way so that no challenge remains unaddressed. And we do not stop here – we also proactively challenge the entrepreneurs and make sure that they are on the right track.
Platform to the startups is like a Swiss Army Knife to an adventurer. It is a compact, multifaceted tool you can experiment with while navigating the complex journey of growth and success. Imagine that you are a founder on the bumpy road of building a startup. Our Platform team will ensure you receive the specific resources and support, tailored to your individual needs.
As Jack Thorogood, founder and CEO of Native Teams, says: “The Eleven Platform has been an invaluable combination of support and services that has helped us find quicker, better answers to the issues that crop up regularly as we are building the business. Without doubt we have saved a huge amount of time – and avoided a number of pitfalls! – due to the assistance and guidance we’ve taken advantage of via the Eleven Platform.”
Our superpowers and VC value-add
Let’s delve into our superpowers, a.k.a the areas where we excel in supporting you.
1️⃣ Strategic Guidance: This is akin to the knife’s compass – it’s about providing you with a direction and supporting you in dreaming big dreams. Just as a compass helps the adventurer navigate their journey, our strategic guidance helps you chart your course, make informed decisions, and stay aligned with your long-term goals.
When we first met MyTeam, the Greek sports club platform part of the Eleven Alpha program, we realised that they are too shy in how they think of themselves. Given their solid domain expertise, impressive background, and great product, the humble personalities didn’t match the great market opportunity out there. In a couple of sessions, we worked side by side with the founders in helping them to gain a better understanding about the market opportunity, what they could achieve, and pursue a vision towards becoming a full-fledged tech stack platform, completely redefining the world of sport tech.
“Eleven has been an invaluable partner on our startup journey. Their strategic guidance and practical advice have helped us navigate the challenges of scaling our business, and their expertise in product-market fit and organizational design has been instrumental in helping us build a strong foundation for growth,” Dimitris Sereleas, founder of MyTeam, shares.
2️⃣ Company Building and Product-Market Fit: Building a company is a complex endeavor, and finding the right product-market fit can be a challenging puzzle to solve. Through Eleven Platform, you can use the support of our team and extended network to craft your value proposition, find your ideal customer profile, and set meaningful Northstar metrics to monitor your company’s health. White board, some sticky notes, a cosy room at our Campus, tons of coffee and you are ready to take off. Our experts in design thinking work relentlessly to help you shape all of these, track the progress, and feel more confident moving ahead.
3️⃣ Sales and Marketing: Now you have your product ready to-go and your value proposition figured out, but you still need to set the right messaging and communicate through the right channels. Well, the marketing crew is here and can give you a hand (or two) be it with your marketing strategy, brand identity, crafting engaging content, or media partnerships and communications.
When it’s time to sell, especially to enterprises, most of the companies are struggling in approaching the process in the right manner. Here our EIRs and mentors jump in with support in business development, how to navigate corporate sales, and structuring PoCs to unlock new opportunities with corporate partners.
4️⃣ Organizational Design: From navigating the complex landscape of talent acquisition to defining organizational structures and processes, we can assist you in creating your corporate governance structure and crafting your finance and operations functions for scaling. Why is that so important, you might ask? Many startups believe that CFOs are not a must-have in the early days, but in fact they are essential for setting your fundamentals right from the start and be ready for your next fundraising round.
5️⃣ Fundraising: As we’ve mentioned before, structuring a successful funding round requires time, expertise, and access to the right investors. With Eleven Platform, we provide assistance in preparing fundraising materials, refining pitch decks (catch a glimpse here), and connecting founders with prospective venture capitalists who align with their vision and goals.
6️⃣ Knowledge exchange: In order to increase the velocity of knowledge among you and fellow founders from our portfolio, we prepare educational resources and trainings in the form of workshops, webinars, and design sprints to help startups learn and grow. In doing so, newer startups can quickly learn about the success path and the shortcuts of the seasoned ones. Some of the dedicated events for portfolio founders include thematic meetups for P2P knowledge exchange over drinks, and online CFO talks where finance specialists from scaling startups share expertise and lessons learned with the newcomer CFOs.
But that’s not all. Our Platform goes beyond resources and tools. It encompasses our entire network of partners, co-investors, Entrepreneurs in Residence (our seasoned entrepreneurs who serve as mentors and provide invaluable guidance), trusted service providers, and “X as a service” options, allowing you to access specialized roles like CFOs and CMOs.
This is like the knife’s corkscrew – it’s about opening up new opportunities. Just as a corkscrew enables the adventurer to open a bottle of wine and share it with fellow travelers they meet along the way, our networking opportunities open doors to partnerships, collaborations, and relationships that can fuel the startup’s growth.
The entire team is the Platform
While we have dedicated orchestrators who ensure our efforts are aligned and impactful, every member of our team is committed to helping our portfolio startups on their scaling journeys. Besides the Platform team, our founders receive hands-on support from the partners, investment associates, the marketing and finance teams, as well as our Chief AI Officer and Venture Partners.
As our Head of Platform, Rene Tomova has actively engaged with over a hundred startups from the portfolio. Through her involvement, she not only shares her wealth of experience but also closely collaborates with our portfolio startups, fostering growth and inspiring optimal performance. Her superpower lies in design thinking, problem solving, and customer insights.