Two years ago, my colleague Benoit Praly did an exchange program during his computer sciences studies. During that year his plat was overflowing with his studies and a job in a start-up. He realised that to succeed, he needed to organize his studying methods. Therefore, he created a tool to assist him in his reviewing sessions. Using this tool, Benoit found that he halved his learning time and tripled his long-term memory.
When Benoit finished his studies he had a choice to make: work for a company or create his own. He had one question in mind:
What do I need to start my start-up?
This is a question that all entrepreneurs have at one point. I remember asking myself this question before I joined Benoit in this adventure. Let’s have a look at some of the main requirements and how to find them:
1. The Idea
It doesn’t have to be a revolutionary idea. You can use your creativity to find one, you can replicate an existing business, or you can just open a franchise (why not?).
2. The Money
Without money, it is more difficult to create your company, but having money is not a guarantee of success. There are public and private funds to you can apply for, and the majority of entrepreneurs start off by relying on the three F’s: family, friends, and fools.
3. The Skills
Does “marketing” or “corporate finance” sound like Chinese to you? Don’t worry about that; you can learn it yourself or pay someone else to do it, and eventually someone will join your team that knows all about it. This brings me to my next point…
4. The Team
As an African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Pages could be written about how to assemble the right team (group vs. team, MBTI profiles…). However, it is impossible to create a company without a team? I like this TED Talk from Derek Sivers on How to start a movement, because creating a company is similar to creating a movement; whatever you need, you just need to convince one person who can help you, and piece by piece you build the momentum that drives your creation forward.
There’s one more thing you need…
So, I’m going to ask it again: What do you need to start your start-up? As I have tried to explain, you can find, borrow, buy or learn almost everything you need to create your company. There is, however, something not for sale, not explained in a book, and not something someone can give you, and that is the courage to create your own company.
Benoit had the courage to create his company, and he convinced one person that introduced me to him. Today we are a team with multiple skills. When we don’t know something we learn, or find someone to help us to get it. And still, the bravery to do it only comes from within each of us.
To finish the story, we created Domoscio (house of knowledge in Esperanto). The tool that Benoit developed, La machine à réviser (“the reviewing machine”) is the origin of the current solution. We propose an online "smart revisions" solution for everyone with a thirst for knowledge and who wants to avoid "cramming" before exams. It has been developed in collaboration with a dozen high school teachers. For the French “baccalauréat” we are offering smart reviews for four of the most important courses: History- Geography, Philosophy, Economic and Social Sciences and Earth and Life Sciences.
In our experience, the only thing you truly need to create your start-up is the bravery to do it!
Ivan Ostrowicz is the CEO of Domoscio. He has a double masters’ degree in computer sciences from Spain and France and a MBA from France and China. He has 14 years of experience in management, HR and IT.