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You Don’t Have to Be a Unicorn Startup

I know a lot of great entrepreneurs who have sold companies for $8 million, $10 million, $20 million, $50 million. They owned 80% to 90% of their companies, and now they’re all multimillionaires who have created generational wealth.

They’re incredible successes, but you don’t read about them in any of the major business and tech publications.

The binary environment we’re in now, where you’re either a unicorn startup or a bust, is incredibly unfortunate. At York IE, we want to make sure a $30 million exit is still a big win for all involved.

The ridiculous amount of capital flowing into early-stage companies, the size of venture funds and rounds, and the pattern of setting your startup’s milestones based on getting from one funding round to the next — it all needs to be rethought.

York IE is disrupting several different siloed market spaces and institutions that frankly weren’t built for scrappy startups with high velocity and low budgets. Analyst firms, media companies, investment banks, and public relations and marketing agencies are all trying to get as much money out of you per month or per year as they can right now. Meanwhile, venture capital and private equity firms are trying to get as much money into you as possible because they want to own more of your company. Founders forget that every time they raise capital, they are actually selling pieces of their company.

There needs to be a recalibration of how to build pragmatic, scalable companies and what we celebrate when it comes to success. It’s all quite relative and requires loads of context. With our startup advisory services, our aligned incentives model of investing, and our Fuel platform for market and competitive intelligence, we provide the resources and infrastructure you need to have scalability and staying power.

We of course want companies to be as impactful as possible. And we’re not against VCs or raising the capital required to drive growth. We ARE a VC! But capital should be a choice based on accelerating opportunities. Instead, it’s become more of a de facto. I don’t think that’s great for the world. Eventually, things will course correct, and there’s going to be a lot of casualties. Make sure you’re not one of them.

I talked about this topic in-depth on the UpTech Report. Watch the full episode here:


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