What is this blog all about?

Running a technology-heavy startup startup outside Silicon Valley’s blanket of expertise and big-ticket VCs requires a different touch. Many of the startup blogs out there cater to the new rave of internet startups that define a new business model, are up and running within 6 months, and are all about the number of online eyeballs to their cloud service.

A high-tech startup is a vastly different ball game.

treasure-map-153425_1280Especially outside Silicon Valley, the entrepreneur has no expert guide to navigate through the swamp of deeply fragmented funds, corporate booby traps, and the minefield of cultural differences.

In Europe there are virtually no Angels or VCs with the deep expertise, deep pockets, and patience needed to get a high-tech software company to the market. It may take 5 to 10 years of development before you have the basis for an MVP. B2B sales cycles are 6 to 18 months. Lead customers are typically outside the local market, in Asia, the US or e.g. Israel.

Running a successful software startup in this playing field is about so much more than the precise software technology. SoftwareStartups aims to share experiences in all aspects of startup life. For example:

  • raising millions with small-time angels and VCs,
  • running rock-bottom cash-flows while leveraging EU research projects,
  • filing software patents in Europe’s restrictive patent laws,
  • running Lean and Scrumban in the face of constant inventions to be done,
  • building a multi-cultural team of world-class programmers,
  • searching and evangelizing on the market pain and product-market fit
  • dealing with European corporate customers
  • scaling internationally with specialist resellers and media.

And software. In the past this was C and C++ whenever Java, Python, or OCaml wouldn’t hold up. Nowadays more around microservices and blockchain.

Who and why?

I am Martijn Rutten, an entrepreneur in high-tech software. I coded most of my life, predominantly at the boundaries between hardware and software. I co-founded Vector Fabrics after tasting high-tech, innovation, business, and corporate bureaucratics at Philips/NXP. In the role of entrepreneur in residence at HighTechXL, I advised a vast array of startups and corporate innovation teams. Then moved on to FinTech, aiming to preventing the next financial crisis with blockchain and an ambitious web platform as CTO of Othera. Currently, I am riding the AI train in automating insurance for small companies as CTO at Insify.

Schermafbeelding 2016-06-08 om 14.15.30

My experiences as startup CEO aiming to parallelize the world’s billions of lines of embedded software taught me that entrepreneurs that have personally navigated the minefield of running a high-tech software startup are a rare breed. At least in Europe. That triggered me to share my experiences in digging with my feet in ten inches of mud.

Join the ride and share your insights!

Martijn Rutten