Key start-up tips from a social impact investor

22 Jun 2018

Larissa Best, president of LBAN. Image: Larissa Best

Start-up tips can often be a dime a dozen. Luckily, we struck gold with some key nuggets from investor and LBAN head Larissa Best.

Larissa Best is president of Luxembourg Business Angel Network (LBAN).

After studying banking in Switzerland, she started working as a SaaS entrepreneur in the family business, helping to sell the company after eight years.

Moving into the big corporate world, Best worked at a publicly traded company carrying out M&As in Europe and Asia.

She went on to do an MBA and some growth consultancy work for an SME before finding her calling in the social impact space, where she is currently investing her time and money.

‘Don’t give up when times become tough. Success is not linear’

Describe your role and what you do.

I am currently the president of LBAN. Our mission is to help the local business angel community and channel more liquidity towards start-ups and their funding needs.

In your opinion, which areas of science and technology hold the greatest scope for opportunities?

In my experience, science is the first step towards disruption but often lacks a clear application. Researchers are an important first step in the innovation cycle. I believe that the best mix is when entrepreneurs and researchers work together to create applied technology.

Are good entrepreneurs born or can they be made?

As with any profession or sport, if you have a gift, some things come easier to you. That does not mean that you do not need to work hard and persevere, but it may seem easier for some people than for others.

What are the qualities of a good founder?

Perseverance, the ability to listen to advice, an excellent team player and a natural salesperson.

What does a successful entrepreneur need to do every day?

Create and maintain a positive and creative corporate culture.

What resources and tools are an absolute must for your arsenal?

The only thing that you need is you and your team.

How do you assemble a good team?

By building a culture that empowers your team, and co-creating solutions together.

What is the critical ingredient to start-up success?

Your team. And being humble.

What are the biggest mistakes that founders make?

Not listening to advice.

Who is your business hero and why?

Elon Musk because he has the vision to change the world and he makes it happen.

Whats the number-one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up when times become tough. Success is not linear!

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