Lauri Antalainen: creating a startup is not a sprint, it´s a marathon

27.10.2021
Lauri Antalainen pildistas Jake Farra 01

Photo by Jake Farra

According to Lauri Antalainen, vice president and board member of The Estonian Association of Business Angels (EstBAN), a long-run game must be considered from the very beginning when creating a startup. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But you have to enjoy this journey because it’s fun,” he notes.

More and more different success stories appear in the media, giving the impression that companies have become successful overnight. “Bolt, Wise and other startups worth billions of euros have not been successful overnight. There are years of hard work behind it. But it is the best thing for a young person to engage in – developing your business and ideas before you get a home loan and a family. That way, you don’t regret later why I didn’t try, “encourages Antalainen to give it a shot.

The volume of angel investments is growing

Estonian startups are having good times, a lot of money is in circulation and the number of business angels is constantly growing. “We have been joined by many people who have previously been successful in their field, become wealthy, and now, among other things, are investing in startups. Raising money has become much easier and faster. The best teams get financing by talking with a small number of investors. Depending on the idea, there may be more people interested in investing than the team originally planned, ”Antalainen introduces today’s developments.

The newly created syndicate with Prototron allows many investors, who´s core business is not investing, take part in investments to companies that have passed a careful validation process. “Being an investor in such a syndicate does not require a large investment either – the Prototron syndicate has a minimum investment of EUR 5,000, and in most cases, the minimum amount for investing in startups in a similar phase is EUR 10,000. Prototron’s deal-flow has been good enough for years to be sure that it will be able to find a worthy investment. At the same time, the value offered by angels is also a great help to a startup – if you have 20 investors covering your back, they have very good knowledge and a network of contacts both in Estonia and elsewhere, it will be an invaluable help to a startup. In addition to money, it is a value in itself,” he noted.

The best time to start

According to Antalainen, there is no better time to start a business than now. “There is a lot of money available, the development of technology has led us to the situation, that development itself is not too expensive either. The prototype can be quickly brought to market for testing. The development of society also supports starting a business – the digitization of various processes is in full swing, partly thanks to COVID-19, and that gives all startups an opportunity to try, ”said Antalainen, who has years of investment experience.

The autumn round of Prototron is open, submit an application by November 15, 2021 at www.prototron.ee and start your own success story.