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How to spot the next Branson, Musk or Zuckerberg. New report reveals all

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  • Resilience, motivation and persuasiveness ranked as most important founder traits
  • A co-founder team is preferable to a single founder to balance personalities
  • Founder tests include assessing their reaction to bad news or poor restaurant service

Spotting the next Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg comes down to seven key character traits, according to a new report from the London-based venture capital firm, Concentric, and Egon Zehnder, the leadership advisory firm.

The findings – which come from qualitative discussions with founders, VCs, angel investors and talent specialists – highlight the characteristics entrepreneurs and investors should look for, to maximise the chance of business success and reduce the risk of founder conflict, which is responsible for the majority of startup failures.

The report ranks the seven personality traits according to their importance, with resiliencemotivation and persuasiveness agreed to be the most important. These are followed by vision and humility, then curiosity and the ability to manage stakeholders honestly.

Starting a business is always a risk, with previous studies showing that around 50% of startups fail in the first three years, while only 7% are then able to scale their operations. And, with nearly two thirds (65%) of startup failures occurring due to conflict in the founding team, finding the right mix of skills and personalities is vital. Concentric wanted to understand which characteristics are common to those who do make it.

“Typically, investors spend the bulk of their time pouring over business plans, looking at the financials and validating the actual idea,” commented Kjartan Rist, Partner at Concentric. “But that often comes at the expense of looking at the people involved, in most cases because people are much harder to quantify and understand. Yet, the founders of a start-up ultimately have the biggest impact on whether or not the business will be successful, while minimising the founder conflict that can be so damaging.”

The report has also identified a range of tests that investors and entrepreneurs can use to assess potential business partners. First and foremost, as it’s difficult to find a single founder with the perfect personality, more than one founder is preferable, with a balance of the seven key characteristics across the team. Experience is also a vital factor, in particular because it can bring improved judgement. Hence why investors tend to prefer second time founders.

Some of the tests are less conventional however. For example, to understand a founder’s motivation, investors should ask how much they are paying themselves, i.e. are they in it for the money, or something deeper? Humility and maturity can be tested by analysing whether they hire people that threaten them, or by meeting their partner and family outside work, to get a true insight into their personality.

Testing for resilience is particularly critical, and the report makes several suggestions on how this can be done. Peer referencing is a valuable tool for assessing development gaps, but investors should then also test how a founder reacts when critical feedback is delivered. Or to take it one step further, take them out for lunch and ask the waiter to bring them the wrong order twice to gauge their reaction!

“We did this work to understand how we can get into the heads of the people we are investing in,” continues Rist. “After all, the business plan will inevitable have to change, probably several times as any business develops and grows. Great people act as insurance against this, giving you the confidence that they’ll find a way through, even when things aren’t going their way.”

The seven key characteristics of a ‘great’ start-up founder were identified as:

  1. Resilience and energy:Without resilience a start-up founder won’t last long. The ability to handle rejection from customers and dissatisfaction from employees takes its toll on anyone and is the first thing to weed out in potential business partners.
  2. Ambition and motivation:The question they constantly ask is ‘why are they doing this?’ Are they still hungry and do they have the personal ambition to see out the fight?
  3. Persuasiveness (ability to convince/ sell):It’s vital to be able to convince others to join you on your journey, including investors, employees and customers. If you cannot sell, you are unlikely to build a big business no matter how good the product.
  4. Vision:Founders should serve to unite employees, investors and customers behind a common purpose. That means having a compelling vision and being able to communicate it effectively.
  5. Humility and self-reflection: Good founders continually ask themselves if they are the right person for the job and how they can improve themselves, while making sure they listen to those around them.
  6. Curious and proactive: Someof the best founders are the ones who have an insatiable curiosity and constantly ask themselves why their environment is the way it is.  
  7. Honest stakeholder management: It’s vital to remain accountable and transparent with key stakeholders – especially investors. Attempting to bury bad news seldom works out well in the long-run, serving only to undermine vital relationships.

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GS Foods Group Acquires Fresno Produce

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GS Foods Group, Inc. (GS Foods), a leading specialized food distributor owned by affiliates of Highview Capital, LLC (Highview) and A&M Capital Partners (AMCP), today announced the acquisition of family-owned and operated produce supplier Fresno Produce, Co. (Fresno Produce). The partnership will integrate GS Foods national nutrition expertise including procurement, distribution, logistics and sophisticated service capabilities with a local operation to continue providing fresh, safe and nutritious meals to students and families in the Fresno, CA area.

Headquartered in California, GS Foods encompasses a family of specialized foodservice distribution companies including Gold Star Foods, one of the nations largest K-12 school nutrition providers serving 3,500 K-12 schools throughout the United States. With more than 50 years of industry experience and a deep understanding of the complex and ever-evolving regulatory environment governing child nutrition programs, the company serves as a trusted partner able to meet the unique needs of its customers nationally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical role school nutrition programs play in feeding our communities, yet today the specialized foodservice distribution industry remains highly fragmented, said Sean Leer, CEO of GS Foods. By partnering with like-minded companies such as Fresno Produce, GS Foods expands the reach of our expertise and takes another key step in establishing a coordinated, national school nutrition supply system. This allows us to better meet the diverse and increasing needs of our customers in California and beyond.

Fresno Produce was established in 1990 by David Miller and his wife Laura. The family-owned distributor is committed to serving students in local school districts including the Fresno Unified School District, one of their first and founding customers. GS Foods will continue serving all 100 schools and over 73,000 students that Fresno Produce serves today.

GS Foods exceptional leadership team, advanced facilities, proprietary technology and unique service offerings are simply unmatched in school nutrition, said David Miller, owner and president of Fresno Produce. We are proud to partner with a dedicated company who shares our commitment to meeting the specialized needs of each and every community it serves and who will bring known expertise to our region.

GS Foods will continue to serve the Fresno community as it works to ensure students and families nationwide have access to high-quality, wholesome meals they rely on each day.

We continue to be impressed by GS Foods distribution capabilities and presence within the K-12 market, delivering outstanding customer service and product quality, said Jack McCarthy, Sr. Managing Director and Founder of A&M Capital Partners. We believe that partnering with local and family-owned companies like Fresno Produce illustrates how GS Foods continues to expand its footprint and pioneer the establishment of a national supply system.

About GS Foods

GS Foods is a family of specialized foodservice distribution companies. GS Foods uses its sophisticated network of facilities to provide trusted food distribution and product solutions to specialized foodservice segments, including education, corrections, non-profit, business & industry and healthcare. GS Foods independent subsidiaries, Good Source Solutions, Inc. and Gold Star Foods, Inc., collectively serve over 8,000 customers nationwide. GS Foods is owned by affiliates of Highview Capital, LLC and A&M Capital Partners.

About Highview Capital, LLC

Highview Capital, LLC is an opportunistic private equity investment vehicle headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with approximately $500 million in assets under management providing transformational equity. Highview leverages its creative vision and expertise to partner with management teams of leading middle-market businesses undergoing periods of transformation, including growth, expansion or performance improvement. For more information, visit www.highviewcp.com.

About A&M Capital Partners

A&M Capital Partners is Alvarez & Marsal Capitals flagship investment strategy focused on middle-market control transactions in North America with total assets under management of approximately $1.8 billion. AMCP partners with founders, corporates and management teams, providing the capital and strategic assistance that we believe is required to take businesses to the next level of success. AMCP invests in businesses across a wide range of sectors including Business Services, Industrials, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Consumer & Retail, Government Services, Financial Services and Energy Services. More broadly, Alvarez & Marsal Capital is a multi-strategy private equity investment firm with over $3.0 billion in total assets under management across three investment strategies, which maintains a strategic association with Alvarez & Marsal, one of the largest operationally focused advisory firms in the world.

Sierra Layton

(303) 653-8191

[email protected]

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Medical Electrodes Market Research Report – Global Forecast to 2024 – Cumulative Impact for COVID-19 Recovery

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The Medical Electrodes market will register an incremental spend of about USD 245.54 million, growing at a CAGR of 5.35% from 2020-2024. A targeted strategic approach to Medical Electrodes market sourcing can unlock several opportunities for buyers. This report offers market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get free report sample within minutes

Get detailed insights on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and recovery analysis of Medical Electrodes market

Medical Electrodes Market Analysis

Analysis of the cost and volume drivers and supply market forecasts in various regions are offered in this Medical Electrodes research report. This market intelligence report also analyzes the top supply markets and the critical cost drivers that can aid buyers and suppliers devise a cost-effective category management strategy.

The report provides insights on the following information:

  • Regional spend dynamism and factors impacting costs
  • The total cost of ownership and cost-saving opportunities
  • Supply chain margins and pricing models
  • Competitiveness index for suppliers
  • Market favorability index for suppliers
  • Supplier and buyer KPIs

For more information on the exact spend growth rate and yearly category spend, download a free sample.

Spend Growth and Demand Segmentation

  • The Medical Electrodes market will register an incremental spend of USD 245.54 billion, growing at a CAGR of 5.35% from 2020-2024
  • On the supply side, North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and APAC will have the maximum influence owing to the supplier base.

To get instant access to over 1000 market-ready procurement intelligence reports without any additional costs or commitment, Subscribe Now for Free.

Some of the top Medical Electrodes suppliers enlisted in this report

This Medical Electrodes procurement intelligence report has enlisted the top suppliers and their cost structures, SLA terms, best selection criteria, and negotiation strategies.

  • General Electric Co.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • 3M Co.
  • Medtronic plc
  • Koninklijke Philips N.V.
  • Asahi Kasei Corp.
  • Boston Scientific Corp.
  • Nihon Kohden Corp.
  • CONMED Corp.
  • Natus Medical Inc.
  • Ambu A/S
  • Rhythmlink International LLC
  • Cognionics Inc.
  • Mekoprint A/S
  • Heraeus Holding GmbH

This procurement report answers help buyers identify and shortlist the most suitable suppliers for their Medical Electrodes requirements following questions:

  • Am I engaging with the right suppliers?
  • Which KPIs should I use to evaluate my incumbent suppliers?
  • Which supplier selection criteria are relevant for?
  • What are the workplace computing devices category essentials in terms of SLAs and RFx?

Get access to regular sourcing and procurement insights to our digital procurement platformActivate Free subscription.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Market Insights
  • Category Pricing Insights
  • Cost-saving Opportunities
  • Best Practices
  • Category Ecosystem
  • Category Management Strategy
  • Category Management Enablers
  • Suppliers Selection
  • Suppliers under Coverage
  • US Market Insights
  • Category scope

Appendix

About SpendEdge:

SpendEdge shares your passion for driving sourcing and procurement excellence. We are the preferred procurement market intelligence partner for 120+ Fortune 500 firms and other leading companies across numerous industries. Our strength lies in delivering robust, real-time procurement market intelligence reports and solutions.

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Cooley Bolsters Global Fund Formation Practice With Singapore Hire

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Sean Murphy is joining Cooley as a partner in the firms global fund formation practice based in the Singapore office. Murphy arrives from Shearman & Sterling, where he was a member of its Asia asset management and investment funds practice.

The Singapore venture market is growing exponentially, said John Dado, partner and chair of Cooleys fund formation practice. We have a unique opportunity to build on the momentum initiated by our emerging companies and venture capital group and establish Cooley as the top firm for funds counsel in the region. With deep regional experience, technical know-how and an entrepreneurial spirit, we are confident that Sean will contribute significantly to this objective.

Murphys background includes more than a decade of advising on all aspects of private fund structuring and formation, limited partner investments in private funds, co-investments and investments in private equity sponsors across Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. He regularly advises sponsors and investors on venture capital, growth capital, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, credit, special situations and hedge strategies. Murphy also has experience advising private funds and corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and joint venture arrangements. He received a bachelors degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and earned his JD from The George Washington University Law School. Murphy, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, is admitted to practice in New York.

Im excited to partner with my colleagues in establishing a new frontier for Cooley and the Singapore VC market, Murphy said. I look forward to joining this first-class group and building on the firms leading reputation across the globe.

Cooleys Singapore office has grown exponentially since its launch in January 2020. The firms first office in Southeast Asia has worked on numerous significant corporate transactions since opening and earned a Band 1 distinction for Startups & Emerging Companies as part of Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific rankings. Cooley formed the first venture capital limited partnership in the western US and has since become a global powerhouse in fund formation. The firm has been active in China, India and Southeast Asia for decades. With a team of 40+ lawyers focused full time on fund formation, Cooley is primary fund counsel to 500+ investment fund organizations. In 2020, the team closed 315+ funds, raising more than US$30 billion in capital commitments.

The group also runs Vanilla by Cooley, a secure, cloud-based platform designed for fund managers to give investors a streamlined interface to subscribe for and manage fund interests online or on mobile. The groups blog, TheFundLawyer, is an information source for VC managers with a focus on industry trends and customs, as well as recent legal and tax developments.

About Cooley LLP

Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law.

Cooley has 1,100+ lawyers across 16 offices in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Cooley LLP

Andrea Orzehoski

[email protected]

+1 858 550 6259

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