Vincent Rosso: “A degree is not needed to be a good entrepreneur”

Vincent Rosso

Vincent Rosso is a graduate of the École spéciale de Mécanique et dÉlectricité in Paris and has a master’s degree in Industrial and System Engineering, in Californias. With a bidirectional profile, investor and entrepreneur, he allows him to empathize with the entrepreneur when helping him generate his own startup. He is also specialized in digital marketing, business models, collaborative economy and entrepreneurship in the world of startups.

Vincent has lived in several countries, including the United States and his native France. He was linked to the world of university research, although in Spain he has not had any contact. He explains that it is not always important to have a university degree to create a good company “entrepreneurs can get ahead without having a university degree or complete training. It is desirable but not necessary” and gives the example of Zuckenberg or Steve Jobs, great entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas who did not obtain their degrees. He says that entrepreneurship goes beyond studied knowledge, but knowing how to face various adversities, where often the person's personality is worth more than the idea they have. “It's not a matter of a title but of knowing how to undertake better,” he concludes.

To all those people who just finished their studies want to start a business, he advises them not to jump into the market first, but to first get experience in other startups, in order to learn how it works: “two or three years in a startup (such as a corporate company) gives a lot of experience before starting your own project”.

Although entrepreneurship in Spain is complicated for everyone, young people have even more difficulties, many of them do it out of necessity, since after the 2008 crisis the country suffered a great loss of job opportunities. Faced with this form of entrepreneurship, Rosso comments “in Spain it gives rise to many opportunities, it is not what we most want sometimes but it is what allows us to learn many other things” with these statements he explains that although he did not undertake out of necessity, he did come out of his comfort zone, since he traveled through England and ended up in Spain without even knowing the language in both countries just in order to learn and develop more, with this explanation he concludes that “those who undertake out of necessity do not, but learn out of necessity yes ”.

After the increase in startup proposals in recent years, each investor has had to make their own checklist in order to assess whether the ideas put forward by clients are viable or not. Vincent explains that “investment is a complicated job if we want to do it well. It requires asking a lot of questions and investing a lot of time.” He explains that one of the turning points when it comes to seeing if the company is worthwhile is getting to know the entrepreneur well and seeing if their economic model is viable. In addition, he says that the team is a fundamental pillar in all teams.

Distance is not an impediment for entrepreneurship

With the evolution of technologies, face-to-face work is no longer the only valid prototype of a company. In addition, after the global pandemic suffered in 2020, business models have completely changed. Vincent explains that “in my company we are all working in different places, whether there is one in Valladolid or in the US is almost the same in terms of interactions.” That is, as long as the company works and there is communication between all the kilometers that separate each worker, it is not important. He says that entrepreneurship goes much further than being in the same room together, creativity and how to act in the face of problems is also a fundamental part. “Distance today is not an impediment to entrepreneurship.”

A clear example of the importance of distance when starting a business is the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, but are located on another continent. Rosso says that, although he has not had experience with Canarian entrepreneurs, he has visited the archipelago. He sees great potential in the Islands, since there are many people who have gone to work there just to seek the peace and tranquility that the Canary Islands can provide. This is possible thanks to teleworking “When they see that there are people who can work from the Canary Islands in a Berlin startup, it will be a great opportunity for the islands,” explains Vincent, who is one hundred percent committed to teleworking. “The Canary Islands have the opportunity to bring talent and talent is the fuel of entrepreneurship,” he concludes.

The importance of early-stage investing

More and more investments arise from the initial phase. Rosso is one of the business angels who believes in this type of investment: “I do it because it is the phase that can contribute the most and there is also a need”, he explains. Although there are many companies that do not survive, he firmly believes that it is the best way to bet on a startup. “If we don't promote from the seed, how are we going to have a great company? It is very important” he concludes.

To invest in the seed phase, the company must have a series of qualities, Rosso explains that the most important thing it must have is an MVP, a viable product. It doesn't have to be a perfect product, but it does have to be proven to work. “Getting a sale is a very important and strong milestone that allows them to achieve a better situation when negotiating a purchase.

There is a very new form of investment that few people use, tokenization. It is a way to invest with virtual money. Faced with this form of investment, Rosso explains that he sees it as something in the future, but not too far away “I see it as something interesting to explore but since there are many now it is not so much tokenization, in the end it has taken away the value of the token” he comments. And it is that the token is more than a virtual currency, it has a value. And that power is given by the company, not monetization.

Finally, he gives advice to all those who want to start investing in the initial phases “Try to do it with people who are already doing it, that no matter how much they are doing it, it is difficult to get it right”. Investing as soon as you start is somewhat complicated, it has a learning process and you need to observe and analyze a lot before getting benefits “All companies are going to seem interesting to us, all entrepreneurs are going to seem nice and bright-eyed, but yes, we have to see what is behind this” he says. Although he ends up concluding that learning from your mistakes is also part of the process of knowing how to invest, “sometimes it is better to make a mistake of not having invested than of having done so”.


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