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Roland Siebelink helps tech companies scale up

Roland Siebelink is an accomplished entrepreneur and scale-up executive from San Francisco, California. Before moving to Silicon Valley, he lived in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. He has founded three companies and sold one, Topicmarks, to Tagged. He is a former winner of the Silicon Valley Founder Showcase and a certified Scaling Up coach

Now he helps founders of growing startups scale up their organization. Did you know that sixty percent of founders lose the CEO position within four years? Investors push them out when they find that founders "do not scale". But the new CEO brought in from the outside rarely helps the startup recover momentum.

But what if founders and their teams could learn to scale? What if we could combine the founders' charisma and best scaling practices? Roland acts as the founders' scaling ally. He brings in new knowledge and tools, organize executive team workshops and keep an eye on results. We have conducted an interview with him about his work.


How does it feel to be a former winner of Silicon Valley Founder showcase?
In 2011, pitching competitions were a great way to get noticed. We won SFNewTech, then VCTaskForce, then Silicon Valley Founder Showcase. This brought major press coverage and a key seed round.

What makes you sell one of the four companies you have founded?
When my clients get an offer, I ask them:
- Is the offer price is higher than the value the Board thinks the company could create?
- Do you think you could drive more value out of the company than someone with a different profile?

How do you help CEOs who do not scale? How do you assure them you can help them to scale?
All founder/CEOs want to scale well, but there has been little guidance on how to scale right.

I like to help when the founder/CEO is running offsites with their teams. Together we can discuss best scaling practices, experiment with them and adopt them in immediate practice.

Why is it important for the founder to drive exponential growth?
Exponential growth is the promise of the tech industry. With high failure rates, VCs must make at least a 10x return on every successful investment they make. Exponential growth is the only way to make that return.

What is your advice for founders so that they do not lose their CEO position within 4 years?
My advice is to accept CEO's roles change _radically_ between Series A to Series B.
  • Constant pivoting becomes a liability.
  • At 100–150 employees, organic trust does not work anymore.
  • Fund raising becomes the responsibility of the new CFO.



Roland Siebelink helps tech companies scale up Reviewed by My Blogger Profile on 3:40:00 PM Rating: 5
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