[Nexa3D in Today’s Medical Developments] Nexa3D, Henkel jointly commercialize high impact, durable material

“We developed and tested a multitude of approved workflows designed to unleash the full potential of xMED412’s outstanding physical properties and biocompatibility,” says Ken Kisner, Henkel’s head of innovation for 3D printing.  “Nexa3D and Henkel have provided a digital manufacturing solution for a growing number of medical devices, athletic wearables, and personalized audio products.

Read more here.

The post [Nexa3D in Today’s Medical Developments] Nexa3D, Henkel jointly commercialize high impact, durable material appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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Singapore’s High Output Ventures launches an early-stage fund to invest in Pakistani startups – MENAbytes

Singapore’s High Output Ventures launches an early-stage fund to invest in Pakistani startups  MENAbytes
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Part 4/6 High Growth for Startups – people to let go, meetings not to have and greasing the cogs. ‘Being ruthless with uncovering things that are blocking you and then dealing with them should feel like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, not a butterfly’s wings being torn off’.

Go back and read the series if you fancy.

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

Part 3 here

Rate Limiting Steps

Definition

Once you have your North Star Metric, the raison d'etre of your company, you can draw an accurate path that reaches this goal.

For example, if your goal was 'A million website hits a day', you can draw a path from all the way there, plotting out what you need.

In this process, you will find there are places along this path that are undeniably blocking you achieving your goal, those with the most blockage are the rate limiting steps, these require the most immediate attention and will deliver the best ROTI.

Rate Limiting Conversations

If I am tasked with helping the company grow, and I am in a meeting that doesn't result in that as an outcome, I will ask why I am here and why the meeting is taking place.

I am an absolute stickler for wasted time.

I like to be present as much as possible. Sometimes just sitting still in silence is good enough for me to realise that time isn't flying as fast as I think it is, if the meeting doesn't triple the advantages I receive from having 'me' time, I'm out.

To request a meeting with more than 2 or 3 people who are all on the same path, in my opinion, tells me that this meeting is important. My expectations of the meeting delivering exceptional value are high. If they are not met within the first 5 minutes, the meeting can be pretty excusably abandoned.

Example:

A meeting pops in my diary 'Management Expectations'.

It's pretty serious sounding, the 5 members of the SMT are also invited, the CTO is leading.

Upon seating, the CTO says 'So, i've been thinking around the way we are reviewed by our teams, it seems ineffective and I think we should come up with…'

Red flags to me –

'I've been thinking' means 'I have not come up with a workable solution, that's why you're here'.

'It seems ineffective' – 'I've been chastised by an employee/colleague and it's triggered me but it doesn't directly concern you'.

'I think we should come up with'. – 'I have neither spent the time trying to come up with or have failed to come up with…'.

Result –

'Can I ask that we reconvene at a stage where you can show us the improved results you've seen from your own efforts.'

Brutal, but hyper efficient.

This is a very Elon Musk style of working but it's so necessary when it comes to streamlining.

Rate Limiting Employees

This is a pretty tough one to swallow, but having a clear goal makes some positions unjustifiable.

There have been times where the defining of a clear goal has made it overwhelmingly apparent that there is perhaps $ 100k of employee salaries that cannot be justified.

Example

If you have a CPO who leads three product teams (one to create revenue features, one to maximise user growth and the other to clean and tweak the two creative teams) who is informed that her entire focus is now to generate revenue, you can expect a serious reshuffle. A team is now redundant, the other perhaps as well.

The Rate Limiting Step here is her time. She splits it between managing 3 teams and reporting to the CEO, her effectiveness to deliver on the goal of generating revenue only takes up 33.3% of her time. Therefore, removing 33.3% or even more of her now non-vital work will ultimately benefit the company's goals.

Rate Limiting Conversions

In an immediately actionable format, cut the fluff surrounding your marketing efforts.

There are so many unnecessarily indulgent marketing practices that persistently move the needle sideways, not forward.

Brand marketing can be awesome, of course it can be. Cinematic standard display ads, long drawn out youtube infomercials, learn more campaigns; they all impose a feeling on the potential buyer that makes them want to buy your product…. but do the research, are they buying?

If your North Star Metric is '1,000,000 products sold', then some quick analysis will allow you to see if your non-performance marketing efforts are worthwhile.

If the pathway from ad to purchase is very clear and efficient in your performance channels, and all it requires is more spend at the front end to drive conversions, then this is the logical step – as unglamorous as it sounds.

In line with this way of thinking, find the biggest drop off point along this path and tweak it. Is it people going from ad to the site? Site to the purchase page? Purchase page transaction? A couple of % points at the start can result in hundreds more purchases.

Brand is very much the icing on the cake when it comes to startups, but rarely the cake itself.

Rate Limiting Limits

Though a little paradoxical to what I've just mentioned, be cautious not to over do it.

Don't put a Lamborghini engine in a Nissan Micra, the Micra's doors will get ripped off, the brakes won't be able to take it and there will be a car crash.

If you get rid of absolutely everything that isn't black or white, you'll be left with a husk of an organisation without any personality, and it will show.

Being ruthless with uncovering things that are blocking you then dealing with them efficiently should feel like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, not a butterfly's wing's being torn off.

Quick, efficient, process driven work around achieving a specific goal, that can be explained to anyone, will rarely require over-explaining.

If there are sudden bad culture fits once the path to success has been unblocked, you may have discovered further blockers.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Corona-related support for Dutch start-ups mainly spent on High Tech, Medtech and Life Sciences – Innovation Origins

Corona-related support for Dutch start-ups mainly spent on High Tech, Medtech and Life Sciences  Innovation Origins
“startups when:1d” – Google News

[MigVax in NoCamels] Israel Set To Launch Human Trials For Covid-19 Vaccine After High Holidays

In late April, Israeli scientists at the Migal Galilee Research Institute formed a new company, MigVax, to further adapt a vaccine they developed for a deadly coronavirus affecting poultry for human use. The scientists had been working for four years to develop a vaccine for IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus) which affects the respiratory tract, gut, kidney and reproductive systems of domestic fowl.

Read more here.

The post [MigVax in NoCamels] Israel Set To Launch Human Trials For Covid-19 Vaccine After High Holidays appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Steady Revenue & High Investor Confidence: India’s Horizontal SaaS Startups Poised For Post-Pandemi … – Inc42 Media

Steady Revenue & High Investor Confidence: India’s Horizontal SaaS Startups Poised For Post-Pandemi …  Inc42 Media
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Hail, high water and lockdown: Europe’s fruit growers prepare for tough harvest – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hail, high water and lockdown: Europe’s fruit growers prepare for tough harvest  Minneapolis Star Tribune
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Novartis and a string of high profile backers fund next-gen Treg cell therapy startup GentiBio – FierceBiotech

Novartis and a string of high profile backers fund next-gen Treg cell therapy startup GentiBio  FierceBiotech
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Spotlight on N. Macedonia: 10% income tax, high business ease and in the heart of the Balkans

How does it sound to start a business or scale up in a country where locals do their best to make you feel at home? If we add here the fact that Skopje is not only home to a close-knit startup community but also ranks first for cost-effectiveness in the Financial Times 2020/21 ‘Tech cities of the future’ ranking, the prospect of starting up in North Macedonia becomes even more inviting. 

In this article I will provide you with local knowledge about the country’s business environment, including the necessary steps for setting up and running a business. 

Macedonian business culture in a nut shell 

The booming startup community nurtures values which speak for empowerment, support, learning, and fast growth. 

Macedonians are warm, polite, and welcoming to foreigners. In their communications, they are usually direct, and don’t hesitate to speak up. At a business meeting, you will be welcomed with a smile and a strong handshake (unless it’s a pandemic). In most circumstances, they are proud of their country and will do their best to represent it in the brightest way. Local partners, collaborators, and employees will usually invest their time and effort not to only deliver high-end services but to show you around and help you immerse in the Macedonian culture. 

Moreover, an increasing number of big companies and startups are seeing the importance of social impact, and Skopje has witnessed an expansion of environmentally and pet-friendly initiatives and apps. Moreover, businesses are becoming more socially responsible than ever before and help vulnerable groups in various innovative ways.

The rise of startups in the country is dictating new trends, where flexible working hours, casual dress code, and working environments with many perks are available. Moreover, working remotely or from the comfort of a co-working space is becoming the new-normal and many founders say that they plan to stay remote even after the pandemic is over. The minimum number of paid vacation days is 20. There are 11 national holidays and a certain number of religious holidays applying to members of different religions.

Speaking of punctuality, Macedonians cannot brag about being punctual like the Germans or the Swiss, although many people are trying to change this. You shouldn’t be surprised if a meeting or an event is 15-20 minutes late. Buses and trains are rarely on time either. Luckily, more and more young people start to rely on bikes and e-scooters.

Team buildings are quite popular among startups and IT companies, which have ‘exploring North Macedonia’ as a task on their to-do list.

Conditions and benefits of opening a company in North Macedonia

Ease of doing business 

In the World Bank’s latest rankings, North Macedonia is ranked 17th in the world for the ease of doing business. This high ranking reflects that the regulatory environment is more conducive to the opening and operation of a local firm. The country scores over 80/100 for trading across borders (93.9), starting a business (88.6), paying taxes (84.7), dealing with construction permits (83.5), protecting minority investors (82), and getting electricity (81). Moreover, for its ease of doing business, North Macedonia holds the best position in the Balkans and exceeds countries such as Estonia (18th place), Finland (20th place), and Germany (22nd place).

Multilingual and highly-skilled affordable talent

Even though North Macedonia is a small country with a population of only 2 million, it has a large pool of educated and highly-skilled professionals, with a satisfactory number in the field of ICT. The country is awash with various learning, networking, and career growth initiatives and events, which only show the aspirations of the country’s talent to keep on track with the most developed European startup communities. Moreover, there is a growing number of private education centres, in addition to the existing universities, which are teaching and training staff on the newest skills required by tech companies and startups. In terms of the English language, North Macedonia is known to have a high rate of English proficiency. If we add to the bargain the fact that there is a great quality-price ratio, it’s no wonder that many foreigners decide to run their businesses from this sunny country.

One of the main challenges though is hiring senior developers. On one hand, there has been a boom of IT outsourcing companies and, on the other,  the trend of brain draining is present. As a result, the companies try to offer as many perks and benefits to the software engineers as possible to attract and keep them. Luckily, the number of students in the field has been enormously increasing and the situation is changing. 

Low cost of living

North Macedonia is extremely attractive to international entrepreneurs due to its low cost of living. Take Skopje, for example; this capital doesn’t lag behind other European cities in terms of the lifestyle and high-quality commodities it offers, and yet, all is affordable for much less than in almost all other European startup hubs. Other cities such as Bitola and Ohrid, which are abound in cultural heritage and natural beauties, are even cheaper. To provide some numbers, you can rent a modern apartment in the Skopje city centre from €250 a month and, as one German visitor once said to me, you can get the “best meal ever” for only €10. 

Supportive startup community

Skopje is the biggest startup hub in the country, with several other cities showing great potential too. However, regardless of whether you are in Skopje or Bitola, the startup community is extremely supportive and moves at a fast speed. New co-working spaces, associations, hubs, and accelerations emerge continually and, most importantly, new founders are welcomed with the warmness of the existing players who clearly understand the importance of empowerment. For entrepreneurs who want to test the waters first, there are programmes such as Entrepreneurs in Residence, which have enabled a number of foreign entrepreneurs to get a first-hand experience of the business climate.

Favourable tax environment

One of the biggest advantages of running a business in North Macedonia is the favourable tax environment. The country has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the world which is only 10%. The personal tax is also 10%, while the General Income Tax is 18%. Moreover, the government offers a 10-year tax-free operation for investments made in the Free Economic Zones where highly productive clean manufacturing activities are concentrated and new technologies are developed.

The growth of ICT and its key verticals

ICT is the fastest-growing sector and it plays an important role in the economy as a provider of jobs and generator of exports. Hence, North Macedonia has a solid ground for startupers interested in launching a business and conquering the world from a small but supportive country.

Verticals such as e-commerce, digital media, fintech, gaming, blockchain, IoT, tech in agriculture, and edtech are evermore present in the country.

Favourable geographical location and time zone

As a country located in the heart of the Balkan peninsula, North Macedonia benefits from a strategic geographical position at the crossroads of two main European transport corridors linking Central Europe to the Aegean and the Black Sea. The country has two airports, one in Skopje and other in Ohrid, and it is a 2-hour flight away from most of the European cities. Furthermore, Skopje is just a 2-hour drive from Thessaloniki, which is the main port hub for the Balkans and Southeast Europe and connects Europe with Asia and China. 

North Macedonia falls within the Central European Time zone (GMT + 1) along with cities such as Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. 

A downside here is the lack of good transport infrastructure which often impedes the businesses from networking and distribution of products and makes the travelling less pleasant. 

Leisure opportunities: great travel destinations and outdoor activities

It is not unusual for foreign founders who run businesses in North Macedonia to combine their business trips with some leisure. In addition to the lively nightlife, people don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ohrid, a lake city which once had 365 churches and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. Alongside its attractive beaches and medieval heritage, people often jump on different tours such as riding horses in the mountainous village of Lazaropole, paragliding in Krusevo, skiing in Mavrovo, or cave exploring in Makedonski Brod. If you are here for business, don’t hesitate to ask a local to show you around (they will gladly be your guide), or just check this local startup for more ideas. 

Setting up a company in North Macedonia 

Open a company in 1 day

Just like in most European countries, the limited liability company (LLC) is a preferred business structure, especially when it comes to startups. The process requires only one day for completion and you don’t need to be present in the country. All you need is to find an authorised agent. The agent submits the required documents signed by you in the Central Registry and the company is established. A North Macedonia LLC can be entirely foreign-owned, with no restrictions on foreign shareholders. 

One should bear in mind that the minimum share capital for this entity is set at €5K and can be deposited in a Macedonian bank account. 

First steps for registering a company

  • Pick up a name
  • Choose an address – you can use the address of a rented/owned office or you can obtain an address from companies that offer virtual office services 
  • Choose a CEO and split the equity
  • Choose an authorized agent of the Central Trade Registry (attorney at law or accountant) to submit your application
  • Get all necessary documents ready and signed

Before you start any activities with your company you need to apply for a company seal, activate a bank account, register for VAT, and apply for registration of the foreign investment within the Central Registry. Additional administrative activities may be required as well, and it is always a good idea to request a list with all required documents and steps from your agent. Most of the banks offer online banking, so before you make the choice make sure to do your research and see which bank would best fit your requirements. And, finding a good accountant or accounting company is a must.

If you want to get a work or residence permit, the procedure takes up to 15 days and you can consult your agent about all the requested documents. 

Just bear in mind that although the Macedonian government is working on digitalising its services, many of them are still not online. 

Supporting organisations

If you decide to start or expand your business in North Macedonia, these are some of the supporting organisations you may want to check.

Another tip is to search LinkedIn for like-minded professionals based in Skopje – they will undoubtedly give you a heads up.

For more information, check out our article North Macedonia: Skopje’s startup ecosystem at a glance.

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