How We Work
We have described our process below for startup teams to get an idea of how we work, and how we aim to add value to any team we work with. However, we have been Founders too. So we know that a generic process isn’t going to work. Startups are unique, and each team needs something different. With that in mind we use all the items discussed below as a toolkit, and add a healthy dose of pragmatism as to how it is applied.
Process for Startups
Click a stage in the process diagram to see more detailed info...
Application Stage 1
The application and selection process starts with an initial online registration. At this point you provide high level information and a summary pitch deck so we can understand if your startup fits our initial criteria.
Once you have completed the form we’ll get back to you within 2 working days to let you know if we can help. So far as possible we will aim to give you clear feedback, and make introductions to other people we know, even if we can’t help you ourselves.
These events are held periodically to connect startups with talented new team members, speed up team formation, and promote the fact that a diversity of skills are required in order to form an effective team. These events improve the quality of applications that Genesys receives due to well rounded team competencies having been developed prior to application. See the next workshops on our Meetup Page.
Application Stage 2
After the initial online application Genesys will invite selected startups to join a video call. This gives us an opportunity to learn more about the team behind the startup. Much of this conversation is about how you will fit alongside other teams we already work with, and understand if we have skills that could help move your startup forward.
This is the final stage of the selection process, where Genesys helps each startup team to prepare a Routes to Value map for their business. This includes factors such as:
- An overview of the business
- Risk analysis
- Priorities for upcoming work
- The quickest route to increasing value of the startup
- Resources within the Genesys network required by the startup
- Three key performance vectors for ongoing performance measurement. These vectors are Confidence, Time to Market and Value Potential.
The results are then used as a key input for investment agreements, performance measurement, and ongoing support. Throughout this process startup teams are helped to improve their applications for final selection. In this way Genesys is able to develop a working relationship with the venture teams, and gain insight into their skills and competencies as a team.
Application Stage 3
Selected startups are invited to a more detailed presentation with follow on questions. Genesys scores how well each startup meets clearly defined criteria covering aspects of economic, social and environmental value; and prioritises applicants according to the scores. Genesys will include independent assessment in this stage of the scoring to avoid biases and ensure a well rounded approach to the assessments.
Selecting which ventures to include in a cohort is a decision that is informed by considerations from three different perspectives. These are 1) as a standalone Startup; 2) Portfolio Management; and 3) matched with our own competence.
Genesys aims to invest in very early stage innovation startups. This means startups that either represent a breakthrough in an established sector, or are in high growth emerging sectors. We have no bias towards any particular technology sector, applications market or geographical region. In all cases, the primary selection criterion is economic returns, with secondary considerations of social and environmental impact and value. With this context, the Investment Committee reviews scores for each venture from 1) the initial application stages; and 2) the Routes to Value outputs created during the Base Camp process. These include a number of sub criteria that are outlined in more detail on our Investment Selection page.
Genesys aims to work with a portfolio of ventures that collectively provide a balance of startups that range from complex and far from market, through to less complex and closer to market; and avoiding a concentration in any one stage, technology, or sector. This diversification helps reduce risk.
For very early stage ventures, the ability to ‘make’ a venture work is largely reliant on the ability to quickly do business with a network of new customers. Therefore the quality and reach of the Genesys network, and the ability to understand how set up demand generation for a new business venture, are part of the consideration for investment selection.
Once a startup has been selected, Investments are offered using widely recognised standard Term Sheets. So far as possible investment deals are structured as EIS compliant, and so investments in startups are in Ordinary Shares, with standard venture capital investor rights and protections relating to, for example, warranties, covenants, information, anti-dilution, exit, etc.
Where EIS is not the most suitable mechanism for investing into the venture, any other investment mechanism that is deemed appropriate is used, given the specifics of the investee business and local practice.
Once terms have been agreed, Genesys coordinates with it’s network of investors to sign agreements and provide funding to each startup.
Once an investment has been made startups are invited to an action learning induction. This introduces teams to the full set of resources available within the Genesys network to help them develop their business as quickly as possible. As of the writing of this document these resources include the following list. However this will be under active development on an ongoing basis:
Incubation Procedure, Health & Safety, Inventory and Registration of Assets, Routes to Value process, Stage Gate and Reporting Induction, Competency Network Introduction, Software Tools Introduction, Reference Documentation Introduction, Recommended Planning and Presentation Methods, Use of Interns - Ethics and Procedures, Shared Services Introduction, Receive Venture Toolkit, Introduction to Innovation Resources and Workshops and Technicians, Introduction to Partners and Service Providers.
Startup Incubation Commences
Post investment, Genesys provides an intensive programme of Active Management for all startups.
The focus of this activity is to, 1) develop competences and build the organisation in systematic way; and 2) to reduce risk of failure by providing intense activity where the right specialist resources are applied as fast as possible.
Key components of the incubation process includes:
Subject Matter Experts who engage with teams to provide specialist assistance.
Bi-Weekly Education Sessions to provide training workshops and discuss problems and solutions with an expert specialist.
Mentors who act as a sounding board to give advice and provide market knowledge or anecdotal experience.
Access to Workshops, Machinery and Equipment through partnerships with specialist facilities within London.
Startups are reviewed according to milestones established in the Routes to Value exercise, and funding is released in stages, according to the criteria for each milestone being met by the startup.
More details are available on our Startup Incubation page.