My (late) year in review — 2019
2019 has been as interesting as weird for me, I have been looking to switch side of the table and join the investment side of the startup scene… and this has been quite a rollercoaster!
I started 2019 knowing that this would not be an easy year and that I should be super pro-active and intentional about everything I do, starting with expanding my network and reconnecting with the London startup scene.
To keep it short, in a year I have met with more than 35 VCs, became a scout at Backed VC, got involved in #MovingForward as EU co-lead to help funds create and distribute inclusion and anti-discrimination policies, started Entrepreneurs Playing Games and created a new company (stealth mode so keep an eye on my social media later this year for more info!).
So even if I wasn't full-time employed, I have been busier than ever!
Many of know may know that I joined a new company last week as Equity Funding Manager at Swoop. This has only been a week and I am super excited by this opportunity to continue being involved in the ecosystem and help startups getting access to funding!
…But finding the right position was a hell of a journey!
I have applied to 150+ roles, faced many rejections, sometimes with relief as I realised along the way there were many people I didn't want to work with.
I first focused on VC firms only looking for platform or investment roles, then tried to open up my search to accelerators and incubators before realising they were only looking for young people with limited experience of startups.
Over the year, I have met with more than 35 VCs, in the UK but also in EU and the USA. I have also re-done my CV about 4 or 5 times (thanks to the many folks ready to spare a few minutes to share their thoughts!) and AB tested different versions.
What was the most difficult part? Keeping my mental health in check!
Everyone who has ever been job hunting knows that it is a very hard exercise for your self-esteem and mental health. Luckily, today's society is more open and we can more start talking about it with no shame.
A few things that helped me stay sane:
- I kept track of every feedback, meeting and progress and re-evaluated my strategy every 2/3 months.
- Being used to work remotely, I already had a routine at home that included waking up early, exercising daily and cooking healthy food for lunch.
- My partner has been extremely supportive which made a big difference, I don't think I would have been able to keep going for so long without him.
- Really quicky, I made too much progress to forget about it and turn my back on my goals, which was regularly reminded to me by friends.
- Having side projects and being involved in the startup community helped me focus on non-job-hunting related responsibilities and continue to work with others.
I am personally always happy to jump on a quick call to talk about this journey and I am def not the only one so please to do not hesitate to reach out anytime!
ENTREPRENEURS PLAYING GAMES
Last March, I launched Entrepreneurs Playing Games, a series of live video interviews featuring startups founders (and soon more operators, investors and other folks part of startups success!). Every 2 week on Saturday morning, I play video games with my guests, deep dive into their background, startup & story and answer questions from viewers live!
While this project is still in its early days, it has been an absolute pleasure to feature already 17 amazing entrepreneurs. During Christmas, I reached the 100 mark subscriber on Youtube (SUBSCRIBE NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T YET) and became Twitch affiliate (SUPPORT ME FOR FREE ON TWITCH WITH YOUR AMAZON PRIME MONTHLY FREE SUBSCRIBE!).
Always looking for my next guests, feel free to reach out anytime to talk about your own story. And if you like to concept help me spread the word, like, comment, follow and share the videos!
In 2020, I will do my best to continue producing and hosting the stream and its podcast edition adding also punctual chill out AMAs to get to know my viewers, as well as remote guests as I did over Christmas. Let me know if there are any specific industries or topic you'd like me to cover!
REFLECTING ON 2019 AND NEW GOALS FOR 2020
Here were my objectives for 2019
✅ Find my next role (technically I found it in 2020 but it still counts as a win!)
✅ Do more to support early-stage entrepreneurs, connect them to investors and be involved in the community as a mentor
✅ Attend more diverse networking events
✅ Complete at least one online course
✅ Give a shout-out to people and initiatives that deserve it (and I still regularly do it on Twitter @AmandineFLachs!)
🤔 Listen to podcasts weekly (I've done that for a few months during my weekly run, but as the weather got colder I haven't managed to keep doing it)
✅ Exercise daily
🤔 Continue to learn the guitar (like running, I haven't managed to keep this part of my routine for the entire year)
🤷♀️ Read not only business/educational book — big miss on this since I have almost only read blog posts & newsletters.
✅ Don’t feel bad about taking time off or playing video games — now I can do it part of my EPG stream!
✅ Regularly keep in touch with people I’ve met over the past years and continue to meet new people
🤔 Organise weekends outside of London. This year I've been to SF and Bristol only but I want to explore more in 2020 for sure!
Now for 2020
I don't want to set too many new goals but keep the good habits I've set and fill the few gaps from last year.
- Be successful in my new role, which means help startups get access to funding!
- Do more public speaking and mentoring
- Continue attending startup and tech events
- Keep developing my network of VCs, founders and innovators
- Highlight the work of other content creators, community builders and good folks doing amazing things!
- Grow Entrepreneurs Playing Games
- Walk to work every day (and listen to podcasts on the way!)
- Get back to running this Spring
- Keep geeking out and learn new tech skills (I especially want to build my own news aggregator app to keep up to date with the industry of my young stealth startup)
- Organise at least 3 weekends outside of London
- Find the time every week to practice and improve my guitar skills
It took me a while to write this post, but here it is eventually!