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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ricarda Engelmeier

Why they growth story is not enough & start-ups need more empathy

It’s the Bits & Pretzels founders festival in Munich the next days and with 5,000 founders, investors, and industry leaders coming together at the festival, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet other startups and see what’s happening in the startup scene.

Only about 10% of startups survive beyond the first five years, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what the survivors are getting right and what the rest of us could learn from them.

At five years, you’re scaling up - out of the initial startup phase, you’re now building a sustainable business. Talking to people who have reached that point, I hear that the growth story of ‘let’s grow, grow, grow and all get rich’ doesn’t work anymore (I actually don’t know if it ever did, beyond making a lot of money for a few founders). Far more important is ensuring that the people who believed in your vision to begin with stay with you. And that you’re able to attract and retain the additional people that you need to grow your company. That means a SURPRISING MULTIDIMENSIONALITY in what you need to offer - not just financial reward, but also empathy, flexibility, motivation. People want to feel seen, understood and embraced. And a big part of that often blind spot is to talk about the family creation time and what this means for their role, for their fit in the company’s culture and their future options within the scale-up.

So empathy actually matters! and being parent-positive pays out! 

That’s why we have set up - just in time for the B&P - a package for start-ups who want to become parent friendly.

Check out: if you would like to know more. 

Looking forward to meeting you at Bits & Pretzels 2023!

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