James GreenOct 23, 2023
Finding Great Founders
A Conversation with James Green
New Books Network 2023
Richard and Kimon speak with James Green, one of the co-founders of DQ Ventures, a company that assists experienced professionals launch their own businesses. Originally hailing from Northampton, England, James now lives in Sweden.
During his earlier years, James didn't show much interest in business; his passions lay in art and writing. However, as he got older, he realized that entrepreneurship was a fantastic way to express his creativity.
Following his college education, he rose to the role of managing director at a creative agency in the UK. However, in 2009, at the age of 33, he decided to become an angel investor. While he did have some successful investments, he gained his most valuable lessons from a failed venture that cost him $2 million. This setback taught him crucial insights about what not to do in business.
James now advises against three key pitfalls: (1) getting carried away with one's own success, (2) building a product before understanding the market demand, and (3) failing to network and learn from others in the industry. Overcoming these challenges made James a more thoughtful investor and entrepreneur.
With DQ Ventures, James and his partners follow a strategic approach to launching new businesses. They start by identifying a product that people want to buy before creating it. Once they find the right partner, they work together to refine a compelling business idea.
Once the entrepreneurial journey begins, they develop a solid business plan based on thorough market research and other methods. James emphasizes the importance of scrutinizing the idea and pinpointing the first ten potential customers. They then seek out these customers, gather feedback, and integrate it into the product development process.
During the initial year of supporting the entrepreneur, DQ Ventures provides starting capital and incubation services. If the business shows promise after this period, DQ leads a seed funding round, and the entrepreneurial partner is expected to leave their current job and work on the venture full-time. At the moment, DQ Ventures is involved with 13 companies, six of which have secured seed funding.
In his day-to-day role, James serves as the co-founder for around a dozen companies, taking on various tasks, from conducting user interviews to raising funds. Additionally, DQ Ventures has developed educational modules to guide founders through the entrepreneurial journey.
Towards the end of the interview, James, Kimon, and Richard emphasize the significance of finding excellent mentors and connecting with individuals who can provide valuable insights on running a successful business.
James Green is co-founder of DQ Ventures.
DQventures de-risks entrepreneurship for professionals who want to start their own business.