Growing Team

Written By Mara Ricci

From a team of three original founders the Swiss Startup Factory has been growing lately.  To hire more people has always been a topic, but only after a great structure has been chosen we decided to take the next step.

To begin in chronological order, let’s start with Kathrin. She’s responsible for the office management and makes sure it’s well structured and everyone feels at home. Business Analysts Justus and Benjamin have been working at Swiss Startup Factory since only one month. They’re doing a great job analyzing potential startups and their markets for the accelerator program as well as supporting Head Business Analyst Lucian. We’re glad he returned to Swiss Startup Factory after graduating from HSG with a MBA (Business Administration). Earlier this week, Carlos Nicoletti joined the SSUF. He will be leading our Corporate Consulting team. With a technical background and several years of industry and consulting experience, Carlos will be an asset to grow our footprint of innovation execution in the Swiss ecosystem with our Corporate Partnerships and Corporate Venturing programs. Furthermore, a company called Avaneo has it’s office at Swiss Startup Factory and takes care of accounting. They not only manage the SSUF’s, but also the in-house startups’ accounting and are of great value to our team.

How we manage a growing team: With the growth of our projects we got the chance to hire more people. This means more brains to get the Swiss Startup Factory further but also a new challenge of doing everyone justice. As the team gets bigger, the complexity in communication also grows, it gets harder to stay on the same page.

There is this tool we use, called Asana, that helps a great deal to always stay updated. It’s basically like our “holy grail”, most communication happens there. Every company has their own strategy to stay organized, whether it’s through a software tool or not. We discovered, that for us, Asana works quite well. You can create tasks and assign them to other team members. If necessary, multiple people can work on one task.

Other than that, it is very important to have face-to-face meetings. At least once a week we sit together in the meeting room for a session we call “weekly”. It’s set once a week, usually on mondays or wednesdays. Even if sometimes it’s only 20 minutes it’s important to have them. Every team member goes through their tasks and gets input by the rest of the team. It’s a great way to improve the outcome of a task by talking about it and getting inspired by others. Also, through the face-to-face interaction it’s possible to strengthen relationships and helps to prevent misunderstandings. During our time since the founding of Swiss Startup Factory we got the experience that such meetings help a lot.

Other than the weeklys the Swiss Startup Factory strengthens the team atmosphere with organizing frequent get-togethers. As an example, a get-together took place at the “Primitivo Sonnendeck” at the Limmat River. The whole Swiss Startup Factory was there as well as invited guests from the SSUF’s ecosystem like alumni startups, partners and mentors. During such events, startups and the SSUF team get to network with each other and especially with a growing team we can keep everyone together!