Every founder knows that innovation requires getting the best out of a passionate team. For the European venture capital firm, Speedinvest, partnering with Pentalog was about helping busy CTOs deepen industry knowledge and connections.
That collaboration kicked off on January 25 with a private community session entitled The Ideal CTO, first edition of CTO Fundamentals, a multi-part training session delivered by Pentalog’s Chief Platform Officer Cornel Fatulescu. The session takes CTOs on a fictionalized journey of self-discovery where they can visualize their own growth.
For Speedinvest Community Manager Moblessing (Mobby) Mudzamiri, launching the series, which continues with three more remote sessions in March, is part and parcel of meeting the needs of her members.
“One of our founders noted that a CTO needed some help and asked for assistance. It turned out that other founders had a similar request,” Mudzamiri said. “At Speedinvest, one of the things we do for our founders is matchmaking, helping them access knowledge and connections in a safe space where it is OK to have questions.”
Speedinvest’s approach to early-stage investing
- Speedinvest focuses on European opportunities, typically committing a check of around €700k – €1.3 million in seed projects and up to €250k pre-seed.
- More than just the money, Speedinvest aims to support founders on a personal level and stand with them during the innovation journey.
Mudzamiri described this as the company’s “Platform+ approach” to ensuring that founders have access to the portfolio’s network of experienced investors, operational experts, and industry partners. This approach puts a premium on providing high-quality, actionable resources, recognizing that founders and CTOs don’t have time to waste.
Pentalog’s ability to provide on-point content of high-interest to her community made the difference to her decision to move forward with the collaboration. On top of that, she appreciated Pentalog’s ability to have a senior leader discuss practical, no non-nonsense topics which can be hard to learn about otherwise.
“I don’t want to be setting up events where we’re teaching something you can Google, otherwise we’re wasting everyone’s time,” she said.
Other partners supporting her events have included AWS and HubSpot.
Introducing Bob, the Ideal CTO
At the recent Pentalog event, Fatulescu explains how CTOs need to face the complexity of decision-making inside a framework, fostering organizations which are autonomous but also structured for success. For Fatulescu, who oversees not only Pentalog’s technology footprint but also the company’s IT services, continuous learning is Job #1.
The problem, he observes, is that there is no formal training for CTOs, who are often left to navigate the journey on their own.
“In 2012, there were only 2 books on Amazon that discussed the responsibilities of a CTO,” said Fatulescu. “In 2015, Bryan Helmig pointed out that many don’t know what a CTO was supposed to do. Last year, the number of CTO-related books on Amazon jumped to 10, so we see some progress in this direction.”
“Especially in start-ups,” Fatulescu added, “there is a big need to think about the person taking over your role at some point, you need to build things properly for those who will come after you. That’s not always obvious.”
For expert insights on collaboration and tech leadership, explore Pentalog’s collection of CTO resources.
What’s next for the Speedinvest/Pentalog partnership?
After solid attendance and a round of positive feedback on the launch event, the education series continues with deeper discussion about CTO strategy, tactics, and self-improvement. These events will also only be open to Speedinvest companies.
“We had good success with our first event and look forward to the rest of the series,” Mudzamiri said. “We could imagine extending this series as far as the portfolio wants. They are the ones who decide what we do.”
For Pentalog, the Speedinvest project reflects the company’s longstanding commitment to supporting learning at all levels of the IT industry. The CTO program builds on decades of experience with technical assessments and customizes learning paths for new hires as well as long-term employees.
“We’re so proud to have earned the confidence of Speedinvest as a learning partner,” said Cosmina Trifan, Pentalog’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We’ll continue to make our leaders available to their startup community for as long as they find value.”
“The Speedinvest events fit with our larger strategy to leverage our knowledge and build relationships with founders and CTOs here in Europe and in the United States,” she added.
Speedinvest says its mission is to empower founders with game-changing support. To learn more about Speedinvest or to pitch your start-up, click here.
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