Diversity creates magic
The Family was born in Paris in 2012, when Alice, who was leading the 1st French accelerator, met Oussama, an entrepreneur & business angel from Lebanon. She was facing the limits of the local ecosystem: elitism and bureaucracy, and the lack of business mindset, ambition, and investors. Oussama was freshly back from San Francisco.
They felt the potential of mixing the best of both worlds: the know-how of Silicon Valley and the singularity of local talents following their own values.
Knowledge is power
The Family would bring education, tools and access to capital to all courageous founders willing to create game-changing, global and scalable companies.
But when your context isn't startup-friendly, you need to address more people, to include all key players, from corporates to public decision makers, speaking in their language. That's how Nicolas joined The Family, dedicating time in educating European economic leaders. In his newsletters 'European Straits' and 'Capital Call', you'll get a glimpse of his theses.
Ambition is a social construct, it's related to your culture. In some places, like SF or Tel Aviv for instance, founders are immersed in ambition.
The good news is that if it's cultural, it's something one can learn, train and build.
Being surrounded by highly motivated and skilled founders has been the most important aspect of raising ambition among our fellowship. Adding in the guidance of peers, that's how the magic has happened.
In the early days of a startup, what makes the big difference isn't the amount of money you spend, but the people you spend time with - cofounders, users, advisors and peers.
Great VCs & business angels can decide in a second to bet on a startup, so long as they see someone who's making the right decisions, showing traction or impressive execution.
No matter how much money they've raised before reaching market fit, startups need to stay small and execute. Their true allies are constant communication with the users, rapidly adapting their product, attention to detail and exceptional customer support. Only a small team of founders with a few early employees can create that intensity, defining what will become your company's culture.
Post-product-market-fit, you optimize for growth. The operations drive the pace, how fast you can hire, how fast knowledge compounds, how you keep engineering velocity.
The value of a community-based organization lies in its ability to generate authentic and intense exchanges among its fellows.
Trust, generosity and openness are the key components of an efficient support-system. It starts with the founding team itself. It's not obvious or natural to share contacts and knowledge, to really listen, it requires work and dedication.
Paying-it-forward has always been our #1 rule. We give before we know how we'll get it back. Among a small group of peers, that's how everyone can level-up faster, building long-term relationships, enabling new business opportunities and starting sincere friendships.