We are pleased to be able to announce that Slovak entrepreneur Viktor Fischer, late of McKinsey & Company, and co-founder of Innovatrics, an industry leading biometrics company, will join StartupYard as 2016’s Executive in Residence. Viktor will follow 2015’s Executive in Residence Phillip Staehelin, who pioneered the role for StartupYard.
Viktor Fischer has been an active StartupYard mentor and workshop leader for the past 3 years. Viktor recently left McKinsey to found an innovative new club in Prague, and to focus his attention on mentoring and investing in Startups. He joins the StartupYard team as our second Executive in Residence, following the tenure of Philip Staehelin in 2015.
What is an Executive in Residence?
We see the role of Executive in Residence as a vital role in the acceleration process. The Executive in Residence is a StartupYard team member who is not directly involved with promoting or running the StartupYard program, and is therefore free to focus their attention solely on the startup founders, helping them to get the most out of 3 intense months of acceleration.
Viktor will serve both as a model of an executive for the startups that join the accelerator, showing them how his decision making process works, and also a supportive member of each team, providing feedback and advice on an ongoing basis. His role will be to compliment and enhance the mentorship that teams will receive throughout the program, and help the startups to follow through on their goals.
Having a trusted, close advisor can keep startups focused, improve their confidence, and give them the necessary backup to take on tough decisions, avoding the underthinking or overthinking of problems. It can help founders to absorb critcism and feedback, without feeling judged or isolated in the process.
StartupYard Managing Director Cedric Maloux had this to say on Fischer’s appointment to the position:
“Following on Phillip Staehelin’s very persuasive proof of concept for this role for StartupYard 2015, we expect Viktor to be exactly the kind of experienced, hands-on leader our startups need. The Executive in Residence should be a communicator, an advisor, a mentor, and a general positive influence to keep our founders forward thinking and motivated during our program, and beyond.
Viktor is a hands-on, get-it-done leader, who knows how to listen and be a strengthening presence for others. That’s the kind of thing that our startups can emulate, and draw inspiration and confidence from. Startup founders need mentors they can rely on and trust to be honest with them, and to back them up. That’s what Viktor is going to excel at.”
On his appointment, Viktor stated:
“I’m impressed by the legacy that Philip and the team have created, and I am excited to take on the EiR role. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. The constant process of switching between big-picture thinking, and immediate urgency, requires ruthless prioritization, and the rollercoaster of good and not-so-good news requires nerves of steal, and an optimistic attitude.
Aside from helping startups bring structure and clarity on sorts of business issues (product/market fit, value proposition, pricing models, sales growth, raising capital), I will act as a moral support for “oh shit, what do I do next” moments. In addition, I will try to increase Startupyard’s reach and relevance internationally, bringing us closer to becoming the “Y-Combinator for CEE”.