The Hidden Ingredient Behind Thriving Startups: Insights from Jérôme Wittamer / Expon Capital and Kevin Muller / Passbolt

**[Title]** Fireside Conversation: What Motivates VC’s to Invest and Promising Signals from Startups | TechChill 2021


Join Jérôme Wittamer, Founding Partner at Expon Capital, and Kevin Muller, Founder & CEO at Passbolt, as they delve into the motivations behind VC investments and the signals that promise success in startups. This fireside conversation provides insights into the essential elements of a healthy board/founder relationship, with a focus on corporate governance. Discover the human factors that are crucial for fostering a strong partnership in the startup ecosystem.

This fireside conversation was a part of TechChill 2021, the leading Baltic tech and startup event held from May 7-21, 2021. TechChill brings together aspiring startups, international investors, innovative corporations, tech enthusiasts, and inspirational minds from around the world to share their stories and insights.

**[Keywords/Tags]** Fireside conversation, VC investments, promising signals, startup success, corporate governance, TechChill 2021

**[Full Transcript]**

Hi everyone! Welcome to this fireside conversation where we’ll be discussing the secrets behind successful startups and the role of corporate governance in creating or destroying value. I’m Kevin, co-founder and CEO of Passbolt, an open-source password manager designed for developers. Joining me is Jérôme, founder and partner at Expon Capital, a venture firm based in Luxembourg.

At Expon Capital, we invest in companies at various stages, from seed to series F. Our focus is on ambitious startups that have the potential to make a significant impact on society, as measured by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2021, we’ve seen a surge in the number of billion-euro unicorn companies entering the market. But what separates these unicorns from seed-stage startups? The answer lies in maturity and trust. Unicorns handle substantial funds and projects, which require a strong social currency built on trust. This trust is signaled through various means, including the people involved, the language used, and the processes implemented.

Growing from a seed stage to a unicorn is like the journey from kindergarten to university. It’s a process that requires time, experience, practice, and the right team. In startups, just like in football, having a group of talented individuals is not enough. It takes the right combination of players, coaches, coordinators, and strategists working together to achieve success.

That’s where governance comes into play. Good governance is essential for startups to reach their peak performance. However, it’s not as simple as just convening board meetings and putting on a show. Good governance is hard, and it comes with its challenges. CEOs face immense pressure and stress, as highlighted in books like “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. It’s a tough job, and support from each other is crucial.

Corporate governance, in a nutshell, is a framework that ensures proper control, stewardship, and leadership within a company. It provides tools and guidelines for maintaining transparency, accountability, and ethical practices. Effective corporate governance creates value and sets the foundation for long-term success.

Join us in this fireside conversation as we explore the complexities of VC investments, promising signals in startups, and the importance of corporate governance in the startup ecosystem. Learn from our experiences and gain insights to navigate the path to success.

Watch the full fireside conversation and join the discussion at TechChill 2021, the leading Baltic tech and startup event. Get inspired by aspiring startups, international investors, innovative corporations, and tech enthusiasts from around the world. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to share your stories and insights.


– [Expon Capital](
– [Passbolt](
– [TechChill 2021](
– [The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz](

This fireside gets behind what motivates VC’s to invest and what signals promises on the startup side. The fireside conversation paints a good picture on how a healthy board/founder relationship looks like, core concept of which is corporate governance. What are the human factors worth being aware of in this relationship?

🔵 Jérôme Wittamer, Founding Partner at Expon Capital
🔵 Kevin Muller, Founder & CEO at Passbolt

Fireside conversation was a part of TechChill 2021
TechChill is the leading Baltic tech and startup event, held May 7-21, 2021. The event brought together aspiring startups, international investors, innovative corporations, tech enthusiasts, and inspirational minds from around the world to share their stories and insights.

#TechChill2021 #Fireside #Success

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