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CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy

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The Most Common Mistakes Made by Early Stage Entrepreneurs with Head of Operating Platform at Jump Capital Jason Felger

Photo-Jason Felger
Jason Felger

Episode Summary

Often, the most valuable insights into startup strategy and execution come from early-stage investors. For burgeoning entrepreneurs, having a chance to learn the ropes from a seasoned founder can be invaluable when it comes to guiding the company towards sustainable growth and longevity. In this episode, Michael sits down with someone who knows all about this. As the Head of Operating Platform at Jump Capital, Jason and his team work closely with founders to help them build and scale effectively in their formative years. During the episode, Jason explains how the firm’s overall mission is to invest in early stage companies, partnering with the founders early on in their journey of building the company so they can be with them throughout the entire lifecycle of the business. Jason shares some of the most common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs, how to establish effective growth expectations, and more key insights about startup life.

Episode Notes

Make the most of mistakes
When it comes to building a new company from the ground up, mistakes are inevitable. Instead of aiming to achieve the impossible task of avoiding mistakes altogether, Jason suggests learning to quickly pivot and learn from any missteps along the way. Having someone on your side who has been through the founder’s journey can also help you make fewer mistakes overall, while minimizing the impact of those you can’t avoid. 

Opt for sustainable growth
In the early stages of a company’s development, focusing on growth should be a key priority. However, Jason reminds us that prioritizing growth at all costs can lead to some pretty detrimental consequences in the long run. For new founders, Jason recommends avoiding unrealistic goals and instead focusing on smart, sustainable growth to ensure the company has longevity into the future.

Focus on people
Jason’s number one tip for entrepreneurs and early stage CEOs is to make people your top priority. In other words, if you hope to see your company flourish and succeed in the long run, it’s important to dedicate a significant chunk of your time to hiring and retaining top talent. Spending the extra time it takes to motivate, guide and communicate with your team to help them bring your vision to life will ultimately pay dividends for years to come.

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from startup to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Jason Felger

Jump Capital

Michael Hainsworth


CIBC Innovation Banking