How to cook a unicorn - three founders dish the recipe

Joining us in Brussels on May 17th, bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam, Aircall co-founder and CEO Olivier Pailhes, and Deliverect CEO and co-founder Zhong Xu are slated to reveal the recipe for unicorn success. Or not.
How to cook a unicorn - three founders dish the recipe

In less than three weeks’ time, we’ll be hosting the Summit in Brussels. Ours may or may not be the first event you’ve been to since the great pause, but in terms of content on offer, it will be the best.

The lineup of speakers Mr. Wauters has assembled is nothing short of extraordinary, all chomping at the bit to share volumes of newfound knowledge and lessons learned. 

Perhaps even more telling, from the exchanges I’ve personally had with a number of our speakers, the greatest common denominator revolves around meeting people again. Not from behind a webcam, not in their slippers, but live-and-in-person, where a hand can be shaken, a coffee or a beer shared, and real connections established. 

I couldn’t agree more.

I wouldn’t want to say that I’ve managed to secure moderating the best session of the day, but I’ve managed to secure moderating the best session of the day: Cooking with unicorns: A recipe for the secret sauce.

Every founder sets out to address a significant problem, provide a missing link, and build a better mousetrap, but as we all know, the journey from zero to hero is often fraught with perils and pitfalls.

From idea to execution to financing to scaling to a billion-dollar-plus valuation, I’m sitting down with three leaders that have poured blood, sweat, and tears into their companies, and are ready to trade a few war stories and share their own unique recipe for success.

Ali Niknam

I’ll be talking to serial entrepreneur and unicorn neo-bank bunq founder Ali Niknam asking if setting up his first company at the age of 16 set the stage for later successes? I’m also interested to hear his thoughts on M&A activities and how they factor into rising to the top of the pile; and, last but certainly not least, just how does one go about bootstrapping a neobank from zero to unicorn? Because I want one too.

I might have a few ‘others’ up my sleeve, but you’ll have to be in Brussels to be in on it.

Olivier Pailhes

Across the table, we’ve got Aircall co-founder and CEO Olivier Pailhes, who had his eyes open wide enough to truly see the situation around him, and the foresight to execute an idea that’s transformed a 19th-century device on its way out into an essential business service. What were some of the biggest challenges in building a new system for an old system? How did he and his co-founders handle and manage the meteoric growth that the company has experienced in the past few years in particular?

I also want to know if Goldman Sachs really is as evil as they’re often portrayed in film and television.

Rounding out the roundtable, if we’re talking about getting the recipe for the secret sauce, perhaps there’s no better person to dish than Deliverect CEO and co-founder Zhong Xu.

Zhong Xu

An engineer at heart, for over a decade Xu has been building companies that provide the restaurant and hospitality industry with services all aimed at keeping both customer satisfaction and sales numbers high. How did Deliverect go about not only reacting to, but thriving, during the pandemic, and what do we need to know? What did they do differently from their competitors? What’s his secret to convincing a traditionally resistant-to-change industry to adopt his offers time and time again? 

I’m also wondering what’s up with Casper and does building from success to success guarantee another one?

It is my sincere hope that each of these founders presents a completely different version of how they’ve achieved their success because the one-size-fits-all rarely ever does. If all goes well, within 20 minutes (yikes!), you and I will both have some crucial takeaways that we can apply to our businesses today, tomorrow, and at the IPO.

But only if you’re joining us in Brussels on the 17th of May. See you there.

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