Leadership & Performance in Deep Tech Startups – 3 things to make 2024 count

Deep Tech and the world of Venture Capital have known this for long: evaluating risk, opportunity, and long-term impact well can make a massive difference. Learning from successful leaders in this space – cutting out the noise and establishing what really matters – will pay off. Nobody said it was easy though.
So where does this leave leaders in 2024?


The past decade presented huge amounts of change. Inflation. Financial crisis. Military conflicts. Unstable political leadership. Brexit. Changing weather and climate. Pandemic…

Every time one of them had passed, the world relaxed and thought (hoped) everything was under control… until the next big thing appeared out of nowhere.

Change can be unsettling. It ignites a fight, flee, or freeze mode in people which narrows down mental agility and distracts from sustainable performance. What is often forgotten during times of change are the factors that remain stable and the opportunities that come with change. While leaders in large enterprises feel the challenges, the pressures facing the VC-backed Founder or CEO are intense:

  • Keeping calm whilst balancing the cash runway with critical need for growth
  • Managing the complexities of multiple investors – each with different agendas and levels of dry powder
  • Seeing through the fog of volatility at the long-term macro challenges
  • Keeping an often young team motivated – who have seen nothing like the current global volatility

What does that mean for 2024?

No doubt, surprises will happen. How much better could we navigate it if the approach would be:

  • Rather than trying to worry and solve the world’s problems yourself, ask: who is an expert in that field that I can quickly activate to assess my situation (pandemic = medical professionals or inflation = investment professionals, etc)? Or
  • What does not change? and
  • What is the specific opportunity here and now?


Performance, or the art of doing something exceptionally well. Often mistaken for “What can I do more of?” However, there is a limit to things we can add to our to-do-lists. The new year will bring new opportunities, new challenges, and surely higher demands than ever before.

What does that mean for 2024?

How much better could we be if we did more of the things that matter? As a result, the key question is: What do I need to do LESS of – to have more time for what matters?


Leadership does not only sit with the loudest or those who run the show. Leadership means listening to someone until they finish their sentence. Leadership means asking a question instead of telling a story. Leadership means to critique the facts and not the person.

What does that mean for 2024?

When someone comes to you with a problem, ask one more question than you were planning to.

And why this is even more important in venture capital and fast-growing places?

All this will support smarter focus, better decisions, and long-term performance. What is there not to like?!

Ulrich Seega, Venture Partner at EMV Capital, is an expert in finding, assessing, and coaching talent. He’s worked in the UK and internationally with CEOs, Boards, and their teams across a range of sectors. Ulrich has hired and advised leadership teams internationally, ranging from start-ups to the FTSE 100. Ulrich is working with EMV Capital and its portfolio companies to enhance outstanding corporate performance through excellence in talent.

#Talent #VCS #ValueCreationServices  

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