After almost four years as Head of People, Operations & Finance at Bundl, my initial amazement with the drive and dedication of our Rockstar team hasn’t faded. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of it has been replaced with a (healthy?) level of stress about finding the next top talent to keep us growing.
Although our team has expanded considerably during the last years, our growing number of returning customers and new international clients are forcing us to scale our recruitment efforts quicker than even we had foreseen. Last year alone, we had over 441 applications for our various open positions. Our applicants often have years of experience in Management, Consulting, Design, or Leadership positions at corporations, combined with impressive academic degrees.
At Bundl, we set a very high bar for becoming a Venture Builder. Only the very best make it past the initial recruitment stages, and of those, only about 2% pass our “1
Day Challenge”. During the challenge, candidates are invited to join us at the office for a day and showcase their “superpowers” as venture builders.
What makes our Corporate Venture Builders so special?
The way we build corporate startups at Bundl requires a combination of skills that are linked to the four stages we go through with our customers:
The discover phase here at Bundl involves helping our clients identify new growth opportunities, develop new venture concepts and validate their level of potential.
To successfully go from scratch to a validated value proposition pitch, our teams need to have the ability to plan, prepare, execute, and follow up on ideation sprints. At the same time, they need to be capable of:
- Building close relationships with key stakeholders
- Creating a strong business case
- Successfully pitching concepts to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members
- Unlock the funding they need to move projects forward
The pilot phase involves developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to prove you can acquire and retain paying customers in the leanest way possible. To make this happen, our Venture Builders need to have some basic graphic design capabilities as well as a few coding tricks up their sleeve. Though during this stage, they’ll have a lot of support from the Bundl branding and design team.
Besides pitching and validating cool and awesome-looking concepts, our goal is primarily to build profitable ventures for corporations. Another essential skill we require from all of our venture builders is the ability to build financial business models and long-term growth plans. Some of our team members learned these skills at previous work experiences in management, consulting or auditing, and others mastered these during MBA courses.
Once the Leadership Team (LT) of our corporate customer approves funding, we go into the actual launch stage. This involves acquiring new customers, running the new business and building a Beta product based on the validated MVP.
The skill of launching a startup and overcoming all the initial hurdles is not something people usually learn at university. Most of our venture builders already launched a few startups before joining Bundl, making them familiar with the pitfalls and challenges that come with the experience. They ensure long-term success by building strong sales, marketing, and operational structures and recruiting the best possible teams to fill the necessary positions.
The accelerate phase involves scaling business operations, using data to expand an offering and automated marketing.
Bundl venture builders need to be able to create exponential growth, increase customer loyalty, and build a thriving ecosystem for long term sustainability.
How do we find these Venture Builders?
Killer workshop techniques, skills in prototyping and MVP building, a robust financial background AND the ability to run a startup - that all sounds too good to be true. Do these people even exist?
Absolutely! And we’ve got some of them working with us right here at Bundl. Let me introduce you to some of our venture builders:
Hanne De Bauw - Senior Venture Builder at Bundl - 6 years
Hanne has Master’s degrees in both Product Development and Marketing Management. She has over a decade of experience as an innovation consultant and, more recently, as a venture builder here at Bundl.
Arthur Le Boudec - Venture Builder at Bundl - 1 year
Arthur has a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Marketing Management. He has several years of experience building corporate Ventures, developing marketing and business strategies and helping companies create video strategies.
Thomas Brady - Venture Builder at Bundl - 8 months
Thomas has a B.B.A in Entrepreneurship and International Affairs from Florida State University. Since then, he’s held the position of CEO for Moolaguides.com, managed a tech accelerator, and worked as an innovation consultant for various Fortune 1000 companies.
What makes them join and stay?
Many of our venture builders love diversity, independence, and having the freedom to choose their projects. That’s often the reason why they’ve built such a broad skill set, rather than focusing solely on one or two fields. To embrace this, we’ve created a unique “Entrepreneur Model” for our venture builders, enabling them to manage the ventures they work on from A to Z.
Our venture builders manage their own budgets, teams and planning - with incentives to deliver outstanding work, maximise customer satisfaction and ventures that succeed.
“Work hard, have fun and make history.”
- Jeff Bezos
The second reason our venture builders love our team is exactly what Jeff Bezos has stated. At Bundl, you can work on a variety of ventures, like the VR project we did with Telenet. We’ve also worked with some of the largest retailers in Benelux around The Future of Retail.
Best of all, while making history, we also make time for the team to have fun, like our “Funky Fridays”, when we stop work at 4 p.m. to celebrate the start of the weekend as a team. We’ve also found new and creative ways to spend time together during the Covid pandemic, with activities like:
- Bundl cooks - where Bundlers host remote cooking sessions with the rest of the team.
- Virtual coffee breaks - where we have random virtual chats throughout the day.
- Unbundling - where our venture builders share innovation insights with the whole company.
Each of the unique elements described in this article come together to create an environment where talent, entrepreneurship and passion not only grows but thrives - and the stuff that makes our venture builders some of the best in the business.
We’ve turned our experience recruiting top entrepreneurial talent into a service for corporates looking to hire innovation leaders. We can help you find the right people for your next project.