Why This English Investor Is Visiting the New Orleans Tech Community

Andrew J. Scott is a London-based serial entrepreneur as well as an investor, mentor, advisor, and a self-proclaimed wannabe film maker. He has founded a number of startups and is now running 7percent, a firm providing early-stage investment to tech startups that address billion dollar markets.

If you are wishing we had more people like Scott in New Orleans, you’re in luck. He arrived in town this week and will be here through Thursday to meet with the local startup community.

“With the New Orleans tech entrepreneurship community flourishing as it is, you can see why he’s coming down here,” shared Arianna Rehak, curator of New Orleans Startup Digest.

Scott knows what he’s looking for, and he’s excited to explore what the New Orleans startup community has to offer.

“We’re interested in startups which transform markets rather than just iterate them. Change is the prerequisite of disruption, and to monopolize a market, we believe you must fundamentally disrupt it, so change the value chain or remove someone from it.”

7percent is sector agnostic, but they don’t invest in areas they either don’t understand or where they cannot add value.

He said if he meets just one great company or founder, the visit will have been worthwhile. Scott is also hoping to connect with local angel investors and VCs to compare notes and see how they can collaborate.

“Some of the most interesting startups now come from the secondary or tertiary tech clusters. San Francisco, New York and London all support now large ecosystems, but we’ve found great companies in many places, from the Nordics, to Portugal, to Serbia,” Scott told Silicon Bayou News. “I’ve heard good things about New Orleans burgeoning tech scene and following in the footsteps of Collision Conference, I thought it was time I checked things out!”

When asked what the main thing he looks for in an investment is, he provided three:

  1. Your startup must doing something which is scalable enough in a large enough market for a future valuation of $1bn to be realistically possible. We realise most companies don’t become $1bn companies, but by solving a big enough problem in a big enough market, even if your company isn’t the next Google, you’re probably still going to have created an amazing company which is worth something from which you and all your supporters can benefit.
  2. You should have a story which explains why you believe it is true.
  3. You must have the ambition and drive to want to build such a business.

If he could tell local startups one piece of advice, it would be to focus. “Focus on doing one thing incredibly well, so that you can garner your first 10, 100, or 10,000 users or customers. From that you can then raise more money to more rapidly build your business. That one thing must be a painful enough problem that your solution has value.”

Scott also writes about entrepreneurship, the internet, tech startups, current affairs and personal commentary on his website.

Have a question for Scott? Comment below and I will ask him in our meeting tomorrow!