AccelerateOTT: Going for Growth – 10 Things Every Founder Should Know About Growth But We Don’t Talk About

Posted in AccelerateOTT, Blog
By: Invest Ottawa | Jun 22, 2018

This blog is part of our AccelerateOTT: Scale or Fail Speaker Series. View the full series here


Saalim Chowdhury, Partner, 500 Startups (UK)

Speaker: Saalim Chowdhury, Partner, 500 Startups (UK)

Title: Going for Growth – 10 Things Every Founder Should Know About Growth But We Don’t Talk About

Keynote speaker Saalim Chowdhury, Partner at 500 Startups, took to the stage at AccelerateOTT to deliver Going for Growth: 10 Things Every Founder Should Know About Growth but We Don’t Talk About. What he really shared were lessons he learnt the hard way. After Saalim slapped the Scale or Fail audience with the honesty stick, we selected five top takeaways from his talk. Here they are:  

  1. Be humble and be willing to learn; the best founders call you up and say “what did I do wrong? Please help me do better.”
  2. Data is based on customers and as a founder, you are a servant to your customers. Learn what your customers are doing through data and serve their needs. And remember to ask yourself, “Who buys men’s underwear? Men or women?”
  3. Keep your metrics limited and standard for your business. You can’t possibly process all the information you can collect. Focus on what’s important for you and your company and move forward.
  4. Don’t be ahead of where you are.
  5. Don’t be the founder ostrich putting your head in the sand because you’re uncomfortable. If you’re a developer don’t just code – force yourself to meet people, cast your net wide and build your network. From Ottawa’s entrepreneurial community, thank you Saalim!

Following his talk, Saalim took the time to sit with Techopia, who had a backstage pass at AccelerateOTT. Together they discussed the crucial difference between the companies who land a Series B funding and fail vs the companies who land a Series B funding and scale:

From Ottawa’s entrepreneurial community, thank you Saalim!


AccelerateOTT brings together the city’s innovators, creators and inventors. Work in tech? Starting a business? Just want to dip your toes in the proverbial entrepreneurial waters? You’ll be surrounded by founders, mentors and venture capitalists (some from as far as Silicon Valley) providing strategic and sage advice.

Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has ignited the Accelerate series in Ottawa, providing a conference that truly fuels the entrepreneurial fire. The day is packed with world-class speakers, power networking breaks and an epic after party!

Stay on top of all the latest AccelerateOTT and Invest Ottawa news by subscribing to our newsletter, or by visiting our website, www.accelerateott.ca

Back to Blog