Aida Escribano-Ramallo​: »I am particularly excited about supporting female entrepreneurs in the healthcare and pharma industry«

Intriguing, informative, and inspiring! We present to you an engaging discussion with a true powerhouse in the financial industry, Aida Escribano-Ramallo. Learn how her extensive knowledge and experience have earned her the esteemed position of a Board Member at Britannia Financial Group Limited and the role of Chief Financial Officer in London, England. Now Aida is also a mentor at Labena Ventures, where she's laser-focused on empowering women entrepreneurs in the healthcare and pharma industry. Soak up her amazing objectives, game-changing strategies and insights on how to conquer the fundraising process. Learn about her perspective on an effective mentoring approach for early-stage startups. Oh, and did we mention she's got one crucial piece of advice for your startup? Yep, so read away and get ready for a compelling interview that delves into the world of startup mentoring and financial success and discipline, which is crucial for any business.​

1. What inspired you to become a mentor at Labena Ventures, and what do you hope to achieve through this role? OR What made you decide to become a mentor at Labena Ventures, and what do you hope to achieve through this role?

I decided to become a mentor at Labena Ventures for several reasons. Firstly, I was drawn to the program because it offers an equity-free model for entrepreneurs. This aligns with my belief in the power of mentorship and the importance of giving back to the entrepreneurial community. I am particularly excited about the prospect of attracting women entrepreneurs, as I would like to further support female entrepreneurs in the healthcare and pharma industry.

Additionally, Labena Ventures is proposing a program structure that, based on my prior experiences as a mentor, has a proven track record of success. It has demonstrated its ability to support and nurture startups, helping them grow and achieve their goals. This gave me confidence that my involvement as a mentor would be impactful and meaningful.

Through my role as a mentor at Labena Ventures, I have several key objectives that I hope to achieve. Firstly, I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the projects I mentor. By sharing my knowledge, experience, and insights, I aim to assist these startups in overcoming challenges and refining their strategies. Specifically, as a financial advisor, I will guide them in getting prepared to raise capital, but my support extends far beyond that.

As a financial business advisor, I will provide valuable assistance in various areas. This includes accounting, financial projections, budgeting, and conducting financial analysis. By leveraging my skill set and expertise, I am confident that I can contribute significantly to the success of the startups I mentor. Through offering holistic support, I strive to help them thrive not only in capital raising endeavors but also in their overall financial strategies and operations.

Furthermore, being a mentor at Labena Ventures provides an opportunity to expand my network in the region. This opens doors to potential investment opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships. By connecting with other mentors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts, I can broaden my professional connections and gain valuable insights from diverse perspectives.

Ultimately, my decision to become a mentor at Labena Ventures was driven by a desire to contribute to the growth of promising startups, support the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and foster meaningful connections within the industry.

2. How do you help startups navigate the fundraising process, and what advice would you give founders seeking an investment?

As a financial advisor and mentor, I offer valuable guidance and support to founders seeking investment. Here’s how I can assist:

• Investment Strategy: I work closely with founders to develop a solid investment strategy tailored to their specific needs and goals. This includes identifying the right funding sources, determining optimal funding amounts, and creating a compelling pitch for potential investors.

• Financial Planning: I assist founders in creating comprehensive financial plans that outline their projected financials, cash flow management, and revenue models. By providing insights and analysis, I help them present a clear and realistic financial picture to potential investors.

• Due Diligence Preparation: I guide founders through the due diligence process, helping them gather and organize the necessary documentation and financial information required by investors. This ensures a smooth and efficient due diligence process and enhances the startup’s credibility.

• Valuation and Negotiation: Leveraging my expertise in financial analysis and valuation, I provide guidance on how to determine the appropriate valuation for the startup and navigate negotiations with potential investors. I help founders secure favorable terms while maintaining a fair and attractive investment proposition.

• Pitch Preparation: I offer guidance on crafting an impactful and persuasive pitch deck that effectively communicates the startup’s value proposition, market potential, and growth strategy. I provide feedback, refine messaging, and help founders present their ideas confidently to potential investors.

3. How do you approach mentoring early-stage startups, and what specific strategies have you found effective?

When mentoring early-stage startups, my approach is focused around providing guidance, support, and tailored strategies to help them navigate the challenges they may face. Here are specific strategies I have found effective:

• Establish Trust and Rapport: Building a strong mentor-mentee relationship is crucial. I create an open and supportive environment where founders feel comfortable discussing their goals, aspirations, and concerns. By actively listening and empathizing, I foster trust and rapport, which forms the foundation for effective mentoring.

• Understand Unique Needs: Each startup has its own set of circumstances and challenges. I take the time to deeply understand the specific needs, goals, and vision of the founders. This enables me to provide personalized guidance and strategies that align with their unique situation.

• Set Clear Objectives: Together with the founders, we establish clear objectives and milestones to work towards. By setting achievable targets, we can track progress, stay focused, and celebrate achievements along the way. This ensures that the mentoring relationship remains purposeful and results-oriented.

• Provide Actionable Feedback: Constructive feedback is essential for growth. I offer timely and actionable feedback to founders, focusing on areas that need improvement and providing suggestions for enhancement. By offering specific recommendations and highlighting strengths, I help founders refine their strategies and approach.

4. What’s 1 thing you would advise every startup to do or consider AND what is 1 thing you would advise them to not do or avoid doing?

Advice to Consider: Prioritize Financial Planning and Analysis – It is crucial for every startup to prioritize financial planning and analysis from the early stages. Developing a robust financial plan that includes revenue projections, cash flow management, and expense forecasts is essential. Regularly analyzing and monitoring financial performance against these projections allows startups to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions based on financial data. This approach helps maintain financial stability, make strategic choices, and demonstrate fiscal responsibility to potential investors.

Advice to Avoid: Underestimating the Importance of Financial Management – Startups should avoid underestimating the significance of effective financial management. Prioritizing financial discipline, accurate record-keeping, and proactive financial decision-making is essential. Neglecting financial management can lead to cash flow problems, inadequate budgeting, and difficulties in attracting investors. By staying on top of financial matters, startups can make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and position themselves for long-term success.