Qualities of Entrepreneurs that Give them Unicorn-Founder Potential

By  Zainab Agha

February 26, 2022 9:00 pm EST

Prospective investors are always on the lookout for startups that are geared to become the next company that will be valued worth billions. While no one can say for sure what startup will definitely scale to unicorn level, there are patterns that are observed amongst founders that have gone on to achieve this. 

Some of the notable qualities amongst these founders are as follows. 

They are not Industry Experts But they Know What People Want

Having extensive and technical industry knowledge is a plus, but it is not everything. If you think a founder is a master of their craft, they may not necessarily understand what their demographic wants. 

As an app startup, the founder should be first and foremost focused on introducing a solution to the world. The brand, the marketing, and the internal decisions must all stem from what the app’s target market want, not what appeals to the entrepreneur.

They Utilize People Skills Within the Organization

People skills count for both when dealing with outside agencies, and the people that populate the founder’s company. 

If you create an environment that people come to love, it becomes that much easier to get talented people to come on board. When employees wake up every day looking forward to working at a startup, they will give beyond their one hundred percent. 

Investors and VCs already make a habit of evaluating how a founder inspires the people in their organization. The company culture built by the leader can speak volumes about their ability to attract and retain the right talent in the industry. As an early-stage startup, this will be evident in any great addition you may have made to your company. 

They Acknowledge Their Weaknesses

Knowing where you lack motivates you to find an external solution for it. By having a standard of skills that should be employed at your startup, you can realistically assess how much of an expert you are at each task. 

Great entrepreneurs are the ones who are always ready to learn, and the only way they can do that is by self-reflecting first. By displaying inquisitiveness and openness to ideas, they allow room for innovation. 

When trying to fill in the cracks of talent within the app startup, they will most likely analyze what skills complement their own leadership style too. 

They can Pitch Really Well

Selling your idea well is an art and if you have mastered it, your life just became a tad easier in getting collaborators on board, retaining the right people, and marketing to your demographic. 

The three-comma-club worthy founders should be able to create FOMO amongst professionals they want onboard and be able to impress others with their product when networking. 

Having all of the qualities listed above is super rare. Some of these qualities are built over time, such as negotiating like a pro in board rooms, and learning how to engage employees in a startup.


Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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