People of Landscape - David Levine, Founder of Stealth Startup, EIR at Enterprise City Accelerator and Founder/exCEO of DigitalBridge.

David is Founder of Stealth Startup, EIR at Enterprise City Accelerator and Founder/exCEO of DigitalBridge. He is currently based in Manchester.

How long have you been in your various roles?

I've been a Founder for 8 years and an advisor for 4 years.

What's your backstory. How did you come to be where you're at today?

I was previously the Global Head of Connected Car at Vodafone. I came home from travel one day and my wife asked if we could redecorate our lounge and showed me some sample wallpaper she had picked up. I couldn't envisage what that wallpaper would look like in our room and figured there was an opportunity. I started DigitalBridge to solve this same problem for home decor retailers. I raised over £3m in angel and institutional money and following my departure from the business I was free to get involved in a lot more startup advisory work and fund-raising that people had asked me to help with.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Highlight was signing a deal with the largest DIY retailer in the world after 3 years of believe, graft and travelling!

What has been the lowlight?

Losing that first key employee - having someone we never wanted to lose before.

How did you come across Landscape?

Investor accountability, behaviour and transparency is a big deal within the industry and my contacts within the local startup scene had flagged what Landscape were doing.

Biggest challenge right now/thing you need help on:

Getting startups to up their ambition. Too many business aspire to £5m ARR. They need to aspire to >£50m

What's the biggest mistake you’ve made so far and what did you learn from it?

Not identifying product management as senior C Suite hire. I’ve since realised that a product-led business needs very senior and experienced product management to be the voice of the customer in all internal decisions.

What piece of advice would you give to other people in similar roles to you?

Do due diligence on investors properly by looking at whether they are truly a good fit. Have they operated a business before? Do they understand what it takes? Are you interests aligned?

What is the most frustrating thing you find about the startup fundraising ecosystem?

Lack of transparency and accountability. There are too many investors whose interests do not align with startups or scaleups.

What you would like to see change in the startup fundraising ecosystem within the next 5 years?

Much more transparency and accountability that drives alignment. Startups understanding whether an investor is a good fit for them and the reasons why.



David is Founder of Stealth Startup, EIR at Enterprise City Accelerator and Founder/exCEO of DigitalBridge. His LinkedIn profile can be found here & his Twitter here. His email address is davidjblevine@gmail.com and he is happy to be contacted.

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