Andras Lacko, CEO & Co-founder of The Grit Company AG
Please tell us about The Grit Company
The Grit Company is a recruitment company fostering start-up growth one hire at a time. Since 2022 we have been the startup and SME recruitment specialists. We believe in an AI-based and human-empowered end-to-end recruitment solution to allow a seamless talent acquisition experience. Our solution allows our clients to recruit better, faster, and cheaper. We help them meet their ambitions and reach their growth targets.
Our team is composed of: Christian Wehrli (CTO and Co-founder), Daniel Heller (BoD, Angel Investor & Strategic Advisor), Claudio Staub (BoD, Angel investor and Strategic Advisor) and Dorothée Roessinger (HR Strategic Advisor).
Tell us more about your plans for 2024? What is your long-term vision?
We have just started a fundraising campaign and of course, hope/strive for a successful campaign! 2024 shall also see the birth of our proprietary recruitment tool and the growth of our team. We’ll also be laser-focused on our go-to-market activation and awareness-raising strategies. We’ve got a challenging but very interesting year ahead of us.
What has been the biggest success that you have achieved in your startup?
I am thankful and honoured to be able to count quite a few already. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the advisory, operational, and financial support of some early believers. Being a post-revenue startup is of course an amazing achievement, but what I am particularly proud of today, is that we are already helping startups to grow by matching them with the right talents. Last but not least, another great achievement is the constant validation of our WHY. Indeed, many stakeholders relate to the recruitment struggle experienced by startups, especially in these complicated times we are currently living in.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? What are your biggest learnings?
“Mens sans in corpore sano” which means a healthy mind in a healthy body. Being a startup founder you constantly think about your business. What could you do better or differently? How are you going to solve those issues? How are you going to find funds? What if it doesn’t work out? What will people think? There is enough material to quickly burn yourself out! At times, being a founder reminds me of when I was a competitive tennis player. Many parallels can be drawn, but what you constantly need whether you are an athlete, or a founder is grit. To have that thing in your guts that pushes you forward and keeps you seeing further than the challenges. Taking care of your physical and mental fitness is crucial if you want to make it. Once you are in it you have no choice whatever you do you got to move forward. You have no choice but to put in a lot of hours and it comes with lots of sacrifices. I am definitely paying more attention now than a year ago to finding the right balance between work and time off. You can’t be nonstop 120% you need to make sure you have enough fuel for when things get tough!
What motivates you to continue your business every day?
The thought of being able to help people and businesses is my primary motivation. The joy of a startup that is excited to onboard a new employee or the one of an individual landing a new job is contagious and an invaluable reward. Whatever happens over time, there was a moment you made many people happy, those directly concerned, but also many others indirectly involved.
Fellow startup founders, like my strategic advisor, are great sources of motivation. His experience and his successes are very motivating. Other fellow startup founders’ success is always a great push. Last but not least, GRIT, the essence of our brand, is also a motivation. When things are not easy, I often remind myself that I have the grit to overcome difficulties to motivate myself to just keep going. I try to think of times when things were tough and remember how I got through and then just tell myself if I have done it before, I can do it now too!
One piece of advice for someone who is just starting out with their startup?
Billie Jean King, the American tennis legend, LGBTQ+ activist, and above all one of the founders of the WTA Tour (Women’s Tennis Association) once told me when I was in New York for the US Open: Go For it! Since then, these three words have meant many different things to me but they were one of the codes I have been living by. At best comes success, at worst invaluable learning. Either way, you are evolving. And it even helps when times are tough, nothing lasts forever. Go for it has also helped me to trigger grit.
What does it mean to you to be a member of the Swiss Startup Association?
As a people-oriented person, it means a lot. It grants access to a network of like-minded founders and stakeholders and that is invaluable. I am a member of some other networks and they have always proven to be help- and resourceful. I look forward to the many networking opportunities within this new network. Professionally, for a recruitment startup like ours, it will eventually enable many collaborations and allow us to be part of, hopefully many, success stories. Who knows what other doors our membership will open, but I am excited to find out.
Would you recommend joining the Swiss Startup Association?
I think it is almost inevitable in the life of a startup, in Switzerland, not to be part of the Swiss Startup Association, but of course, each venture has its reasons to be or not to be part of it. In a way, I believe it is some kind of a success milestone to be part of it. It means and shows that you are indeed building something, and you take it seriously. Again, I believe it also provides amazing networking opportunities. Last, but not least, it creates a sense of belonging. Belonging to the exciting world of startups, founders, and visionaries.
Have you ever visited the events of the Swiss Startup Association?
Due to a busy agenda, I only attended last year’s Summer event in person, but participated in several online events and enjoyed them. I want to do a lot more physical event in 2024.
Is there anything that we haven’t asked you that you would like to share with the community?
We have a special campaign at the moment called Founder 2 Founders – recruitment stories where we interview founders about their recruitment experiences. It is a sit-down recorded interview and the goal is to share with the larger startup family everything about recruitment, success stories, best-practises, learnings, advice. We strive to do it in a low-key fun manner. The result is posted on various social media channels and networks. Thus, we can give startups visibility and it is the perfect occasion if something special is going on like a product launch, a fundraise, or anything else.