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How fast can a unicorn grow?

How fast can a unicorn grow?2 min read
  • 07 November 2022
  • by UH News

To seek out the next “unicorns”, as companies valued at over $1 billion are known, the members of the Unicorn Hunters Circle of Money analyze multiple variables. In each episode, the jury is presented with innovators who have turned their idea into a business and are now eager to take the next step: to grow. Alex Konanykhin is a member of the jury and one of the creators of a business show that Forbes has described as “the most iconic in recent times". He focuses his analysis on each company's potential, and his biggest tools are the questions “when”, “how” and “how much”.

“Now, unicorns appear at a much higher pace, and investors recognize potential in companies early enough.” This comment of Konanykhin’s during the deliberations on the startup Vastmindz displays the eye of a trained investor but also highlights the importance of forecasting a company’s growth potential.

To obtain insights into how fast a company can grow, Konanykhin poses a wide range of questions. “Is the product already patented?”, “does the CEO have solid institutional and corporate contacts?”, are they taking steps to get the necessary approvals from the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration, whose approval is essential for the marketing of many products and services)?”

Towards “Tesla level”

These kinds of questions are accompanied by comments and recommendations on another crucial factor: scalability. This concept defines a company’s capacity to expand its business without losing quality or efficiency, and above all to increase its revenue exponentially while keeping the increase in costs more linear.

Considering this, Konanykhin doesn’t hesitate to encourage but also warn Allen Ruszkowki, the creator CVAC Systems . “To ensure the success of the investors that finance you, you will need to build a huge factory. Are you ready to scale your business from practically prototype level to ‘Tesla level’?”.

Global expansion is another indicator that Alex pays close attention to. When Mihir Shah , creator of IBreast Exam, says that his company plans to enter 10 markets (as diverse as Mexico, India, Oman and Botswana), he nods with satisfaction.

Having created Unicorn Hunters as a program that aims to democratize access to investment, Konanykhin empathizes with potential investors. This includes a recognition that people don’t all act in the same way. There are different approaches to investing. Some invest emotionally, others analytically, ” he says in the episode on Forte .

Konanykhin’s professional vision perfectly complements the views of the other members of the Circle of Money, who often focus on aspects such as real and potential marketing strategies ( Lance Bass ), finance ( Rosie Rios ), and an innovation’s overall impact from multiple angles ( Moe Vela ).