Alexey Dubov is a global entrepreneur who has started several companies. His latest venture has already raised tens of millions of dollars in capital, and has been establishing new construction standards.
During our time on the Dealmakers Show, Alexey Dubov shared his early start into entrepreneurship, some of the innovative products he has worked on, his approach to team building, and what it takes to raise capital for your startup.
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Alexey Dubov was born in Moscow, Russia. A beautiful city, where he says you can get a great education for free if you are willing to work very hard.
From an early age he proved to be adept in math and physics. He was consistently years ahead of others his age. He always set a very high bar for himself.
He enjoyed engineering, and specifically software engineering in addition to physics. He found opting to study Robotics and Complex Automation enabled him to stay challenged, and cover much more than other narrower programs.
Dubov launched his first startup while still in university, becoming the first entrepreneur in his family. He met someone willing to invest in good ideas, and found himself with access to great talent among his classmates. He even managed to sell that first company.
After college he jumped into traveling for business, and found himself between Russia, Singapore and Germany.
He has been involved in startups helping to distribute digital content before on-demand streaming was viable at scale, gaming, creating the first health friendly light bulbs, and smart clocks.
3D Printing & Mighty Buildings
Alexey’s latest startup venture is the culmination of the ideas and work of himself and his three co-founders Slava, Dmitry, and Sam.
Slava had already been connecting early stage hardware startups with capital. Dmitry already had experience in 3D printing.
The initial idea of 3D printing in construction was introduced by Dmitry.
They began by looking at why others in this space had so far failed to gain real traction and visibility. They honed in on the fact that printing structures wasn’t the main problem, but the regulations. So, instead of dodging this issue, they decided to engage that head on, early on. In fact, they got involved in developing a new construction standard, the UL 3401.
In early 2020 they delivered their first Mighty Buildings unit.
Mighty Buildings has two focuses. One is providing small homes and ADUs direct to consumers. The other is B2B to developers (mostly single family homes).
For developers, Alexey says their process greatly simplifies building assembly. Even for otherwise very complex interior and exterior shapes. That is coupled with great scalability, and using synthetic stone in place of traditional steel and other building materials.
Storytelling is everything which is something that Alexey Dubov was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Mighty Buildings alone has already raised $70M. Over the years Alexey has found himself pitching and raising capital all over the world, from Russia to Singapore and the United States.
Alexey points out that fundraising and what investors want has changed substantially over time, and is also often about the current business environment, perhaps more than any criteria set in stone.
What investors are looking for and want to fund is heavily influenced by the success stories they see happening out there in the market now, as well as popular trends.
They are also looking at what it means to be the top player in the space right now, how much your solution is able to improve things in an industry, and of course the feasibility of your plans.
For all early stage startups getting a yes from investors weighs heavily on their perception of the founding team. Specifically, their proven ability to execute, communicate, ask for help, and to adjust and adapt for the best interest of the business.
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Dubov says that the number one more critical skill for entrepreneurs is the ability to build a team.
At Mighty Buildings, he has already brought together 125 people. During the show, he pointed out several key factors in building a great and effective team.
That begins with creating a clear and readable format of the definition of your company culture. Then ensuring you as the leader are consistent in how you are communicating this to others.
In his specific experience, Alexey says he also chose to prioritize organizational and operational development.
Something that was needed to create a more efficient, supportive, and transparent operation.
He also says his approach is to have the mindset of being on the side of your team members and those you may be mentoring, not above them. A working relationship, and building a company is something you do together. As he explains it, “you share common goals. Your success is his success, and his successes and failures are your successes and failures too. It’s more about learning and being open to communication.”
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- Designing your organization
- His other innovative startups
- The two books Alexey says he wishes he would have read earlier