Lessons in growth from a successful serial entrepreneur


Manuel Grenacher founded Coresystems which was acquired by SAP and Mila which he sold to Swisscom. In an interview with Swisspreneur the software engineer stresses the importance of execution and gives specific hints and tips for example on how to build up a scalable ecosystem. In her blog post, Helena Hlas summarizes the most important advice.


Many companies invest all their energy into trying to perfect a product and not enough resources pushing its impact, forgetting that a business is successful through execution rather than the product alone. That’s why we spoke to Manuel Grenacher, founder and CEO at Coresystems, to get at the roots of growing and scaling a sustainable and successful business. 

Manuel spoke to us about the value of focusing on the channel, on building relationships with partners and most importantly building trust. Below we discuss what it takes for your startup to grow past the first funding round into a scalable ecosystem with a high valuation through building strong relationships and having foresight for the upcoming challenges.  

You can listen to the interview here:

The Scalable Ecosystem

The roots of the scalable ecosystem are your partners. Therefore, prioritizing scale means being present in building a diversified network, and investing your time into the partners to build trust. For example not being afraid of investing a full year on an international deal is a crucial element in B2B scaling. 


It’s invaluable to collaborate with the right partners who buy into your vision and who will scale with you. To ensure that potential partners see something in your business which ignites their desire to invest, spend time with them to effectively communicate a clear understanding of exactly how you want to be successful and why your product will come through and earn them cash. 

Note: B2B is often preferred in Switzerland because the market is quite small for B2C. However, if B2C is the case, then it’s recommended to partner very early with someone who already has millions of people in their customer base. 

Stay engaged 

The ideal model with some products could be that the partner does the sales process. Others may want to keep the sales process in their control but engage the partner to have them manage the delivery of the product, there, based on delivery outcomes you create the margin. Both models can serve a great deal in keeping valuable partners engaged in the project. 

Both parties having a clear vision of the milestones, adoption rates and vision for the customers will also play a key role in the growth. 

Common KPIs include: 

  • Costs
  • Annual Recurring Revenue (what is coming in based on service)
  • Churn rate (kept low, if its over 10% you won’t make it) 
  • Growth 30% year over year 
  • Market 

Your marketing represents the flower of your scalable ecosystem and in this metaphor, having a persona driven story to tell, even with niche products, is so important. You want people to latch on to the identity of the business and this is most effective with stories. In addition, getting recommended on any kind of “must have” list such as Gartner, can do wonders for your growth. This kind of funeling also highlights the value of partners who can make the deals for you once you’ve captured your audience.


As a CEO you’re guaranteed to face challenges along the way to growing your company. A number of articles out there can list up to 30 challenges you are bound to face but in our Swisspreneur database of experience, we wanted to keep it simple. When it comes to growth, remember the following:

  • The most important deal you make is the one you make with your employees, ensure to pay their salaries on time every month no matter what. Keep your people engaged with a healthy work culture saturated in trust. 
  • Fast growth increases overhead. Keep transparency and foresight with investors, know what money you will need and when. This preparedness increases engagement and integrity which plays an equal role in scale. 
  • Keep in mind that the bigger your company gets, the bigger the problems become. Don’t be afraid to hack your way through, whether it be through productivity tools or old fashion weekly meetings.

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