Kenneth Ryan a jeho KPMG Startup Studio

  • KPMG a obzvlášť jeho managing partner Kenneth Ryan sa už dlhšiu dobu angažujú na slovenskej startupovej scéne. Podarilo sa nám spojiť s Kenom a spýtať sa ho na projekt KPMG Startup Studio, ktorý rozbehli práve na podporu slovenských startupov.
  • KPMG a obzvlášť jeho managing partner Kenneth Ryan sa už dlhšiu dobu angažujú na slovenskej startupovej scéne. Podarilo sa nám spojiť s Kenom a spýtať sa ho na projekt KPMG Startup Studio, ktorý rozbehli práve na podporu slovenských startupov.

Predstav nám ideu KPMG Studia, čo to vlastne je, za akým účelom to vzniklo a kto je jeho súčasťou? /Ken, introduce the idea behind The Startup Studio – What is it? Why was it created? Who is part of it?

The Startup Studio in itself is an internal innovation within KPMG in Slovakia. We embraced the idea of a long term investment into startup founders.  We refined our product offerings for the needs of startups and aligned our fee structure to startups’ commercial success.  

We have been working with big businesses all across the globe for over a century. We have seen our clients grow, adapt, transform and, at times, fail. We use our topic expertise, experience, contacts, and our network of experts at KPMG offices all around the globe to support Slovak startups and make sure founders are prepared to scale their businesses, raise funding, expand aboard and, when the time is right, exit in the most efficient manner possible.

Each startup’s needs are unique so we aim at making the support we provide completely tailor-made. A more detailed overview of expert areas our team covers is available here.



Aká je tvoja úloha v rámci Studia? /What is your role in The Startup Studio?

I created the idea and work with my team on a daily basis to deliver value to our clients – individual startups and their founders.


V akom štádiu sa musí startup nachádzať, aby vás mohol osloviť? – At what stage does a startup need to be to be able to approach The Startup Studio?

Some teams take time to grow, others find their way very quickly so it’s not about the stage of development. It’s about founder’s (or founders’) ambition, quality of the team, and a combined drive of all individuals involved. Of course, product and its potential count as well. We select startups where our expertise can bring true value-added for both startup’s and founder’s (or founders’) growth. 


Čo všetko môžu startupy v spolupráci s vami získať? – What could startups get via collaborating with you?

If a particular startup needs any knowledge we as KPMG have internally, we will make sure it is used in the most effective and efficient way possible. The range is pretty broad – overall, 3 areas are covered:

  1. Corporate set-up: for example, establishment of legal entities and preparation of shareholder agreements.
  2. Raising financing: analysis of founder’s options, valuation, investor deck structuring, investor negotiations, construction of financial models and corporate governance structuring. 
  3. Founders: business and leadership skill development, networking, personal tax structuring, mentoring.

This is just a basic overview – we are always available to meet and discuss whether our capacities can cover your startup’s needs.


Vedia sa Slovenské startupy orientovať, keď príde na lámanie chleba, teda komunikáciu s investormi a následný foundraising? – Can Slovak startups find their way when it comes to investor communication, fundraising, etc.?

Startups we are collaborating with seem to be doing just fine within this space :)


S koľkými startupmi v súčasnosti spolupracujete? – How many startup are you currently working with?

We currently have over 15 startups within The Startup Studio including AeroMobil, Datamolino, c2i, NextByte and TapHome.


Je ešte niekto, kto sa z veľkej štvorky venuje aj startupom? – Is there anyone else from Big 4 who works with startups?

The startup space is very interesting, exciting and promising for representatives of our industry.  Despite this, I am not aware of any programs similar to The Startup Studio in Slovakia.



Ktoré slovenské startupy maju podľa teba potenciál prekvapiť a urobiť dieru do sveta? –Which Slovak startups have a chance to really make it big globally?

We strongly believe in all startups part of The Startup Studio. Those we select to work with must have real potential to make it big at some stage. We are sure there are many other teams with significant opportunities – we look forward to meeting them.


Ako podľa teba vyzerá dobrý/úspešný startup? Je dôležitejšie mať dobrú myšlienku, byť na správnom mieste, alebo niečo iné? –How would you describe a “good/successful startup”? Is it important to have a good idea? To be at the right place? Something else?

Abilities of the management team are key. (1) The team must not only have the knowledge necessary for initial stages but should also have the capacity to work harder every day and learn faster (or at least as fast as) your startup has the capacity to grow. (2) Another important characteristic which should be present is the capacity to understand that there are things that you (as a founder) or your team don’t have to know to make it big. Take a look around – there are external experts and mentors who can provide essential support and thus allow your team to focus on things they are really good at. (3) Moreover, founders and their teams need to understand their limitations, foresee them and be prepared to cover potential gaps – without this it will be hard to make any startup sustainable. 


Čo ťa v živote inšpiruje?– What inspires you in life?

My Dad. In 1967 he had to make his own startup work to educate me and my siblings.  I would really like to see that my kids and all the kids part of the KPMG i-Kid program also find such a strong source of inspiration, motivation and endurance one day.

A quote. Jack Welch’s “When the rate of change on the outside is faster than inside, the end is near”. This is equally relevant for corporates, startups, investors, individuals…It is essential to keep the pace and, if possible, stay (at least) one step ahead.


Na záver si neodpustím moju obľúbenú otázku :). Čo pre teba znamená portál Startitup? – What is our portal to you?

With its great design it’s “a go to place” for some of the most important startup updates. I hope that one day it will grow into “the go to place” which covers all news within the startup space (and not only in Slovakia) :)  We at KPMG wish you good luck!


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