Participating in Startup boot camps and conferences can help you find the people and likely angel investors that you are looking for. However, while there are many advantages to participating in this type of events. There are certain rules of engagement that must be followed and I would be sharing some of the ones I have learned.
- Time is not your friend Except you plan to hand over your products to all participants, which I doubt. When your pitch is too long after a while it becomes really boring. Even in a business marketing presentation, experts always recommend keeping things very simple and precise. aLSO been consciousness of time, allows you can add only precise information you need into your presentations.
- Forgetting the problem you are trying to solve Every successful business idea or company had one problem they were planning to solve before their idea became popular or even their business made a profit. Be it Facebook which started as a free platform to connect with my friends (Although now I can’t control the advert). Every startup succeeded beyond incubation period because there was a problem they found and in return, they created a product or service that filled that void.
- Avoiding the sales pitch like plague You may think you are only trying to be polite when you refuse to sell during your sales pitch, however you got it all wrong. Sell! Sell !! Sell !!! said Richard Borek during one of the startup weekends I attended in October. There is no end to selling, and if at all you get all the funding you need, a big part of your budget would go into marketing and advertisement. During your pitch is the right time to sell your solutions.
- Yielding to the temptation of taking all the Glory Except you are a one-man team, which I doubt you are. Let the panel or investors know who your team members are. I have seen quite a number of founders sidelining their team members or co-founder. Just because you are the original idea owner, it does not give you the overall right to deny or ignore the effort of your team members. It is possible to be a good product manager, but I doubt if you alone can write all the code to deliver a world-class app like your colleague or better still good enough to cold call all your potential customers at the same time attend the investors’ dinner. Besides, it will give your customers and future client (you never know) an insight into how skilled and talented your team are, maybe a glimpse with a deep understanding of what you plan to achieve with the great team of yours.
Until next time, don’t give up your dreams ! they are valid.