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Preparing for the Investor Meeting

Gautam Kumar Mentor & Advisor: SpringUp Capital Germany In this post, I would shed light on how to prepare for the investor meeting and how Spring Up evaluates so you can better prepare for your investor meeting. Getting a meeting with an investor all starts with your pitch deck. The objective of your pitch deck should not be to get a deal from an investor but to spark their interest to get a meeting with them. I always advise founders to have three pitch decks- one is the standard 10-15 slide deck that you send to investors, the second one is the deck that you present during events and the last is your 20-25 full slide deck with an appendix. Why the three decks? When you are presenting in front...

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Attracting Investors for your Startup

At each stage of its life cycle, a startup needs funding. No matter how great the idea is, its implementation requires certain resources, both financial and material. Thus, each startup gets to thinking how and where they can attract such resources. So, let's see what startups need and what they can do to get it. To begin with, each startup should decide what do they need more to get their business off the ground – money or assistance and support? Or both? More than the business model, investors invest in the entrepreneur, his passion, his risk appetite and a solid team backing the idea. They prefer investing in a B+ plan with an A+ team rather than an A+ plan with a B+ team. Get Your Idea Validated If an entrepreneur is able to translate his/her idea into a customer...

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Investing in Startups: An Alternate Asset Class

Investing in startups was historically reserved for just the uber-wealthy and those with very strong venture capital or angel investment connections. As a result, less than 0.1% of the U.S. currently invests in startup companies. But with change in the investment scenarios, thanks to the excellent exits from some of the large exits (All unicorn exits) investors are now able to get access to a broad assortment of early stage investment opportunities. More investors are now adding alternative assets to their traditional portfolios of stocks and bonds. There are compelling reasons why one must look for investment in startups; Overall Portfolio Diversification It is not advisable putting a large percentage of your savings in early stage investments because it's simply not prudent. However, allocating 5% of your overall portfolio into angel investments can increase returns while lowering volatility. This...

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Accelerators

Should your Startup/Scale-up Join an Accelerator

The tech startup accelerator industry is booming. Y Combinator implemented the first accelerator model in Cambridge more than a decade ago. Today, the industry consists of more than 400 accelerators around the globe, with Europe leading the pack. An accelerator is a rapid-growth environment packed with resources designed to take startups from adolescence to adulthood. Typically, accelerator members have a minimum viable product in place and are given special access to mentors, advisors, and funding opportunities. According to the Global Accelerator Report, more than 8,000 startups across five major regions — the United States and Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and Oceania — raised a whopping $191 million via accelerator programs in 2015. With so much cash available, many founders are wondering if now is the right time to join an accelerator program. Questions to Ask Before...

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Benefits of Networking in Startup

Business networking is something that can help you reach more clients, knowledge, and eventually attain business growth and increase the profits. It is normal and even an important part for business scaleup where people share their success and mistakes with other businessmen. And for getting new clients, growing your business and even understanding where not to go wrong or what to do to grow your business faster, you would need to start networking before you initiate your business plan. With this, you would be able to build a sustainable business. While startup entrepreneur works hard towards building a scalable business, from an idea stage; the journey is sometimes hard and bound to expect some failures on the path of the success. We will look at the different aspects mentioned above and see the larger impact of networking. Generation of Referrals This...

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How Covid-19 Has Impacted The Global Startup Ecosystem

Even though the global startup economy remains large, generating nearly $3 trillion in value, it is being battered by the Covid-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic erupted, the situation was far from ideal with inclusion remaining a fundamental challenge, value generation concentrated in a handful of cities and tech giants such as WeWork and Softbank faltering. The unexpected arrival of the coronavirus has now resulted in startups experiencing a drop in consumer demand and VC investment that have resulted in a wave of layoffs. That's according to the latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report from Startup Genome which states that the Covid-19 crisis could prove a "mass extinction event" for startups. In the first three months of the year, VC funding plunged 20% globally and 50% in China. Demand has also dropped like a rock for most new...

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Do we really need to invest in Startups?

Do we really need to invest in Startups?

In a lot of ways, the willingness for individuals to embark on the startup journey – whether it be as founders, team members or investors – is a willingness to believe in tomorrow. The very human motivators of fear and greed are inevitably intertwined into the decision to invest, but the return on investment can be much more than fiscal. Startups are hyper-innovators driven by crazy ambition and insight to charge into the unknown. Mature organisations of course have innovation agendas – whether they involve significant research and development budgets or corporate innovation frameworks – but often the core DNA of these cultures are missing. The fundamental alignment of the individual and the outcome means that it’s difficult to replicate the innovation pressure-cooker of a startup in a larger organisation, without that methodology being part of its...

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Leveraging Strengths via Corporate Innovation

Large corporations recognize the vast potential of working with startups, which has led to a boom in venture builders, venture clients, and corporate accelerators. These initiatives spur innovation, helping corporations innovate and evolve to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. According to Harvard Business Research, the number of corporate investments in startups tripled from 980 in 2013 to 2,795 in 2018, with their total value growing from $19 to $180 billion. Today, 75% of Fortune 100 companies have an internal venture capital arm, like a startup accelerator. Corporations can benefit from accelerators in 5 different ways: Launching a program quickly and cost-effectively: by partnering with accelerators, corporations can quickly enter the acceleration business and adopt best practices developed by accelerators over years of operation.Enhancing deal flow: by accessing an accelerator’s marketing power and network.Staying up to date: by having access to an accelerator’s...

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Do you need a mentor for Start-up Success?

Do you really need mentors? Business plan belongs to you, idea belongs to you, you know how to get this done? Your co-founder knows the technology; you have done market analysis. And you are confident of getting this scaled up. Then, why you need mentors? Or advisers? This is because, they've been there, done that and have seen it all. While there could be arguments that why entrepreneurs do not need mentors and rather follow their own instincts and gut feelings, most successful tech titans have founders who had mentors. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs. Jobs was mentored by Mike Markkula -- an early investor and executive at Apple. And Eric Schmidt mentored Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. Here is why I think start-ups need mentors in their journey: Valuable Experience...

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Building a Team

Successful Start-Up: Importance of building a team

I was in a conversation with a co-founder of technology startup and discussion was around how instrumental to have a supporting team; which will help build, scale a startup. Having a product idea, having VCs and product-market fit are crucial. Having a plan of attack on how to get your product to market is important as well.  With so many factors in this equation, which defines the success-failure of a start-up; how to work with this ever challenging environment?  A good place to start is with the people you surround yourself with.  A team which you can trust and which can challenge you, can take risk along with you, can extra mile with you and more importantly who can standby you when going gets tough. A...

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