I am not in a good mood today. My fishes (just in case you don’t know I have a fish spa at home now) went missing. Long story. Actually they swam off through the pipe. Not so long apparently.
Anyway, let’s continue my story. Where was I? Oh, the sweet cab driver. So we were clearly so far off from where my hotel was and when he turned around the meter was at 40 dollars. He told me he will reset the metre when we reached Changi. I honestly felt bad for him but I knew it was not my fault. So I kept quite. So he reset when we reached the airport and by the time we reached the hotel it was at 11pm. The meter was at 6 dollars or so. As a I was fishing for my wallet, the cab driver told me; ‘no, you don’t have to pay me, I’ve wasted your time.’ I was shocked! If it was Malaysia, they’d make me pay double because I’ve wasted THEIR time (again, this is not to all taxi drivers. I’ve met plenty of nice taxi drivers back home too). But yeah, such excellent service! I didn’t catch his name but do know sir, you will always be remembered for your kindness.
What has the title got anything to do with this story? Oh, nothing. But during the meeting sessions with one of the banks, they asked who is the CEO and I extended my hand and said ‘hi, I am the CEO’. And let me remind you the person asking is the MD of a global bank and there I was, a small fly; claiming to be part of ‘the clan’. But as I was walking around the expo, I’ve met more CEOs than my entire one year of work! Oh well, such is the startup community I supposed.
But all in all, it was a very interesting and fruitful experience for us. Two days before we head off to Singapore, we received the rejection email from one of the accelerator programs the we’ve applied to and another rejection shortly followed the day after. It was a tough week but we took it positively and will take the feedback to progress forward.
The same weekend, S4D was selected to pitch for the semi finals of a competition where the winner will win some seed money and coaching in Hong Kong. It was the first pitching session for all three of us together. We were very nervous and one of the youngest amongst the 9 teams. It was an honor for a young startup like us to be part of that and we’ve learnt a lot from the feedback from the judges.
Every team was paired with a mentor and ours was so cool! We didn’t get to go to the finals but will definitely use the feedback to be better the next round of pitching. I can share some pointers here just in case some of you wish to work on a startup.
1. Keep the deck light
6-8 slides with a clear flow including what is the idea about, what problem are you solving, how big is your addressable market, who makes the team and last but not least; how do you make money. Oh, and where you are now (your current status and milestones you’ve achieved) to where you want your business to be (your vision and future plan).
2. Manage your time wisely
They don’t usually give you an hour to pitch. At most 4-6 mins. So pick key things from each slide to highlight. Don’t write essays in your slides. *cough*Yingteng*cough (Consultants and their slides, I tell you).
3. Know your audience
It doesn’t hurt to do a little (or a lot) stalking of your panel investors. Make sure you speak of what they want to hear. If the investor you are talking to are big on sustainability, for example then make sure you speak of that with regards to your business.
4. Speak with passion
When you pitch, the audience (even they are not investing in your idea) can feel the passion that you have for your idea. So if this is what you want to do, give it you all.
Hope you find the tips useful!