Khazanah Neo Bootcamp

I believe that it is entirely impossible for a person to know everything about everything but if that person becomes an entrepreneur, he or she must at least try. I wanted to blog every day throughout the bootcamp to share all the learnings I was soaking up from the accelerators that run the bootcamp alongside Khazanah. Kononnya la. By the end of the day, I died. Mental exhaustion.

Anyway, Save4Dream (again, if you have no clue what this is, please send me the address to the rock that you’ve been living under and then head to our website. Oh but if you’re new to my blog, WELCOME!) got selected for the second round of the Khazanah Neo program. It is basically a competition hosted by Khazanah in partnership with leading accelerators (WTF (not what you think), 1337 Ventures and Code Army ) to select the top performing startups to give away free money. Yeayyy!

During the bootcamp, each of the accelerators shared some insights on key components to growing early-stage ventures. I think this could benefit any of you out there who are working on ideas that you think could spin off into a business someday.

1. Talk to your potential customers first. 

I know this sounds like a no-brainer but it is so easy to get sucked up into building something you think your customers need but there’s no way of finding out for sure until you engage with actual customers. I know it is nerve-wracking to approach random strangers to ask questions about your products but you have to do this. Also, there’s a way to ask questions so you don’t end up asking the “ugly baby” questions. It means asking the questions that give you a biased answer. I mean if you carry a baby as ask if he/she is cute, nobody in their right mind will say ‘no’. So how do you ask questions that can give you insights about your customers? Get creative.

2. “Not every solution has a problem and not every problem has a customer”

This basically means don’t start with a solution in mind and study whether the problem your business is solving is worth solving or not (ie: can make money and scale). To answer this you have to do the unglamorous research stuff. Google and think.

3. Know your numbers  

Investors don’t speak words, they speak numbers. So quantify everything to the dot. I suggest a monthly spreadsheet on all your revenue streams and expenses for 60 months. You can do more if you want. This helps you to maintain your cash flow.

4. Know your customers intimately 

Build a profile of your ideal customers. Understand their pain and need. Where do they hangout? What car do they drive? Which housing area they live in? What is their spending habit? What do they like and what annoys them? I am not saying you need to go out and stalk your users (please don’t do this) but having this profile is definitely very helpful especially when you’re trying to figure out how to reach out to them.

5. Track everything!

Let data drive your decisions. When I say data, don’t straight away freak out thinking you have to maintain a sophisticated system. You can use something as simple as Excel and Google analytics at first and then eventually move into something more automated. Monitor how your customers make the decision to buy from your website, where they drop out, where they stall, etc.

So yeah, those are some nuggets that I can share here without boring you all to death. If there’re specific areas you want more explanation on, just drop me a mail or comment below. I’m happy to share more 🙂

Wish us luck for the next round will ya? Thanks! *hugs and kisses*



Nadia Ismadi.

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