Augmented World Expo-2017 just got done and people are left with some old, some new and some innovative memories… We will see a lot of posts, updates, and images of products and companies that have made announcements and launches of their version “x” products… It is an exciting time for Augmented Reality and definitely an area to explore as we move forward…
The purpose of Conference?
Technology and display centers have always been a great attraction for years, these conferences help bring to light innovative or imitation-twister products that start-ups have been working on for some time. While some attend to understand and explore the emerging technology through the displayed products and services, some attend to enjoy these gadgets, some to invest & network and some to find new career opportunities. Overall these conferences are meet and explore places where the tech grows and shows its potential
Many believe that disrupt technology is the new way of exploring & innovating ideas, the gathering of these conferences is to expand your thinking, explore opportunities get motivated and build new connections…
Another takeaway is to understand and connect with the Investor world, that is the backbone of the future for any technology expansion or for start-up growth …
For an entrepreneur it is very critical to have those few minutes of direct interaction with the Investor to explain his/her idea and build some interest which could lead to funding… while this is a noble thought, the path to funding is not this direct, or this simple.
Being an entrepreneur and a strong supporter of the start-up ecosystem, I have seen both sides of the equation. As an entrepreneur, the eagerness to reach the investor and get the funding and as an interested individual evaluating the start-up’s pitches to understand where and who may be the right fit for funding…….
The Investor Panel -AWE 2017
The second day of AWE 2017, I was invited to be a panelist for the Investor round table, along with my co-panelists from Canvas Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Motorola Ventures, Comcast Ventures and Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM)-Netherlands and it was a wonderful opportunity to be on the stage with some of the great minds. It was also an opportunity to understand the thoughts and answer the questions of the now rising entrepreneurs. While for start-ups, all Investors are equal as long as they are willing to listen and invest, the world of investment has its own cycles and this was shared very beautifully by my co-panelists during the session
While there were a lot of questions about the industry, landscape, and sector, three questions that stuck my mind and felt interesting were:
1) Do you take cold calling?
The clear answer is “NO”, but the thought behind the answer is different. Just like a job portal that takes your resume online, there is less than 1% chance you hear back (sometimes you do), however for the same job you go through a referral and the chances of getting the first visibility is close to 90% and landing with a interview is equally high , in the Investor world the story flows in a similar pattern. Any idea that comes through a network or strong referral will get their day to present and the cold calling, well…..
2) The counter-intuitive Advice to start-ups?
This question gets thrown at me a lot of times and my sincere answer is: know your product, know your team and know your market. Missing any of these dots, you may go through a rough cycle
3) What are the red flags in AR/VR?
The red flags don’t just exist in AR & VR, they exist in all technology innovations. To me, there is two type of start-ups. One that innovates and is first to risk and the other who follow the idea and try to fine tune it. My advice is: if you are the latter type you will be entering the market with a competitor who has had the first footing and probably the first the Investors saw or heard from. If you are the latter type, you need to have patience and think deeper in bringing your USP to the light to get the traction you need and this could take time. If you are the former type, you have the advantage being the first to market, however, it still may not be that easy as you need to prove your idea
Overall the panel was amazing and the questions thrown at us were great , the biggest takeaway for the entrepreneurs from this session I feel was ” let us know what you need and how you will change the world with technology”, unless that is clear , it will be an uphill battle for the start-ups and a challenge for investors .
My recommendation to all start-ups- as technologies emerge we will see many more new and innovative ideas — believe in your dream, because only then you show the passion and depth of your ideas which have a higher chance of visibility and acknowledgment
“For those who believe in their ideas, will find a way to make it happen”…..
I am an Entrepreneur and an advisor to a few select start-ups( in AR, mobile, semi and AI) for more than a decade. My passion is helping start-ups restructure and get them back on the growth path. Currently, working with a consumer product company and looking to help more companies…