Monday, October 24, 2011

What I learned from StartupMalaysia: Silicon Valley come to Malaysia

I better write these down before my memory fades me again.

  1. There are almost 1000 start-ups in Malaysia, which is really cool (we are not alone); some had gone as far as Silicon Valley to get funding, and some even make Millions (it would be nice if we know who are they, and what they do).
  2. I had read that Silicon Valley investors look into team, product/demo, traction and social proof (be exceptional in one of these) and throw business idea and proposal away; I have the opportunity to experience some of the processes and found that to be TRUE. Sadly, that’s not the case for Malaysia Investors (at least not so for Government Grant).
  3. Investors look for really either really smart people who can rewrite the rule (not just incremental enhancement), never say die or inspire. – Saad Khan, CMEA
  4. In pitching, we need to tell a story. But what is a story? Your experience and hardship? You experience the pain which you are trying to solve? 
  5. If there is a high failure rate with entrepreneurship, there is an even higher failure rate in securing funding. Besides team, product and tractions; pitching is still an emotional sale (admitted by Naval Ravikant of AngelList), which means they won’t invest if they don’t like you. Sometimes people are looking for Apple (the fruit) and you just can’t sell them Orange. So keep trying until you find someone interested in Orange, and then you get the real feedbacks from them. Not all investors are equally experience or brilliant as well.
  6. Code is Power; then again there are many good coders out there. I believe code is the basis, but there is more to be done on top of it.
  7. There is no magic formula: how do YouTube or LinkedIn gain traction? Continuous tweaking, iterations, trial and error, trying something new and measure the results, understand your potential business model and customers, until you get it right.

I believe StartupMalaysia (and Silicon Valley come to Malaysia) is awesome because
  1. It’s the first time I ran out of Business Cards (which is a good sign); so the networking really works here without the need to be a PR expert, and we get to meet many entrepreneurs and gotten linked up as a community.
  2. We get the chance to have dialogues with some real silicon valley people, thus giving us a better perspective in terms of i) is our product really good, or jaguh kampong only ii) what these people are looking for iii) how do we bring it to the next level.
  3. Some acknowledge and recognition given by budding entrepreneurs about MalaysiaMostWated is pretty comforting :)
  4. And the Startup Experience boot camp: learning how to survive as a team and opportunity to know a few budding entrepreneurs closer.


Anonymous said...

Wow, your team won the first place in Startup Experience Malaysia 2011. Congratulation.

d_luaz said...

Thanks, we have a good team :)