The focus of the last week was preparing our startups to fundraise.
We started by holding a workshop, led by our director, Nio Liyanage, to start the process of optimizing each startup's fundraising strategy.
How much funding should you raise?
Why are you raising it?
What will the funding be used for?
These are all important questions to carefully consider before approaching any investors.
Representing the Hong Kong ecosystem in Macau
Last weekend, Betatron was in Macau, with Nio Liyanage, speaking at the 'Macau International Startup Week'.
Nio commented, "It was Betatron's honour to represent Hong Kong and the investor community in being the speaker on accelerators, incubators, and early-stage investment. The Macau startup scene is nascent but the obvious energy and curiosity showed at this conference show signs of a bright future ahead - and one that Betatron has every intention to be part of."
Casey Lau visits our startups and shares his experience
Casey is one of the early pioneers of the Hong Kong startup scene, so it was a pleasure to invite him in to share his knowledge with our startups.
From building StartupsHK, to helping RISE become Asia's biggest startup conference, to working with several accelerators around the world, Casey shared some valuable geographical expansion tips he's learned over the years, connecting different ecosystems together.
How to keep potential investors updated?
If you're trying to raise funding for your startup, but finding it difficult, have a think about how often you're keeping prospects regularly updated on your progress.
You'll never be able to close an investor during the first meeting. Yet, so many founders meet an investor once, and then never follow up effectively, if at all.
It doesn't have to be complicated, either.
Get into the habit of sending a monthly update to prospective investors, advisors, and mentors.
If you pitch an investor and they say no, don't give up.
Instead, ask them, "Would it be ok if I send you a quick update every month on how we're progressing?"
(Almost everyone will say yes to this request if you ask politely enough.)
Investors' positions change all the time. Maybe they'll raise additional funds. Maybe they'll have an exit and have extra cash to play with.
What you mustn't do is lose contact and forget to keep them regularly updated.
Keep adding interesting people you meet to this private mailing list.
Focus on being honest, transparent and keep the content brief.
Here's a simple layout you can use.
1. Explain how you're doing this month (Sales, Team, Product Development, etc.)
2. Plans for next month
3. Traction (KPIs)
4. How people can help you (What challenges are you facing? Do you need introductions to potential clients? Looking for new hires?)
An example is below...
Don't ask for money at the end.
Just explain how you're doing and that you're there if they have any questions.
It's not going to work every time, but it's a habit which can stand you out from the crowd by stay on an investor's radar in a respectful and strategic way.
It's an important habit to build. As once you receive funding, you're going to have to send a monthly update to your investors, anyway!
One of our startups from cohort 1, Pakpobox, are continuing to make fantastic progress.
They recently shared their insights on parcel lockers trends in Asia at the 'Asia Pacific Postal Forum' together with other key industry played like Amazon and Lalamove.
What's next for Betatron?
Demo Day: Preparations are well underway for cohort 2's demo day. Once the final details are confirmed, I'll send out details on how to apply for a ticket. It should be held during the week commencing 22nd January 2018.
Cohort 3: Applications for our next cohort are scheduled to open at the start of next year on January 3rd, 2018. We're in the process of finalizing all the program details for cohort 3, which we'll be announcing shortly.
Got any questions about our startups, demo day, or our plans for cohort 3?
Reach out and let me know!