Now that all the paperwork is completed and our teams have been announced, I can finally write my first blog post on some of the happenings, learnings and progress over the first three weeks of our programme.
On Thursday nights, Betatron brings in various people from the startup community, as well as people directly associated with the programme, to talk about various aspects of startup life.
The first week I brought in Keith Rumjahn from Coachbase. My intention here (because all our teams have at least one local founder) was to show that a kid from Hong Kong can indeed turn their passion into a viable startup.
The next week I brought in Luke Grana, to show that Hong Kong-based companies can (and must) access global markets and can raise significant sums of money to do it!
And, last Thursday, Roland Yau, Managing Partner at CoCoon Ignite Ventures, came in to talk about startup due diligence.
In his talk he highlighted the four areas his company focuses on when evaluating investment in early-stage companies, specifically: 1) depth of understanding of the market/industry (including whether this is a real problem) 2) team 3) legal and 4) finance.
For this post I’m going to focus on just one of these four, number 2): team.
As Roland dove deeper into this topic it quickly became apparent this this wasn’t really about general team competence, intelligence, drive, education, etc. but on a single factor that needed to be understood … “why you?”.
Of all the people out there trying to solve this problem (and indeed, it’s unlikely you are the only one), why are you poised to succeed and not someone else?
While I can’t always take credit for the alignment of our weekly tasks and speaker topics, in this case it just happened to work out.
As “why you” or “tell me your story” was something each of the teams were tasked with communicating during our weekly cohort update session.
It is my opinion, that being able to tell a compelling story about why you’re doing, what you’re doing, is the most powerful tool startup founders have to sell their company.
If I accomplish nothing else, it is my hope that all our teams emerge from our programme able to communicate a story that connects with a potential investor, or perhaps that future key employee capable of taking their startup to the next level.
Remember, your story will remain in someone’s memory long after their memory of your projections, pitch deck or numbers will.
Charles LaCalle of Dreamit Ventures, wrote a great piece on Medium titled Storytelling for Startups, which includes a nice section on “elements of a great startup story”.
And just this month, Pixar will be helping others learn the secrets of great storytelling – for free, in partnership with online education provider Khan Academy.
I remember my grandfather was a great storyteller, so I assure you, this skill is one you’ll use in many ways for the rest of your life.
So, go forth young storytellers, and good luck!
About The Author