Bootcamp Mentors On How To Evaluate Business Opportunities

Startup Bootcamp has a great mix of mentors and we’ve already had a great series of visits.

Over the last two weeks we had a couple more: Dominic Chan, from Dark Horse Investment and a repeat visit from Steve Forte, this time with three people from his development team.

Dominic spoke about angel investing and how to talk to investors. A few interesting points he made during his visit included:

  • If you wait until everything is perfect, you’ll be too late. So get your product out to customers as a way to learn as soon as possible.
  • Combinations of subject matter expertise from one industry can help disrupt another, for example printing technology applied to medical testing.
  • Look at the size of the market when you think of where to focus your energy.
  • Asia is less forgiving of failure as places like Silicon Valley. That can dampen the willingness of people to take risks here, especially when it comes to startups.
  • Law firms in Hong Kong will not work on equity alone for a startup, while you can find law firms that do that in the US. Is there a market for doing this in Hong Kong that is not yet being exploited or does this just not work here?
  • But the above qualities noted about Asia are changing. Incubators are having some effect on that change, for example in Singapore.

Steve Forte and AbhishekDhananjay, and Lolith from Telerik came over to talk and demo their cross-platform mobile development and cloud SDK management service,Icenium.

Some points from their visit:

  • Be first in users’ minds and Create a new category (two concepts from “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”). Good advice for anyone working on a service that requires people to change their behavior in order for it to succeed.
  • There is a big difference in entrepreneurial thinking and managerial thinking. For example, the entrepreneurs will be comfortable pushing out something before it’s perfect in order to learn what works. Managers need stability and will be reluctant to release a new service until it is ready for the world to see. Both te entrepreneur and manager act based on how they are measured.
  • Look at the trends that will affect your business. For example, when YouTube was launched, there was limited access to smartphones with video cameras, widespread broadband and storage was still relatively expensive. Signs that all those factors would change made YouTube a good acquisition for Google.

Thanks again, Dominic and Steve!

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