Mentors From Three Continents

Another great set of mentor visits recently, from Jochen Kleef and Tytus Michalski, both of whom also listened to Bootcamp member pitches and gave feedback.

Jochen gave a wide-ranging talk covering:

  • There’s a difference in what you can do in Hong Kong, where the environment is relatively open and changing quickly, and in other places like Silicon Valley, where there is more competition and an existing establishment. Take advantage of what Kong Kong offers.
  • Prepare to deal with founder issues before they happen through founder agreements because issues of this sort are common.
  • Understand the reasons people are involved with your business. Are they there for the same reasons as you?

Tytus gave feedback to the group after listening to everyone’s pitches, asking direct, tough questions, mostly focused on business model and what focus the startups should take in their work. In one case he even introduced an unexplored avenue for one of the startups to take based on a new piece of IP they developed for their app.

In the last few weeks we also had two visits from mentors who were visiting Hong Kong.

A mutual friend in New York introduced me to Alvin Tse, who is at Flipboard China. Alvin had three main points that he stressed would make it easier for startups to think through what they should work on:

  • Make something out of nothing — how can you create value and get more resources?
  • Is there a hard demand for your product? Is this problem worth solving?
  • Keep things simple. It’s more likely that you’ll improve your product by removing, not adding, features.

We even had a visit by Oussama Ammar, Entrepreneur in Residence at Le Camping, who spoke about his work with the French accelerator and differences from Silicon Valley.

At this point, the Bootcamp startups are getting ready for Demo Day — September 27th.

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