Startup Funding Session by Founder Institute, held on 22nd June 2019 was attended by 45+ individuals. Attendees had the unique opportunity to interact with the speakers including Humayun Mazhar (Founder & CEO CresVentures), Omer Jawed Ghani (Founding Partner IdeaGist Pakistan) and Hamza Iftikhar (COO DealSmash, Founder Institute Graduate).
“Once you get an investment from outside,
there are some strings attached to it. You have to become more
punctual and strict with your work because now
you are answerable to the investor.”– Humayun Mazhar
Humayun Mazhar, an Angel Investor himself, shared his entrepreneurial journey and shared some key elements that he looks for in startups before investing in them, the most important one being the “idea” followed by the “Startup founder”.
“Cost is not an advantage, it’s your selling skills,
there will always be someone
Humayun Mazhar- cheaper than you.”
Omar Ghani took to the stage after Humayun and shared his experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Omar was of opinion that it is the team that decides the fortune of any startup. No founder can alone turn a startup into a successful business venture unless he has a strong team who share the company’s common goal. He also suggested that Startups need to see things from the investor’s lens to understand what they want.
“You don’t determine the price of your
product, market does.
Focus on providing value not price.” – Omar Ghani
Omar Ghani, shared the importance of solving problems and starting from those which were the biggest thorn in a startup founders’ side. Focusing on giving value through your products and/or services is more crucial than the pricing.
“Look at the problems that you
can solve, and pick the
Omar Ghani- biggest problem to solve.”
Hamza Iftikhar (COO DealSmash, Founder Institute Graduate) shared his first hand experience at the Founder Institute, here’s what he had to say: “Founder Institute is one of the best for startups to learn and grow because here we learn by doing.” He shared some valuable tips for startups, encouraging them to step into the market to discover their skills and start selling to find more learning opportunities on the way.
“Vision and number, investors love it! Savvy investors decide in first 60 seconds with the startup if they want to invest or not. Be clear about your vision, market and have your numbers ready and only then go out and look for an investor.” – Hamza Iftikhar
After these insightful talks by the speakers, this session was followed by a Question and Answer session with Humayun Mazhar and Hamza Iftikhar. Startups had some questions lined up which were then answered by both the speakers. Some of the questions answered are given below for your knowledge.
1- Risk taking appetite
2- If the idea is sell-able
3- Founder’s maturity and commitment to the Startup
Anywhere between 3-6 months before you run out of funds. When you get investment you become answerable for every decision you make about your business, so get investment only when you are ready to work 24/7 and have clarity of your vision.
Whenever you are clear about your product, identify the skill set that you need. Initially you don’t have enough funds so you cannot hire people but later on you will need other skills and resources in your business as well, and then at one point you will realize that you can no longer do everything on your own because of your limited skill set so you need other people with other skills. Everyone in your team has to be contributing something. As a founder we sometimes give an edge to our friends, don’t give that edge.
Humayun Mazhar: I’d like to see customer base and some work. Usually I don’t invest in product based companies, only tech based companies.
✔ If you are a tech or teach-enabled business at pre-seed stage, a solo-founder or team, established business that’s pre-funding and traction, MVP and prototype-stage projects, and even part-time founders with just ideas- Founder Institute is the place for You!
✔ Founder Institute will help you get to traction and funding with a support network of startup experts that are invested in your success, and through a structured business-building process that has helped our alumni raise over $800M.
✔ Our 14-week, in-person program includes weekly sessions where you receive expert training and feedback, and then a series of challenging business-building assignments, office hours, group meetings, and partner discounts to help you make progress each week.
The 3.5 month Founder Institute semester is just the beginning. There are extensive support programs and resources for our Graduates that far exceed any other comparable startup program, offering Access to 7500+ mentors, $2M+ in partner discounts, Access to shared database of investors & advisors and Invites to FI sessions & network events (FounderX).
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