With the Perth startup scene rapidly making it’s mark on the west coast map of Australia, seeking out expertise is fast becoming a crucial element for many up-coming founders.
Venture capitalists, Spacecubed Office Hours Mentors and also Founder Institute Mentors, Andrew Hall and Andy Lamb, have an uncanny knack of steering entrepreneurs in the right direction.
With the current volume of pitching events, and flurry of Founder Institute activity, they shared their insights on what every emerging entrepreneur in Perth needs to know:
What are the key challenges entrepreneurs startups have come to you with or what are the key aspects they need to think about?
“Some entrepreneurs believe that all that is standing between them and their billion dollar valuation is capital to fast track the growth of their business. This simply isn’t true from an investor’s perspective. Too often as investors we bet early and lose due to inadequate customer validation.”
“The capital markets for early stage companies have changed significantly over the past half a decade or so. Now it is all about traction. Traction in the form of substantive customer validation will solve all of your problems.
Really an early stage entrepreneur should be thinking about what is the # 1 activity they can do above all else to prove that customers really want to use the product they are peddling. If one get the customer acquisition metrics vs. life time value equation right in a repeatable fashion the money is almost always there. “
“As an entrepreneur myself I focus on developing a credible Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is my bootstrapping plan, how can I demonstrate meaningful customer validation and traction on as little capital as possible. Plan B allows me to accelerate plan A.
There is a significant gap in the local and Australian capital markets presently as it relates to later seed / early Series A rounds, build a capital hungry business with no Plan A at your own risk”
Andy Lamb:“For me it is all about what problem you are solving and is someone willing to pay for that product or service. Too many people start building something without enough validation as to who the customer actually is and are they going to pay you for it.
They do it because our brains naturally try and solution a perceived problem and we jump straight to solution mode rather than site back and do some proper planning and validation.
We run a workshop on deliberate creative thinking to give people the skills to be able to take a step back and then challenge the propositions and solutions rather than jump straight to solution mode.
It works, but you have to really think about it. :)”