New Ideas

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How to win funds for your startup

The trend of startups is grow­ing very rapidly in Pak­istan. Many peo­ple have ideas, en­ergy and mo­ti­va­tion to start a suc­cess­ful business but most of them lack in one thing. A large chunk of peo­ple who want be an en­tre­pre­neur are young­sters who do not have suf­fi­cient money to launch a startup. In ad­di­tion, most of them are ei­ther em­ploy­ees or stu­dents. They can nei­ther take risk nor af­ford to leave their job or study to work on their ideas.

To help th­ese very small busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs, there are many startup in­cu­ba­tors in Pak­istan. How­ever, there are many more startups than money. Con­se­quently, they can­not give funds to ev­ery startup. There­fore, in or­der to get funds you will have to prove your­self wor­thy when you get a chance to present your idea in front of a jury.

In or­der to im­press the jury and stay ahead of your com­peti­tors, you must give a rock solid pre­sen­ta­tion. Be­low are some ques­tions to an­swer in a pre­sen­ta­tion if you want to come across as win­ner in an in­cu­ba­tor event. Make a slide for each an­swer and you are ready to go.

1. Agenda

After your in­tro­duc­tion, you should talk about your Agenda. The pro­fes­sional way to start a pre­sen­ta­tion is to spell out the agenda be­fore you dive deep into the topic. The agenda is a slide that lists the top­ics you will dis­cuss in the pre­sen­ta­tion. The jury will then have an idea of what you are go­ing to say in your pre­sen­ta­tion.

2. What Prod­uct or Ser­vices Do You Of­fer

You should start your pre­sen­ta­tion with the de­scrip­tion of prod­ucts and ser­vices you wish to of­fer. There is a say­ing that if a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words then a video is worth ten thou­sand slides. Hence, it is bet­ter to show them a demo or pro­to­type video. You can eas­ily embed the video in slide if you are us­ing Pow­erPoint 2007 or higher. It will cre­ate a wow ef­fect in the very be­gin­ning and you will make a mar­vel­lous first im­pres­sion. Since, the first im­pres­sion is the last im­pres­sion, you may just hit the mark in the very sec­ond slide of your pre­sen­ta­tion.

3. Who are Your Po­ten­tial Cus­tomers?

Know­ing your po­ten­tial cus­tomers who are as good as your close friends is the se­cret sauce of ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing. Telling them the de­tails of your po­ten­tial cus­tomers will en­sure that you are not go­ing to waste your money in in­ef­fi­cient mar­ket­ing and that you have a per­fect lineup.

The best way to do it is to make buyer per­sonas and present them. Buyer per­sona is the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of your ex­ist­ing and po­ten­tial cus­tomers that in­cludes even the tiny de­tails like de­mo­graph­ics, mar­i­tal sta­tus, mo­ti­va­tion, goals, etc. Buyer per­sonas are made on the ba­sis of real data in­stead of mere as­sump­tions.

4. Why They Need Your Prod­uct

Demon­strate the prob­lems of your cus­tomers by show­ing sta­tis­ti­cal graphs and tell the jury how you solve your cus­tomers’ prob­lems and why you are dif­fer­ent from oth­ers. Your startup must have a unique idea, some­thing that no one is do­ing, a prob­lem that no one is solv­ing. Tell them your unique sell­ing point with com­pet­i­tive anal­y­sis and do not for­get to in­clude num­bers.

5. How Will You Make Money

Earn­ing money is the core rea­son of any startup. While talk­ing about your prod­uct qual­ity and show­ing them that you are a prod­uct-fo­cused per­son, do not for­get to men­tion how you will gen­er­ate rev­enue. You should dis­cuss your business model and your pric­ing plans.

6. What Has Been Done

Tell them what has been de­vel­oped so far? How many items have been sold yet and to whom they have been sold? This is the time to dis­cuss you chal­lenges and risks. Tell them what risks and chal­lenges are you fac­ing, what you have over­come so far and what risks and chal­lenges still lie ahead. More­over, also tell them how much funds have you al­ready raised and from whom you get it.

7. Who Are Your Team Mem­bers

It is a say­ing that A prod­uct with B team is go­ing to fail but B prod­uct with A team is go­ing to suc­ceed. Prove to them that you have an A team by shar­ing the team’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion, ex­per­tise and ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Fur­ther­more, in­form them what ca­pa­bil­i­ties you would look for when hir­ing.

8. What would you do with the money

You should know the price be­fore ap­ply­ing for any in­cu­ba­tor event. Wrap up your pre­sen­ta­tion with the cal­cu­la­tions of what would you do with the money you will get and how would you use it to over­come your chal­lenges.

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