Women Love Tech was invited by The NSW Visiting Entrepreneurs Program to a lunch workshop with Neta-Li Meiri, who is a global expert on social impact technology. Neta-Li is an amazing female entrepreneur who leads 8200 Impact, a Tel Aviv based incubator all about social-tech.
8200 Impact specifically works to develop startups which have a focus on delivering benefits to society in education, health and gender equality. So far, 8200 Impact startups have raised more than US$40 million in investment capital.
Neta-Li gave some useful tips and advice on startups, common pitfalls to avoid and where you need to put your focus to achieve success.
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR MEETINGS WITH INVESTORS
Neta-Li: ‘You need to have an in-depth understanding of your product, market barriers and last but not least, numbers. Not having an understanding of these things could be the difference between investors taking it to the next meeting or declining.”
SHOW RESPECT TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS
Neta-Li: Make sure you give them the basic respect they deserve. For instance, in the case of a strategic partner a one fit all deck doesn’t fit. You are better to send one that is holistic. If your deck is not tailor made for the industry or market you want to penetrate, it will prove you are not prepared. It all starts and ends with people. Investors will not invest if you are not deemed trustworthy because you would not make a good investment. Make sure you have validated your product and show why you have an edge or are better than anything else in the market. Remember, the investor doesn’t work for you. You need to pay investors common courtesy and have a high level of EQ not IQ. You IQ counts, of course, but remember EQ is important. Be very sensitive to other people’s culture. Entrepreneurs need to leave their egos behind. Once you have sent your deck, it’s okay to do a follow up email because it shows you are determined and that’s good. But there is a difference when you follow up too much. Don’t force your idea or put too much pressure on potential investors.
DON’T LET FAILURE PUT YOU OFF
In Israel, there is a very strong community of serial entrepreneurs and many of them attend Fuck Up nights where you can share your stories. Leading CEOs and entrepreneurs often attend and this helps encourage start ups. If you failed and learned a lot along the way, then a lot of people will be inspired and even impressed by that. The Fuck Up Nights are not arranged by serial entrepreneurs, it is an international activity, with branches in several countries. Here is their website: https://fuckupnights.com/telaviv/.
COMMON PITFALL TO AVOID
It is common mistake for tech start ups to find a solution looking for a problem. You need to understand what problem you are solving.
Citing the story of how Airbnb came about from renting out the founders’ apartment for a weekend, the co-founder Brian Chesky says he’s learned the best ideas for companies often stem from attempting to solve personal problems. “If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea at all,” he says. “You just have to have a solution for a problem in your own life.”