If you don't love your idea, don't do it.
As well as this point, Nick Gerritsen, speaking at Supercharge, a recent startup event that attracted 150+ in Wellington, said that it is possible to smash it big from Aotearoa.
Not that it is easy to do it from here, or from anywhere – given that well over 90% of startups don't manage to carry on as operating companies (though that's not failure).
Here's 10 key points he made, along with celebrating the fact of being a Kiwi.
- Quality of your proposal
- How does it stand out?
- Why is it unique?
- Massive impact?
- What's it going to take?
- How disruptive can you be?
- What stage are you at and does it matter?
- Low hanging fruit?
- How fast can you move?
- What is your defensible position?
- What is the IP?
- Any big gorillas on your side?
- Scale to market?
- What is there to invest in?
4. The Plan
- Compelling plan
- How much and for what?
- Own the use of fund?
- Does the 'ask' match the 'potential'?
- Capitalisation trajectory
- Build the capability picture
- (The way to build credibility is by having capable people in your team)
- The right flavour of capital?
- Venture (vulture)?
- Can you get there with partnerships?
- Sample the mix
- (There is an opportunity for NZ at the moment; multinationals are under pressure. They know they have to change...and are talking to cool early stage companies, even if they are from NZ)
- How authentic are you?
- Is it about the $ or real change
- Use the Kiwi humility card
- Earn respect
- Under promise and over deliver
- Remember that most over-sell
- Understand the culture
- Target your pitch
- Research the portfolios (of people pitching to)
- Ensure it makes sense
- Be nice
8. Follow up
- Commit to following up
- Be part of the team
- Reach out
- Admit to problems and ask for help
- Be there
9. Think smart
- Continually look for tipping points
- Don't get too complacent/comfortable
- Drive results
- Remain open to opportunities (not locked into your plan)
- Trash the founder syndrome (to be successful, you'll have to build a team)
- Deliver, deliver, deliver
- Always leave something on the table
- Everyone has to win
- Bad energy will always limit progress
- Generosity pays
- Achieve liquidity for ALL
- Get ready for the next one/build a following