#3 Entrepreneur First invests and connects startups to investors
“The most challenging part of the entrepreneurial journey since inception was around fundraising,” reveals Abhishek, “It certainly helps to fundraise together with a co-founder as single founders tend to be a big red flag for investors.”
Entrepreneur First solves this by bringing ambitious founders together, providing a conducive environment for them to pair up to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey. It’s also where Abhishek had countless opportunities to hone his pitching skills before finally pitching at Demo Day in front of EF’s investor network pool.
“On the one hand, to be able to convince investors, you have to show that you have actual paying customers and a target market that holds a reasonably large potential. All your financial numbers have to be at your fingertips to take on any questions they might have,” tells Abhishek.
“And on the other hand, it also goes both ways. If you have a solid product and are seeing good traction, choose your investors wisely. Ideally, look for an investor that can provide money and also the expertise to push your startup to the next level.”
Movel AI today has a wide pool of investors such as 500 startups, SGInnovate, Enterprise Singapore, and a SGX-listed corporate VC.
Abhishek wrapped up the session with two pieces of advice: network profusely and resolute persistence.
“You have to start speaking with anyone and everyone in the cohort, right now, today and be very open to ideas. It will save you time and tip things in your favour at EF, at least that’s what worked well for me.
And entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted; you have to be tenacious and single-minded. I still remember how challenging reaching out to cold leads initially was. In my experience, for every 100 people we reached out to, 10 would reply and we only get to meet 5, ” shares Abhishek.
“One final tip to share to smoothen your customer discovery phase: try reframing your invite as a session to learn from the experts. People just love giving advice. I tried and it definitely helped.”
If you aspire to build a globally important company, the time is now. Apply to EF Singapore’s April 2022 cohort here.