Tie Global – Panel Discussion for South African Entrepreneurs
“ An Entrepreneur is someone who dares to dream and is foolish enough to try and realize that dream” – Vinod Khosla
On the 3rd of August 2017 some of the most influential Tie Global charter members held a panel discussion for South African Entrepreneurs at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town.
The panel was lead by the president of Tie Silicon Valley, Venktesh Shukla. He explained that the discussion would be about the mindset of Silicon Investors when deciding to invest in Entrepreneurs and what they look for in startup businesses. ” People are willing to give you money for being unique, a full stacked product is an extremely valuable thing”.
The second panel member, Vijay Menon, the executive director of Tie Global explained that the bar for seed capital has been going up each year. “ You need a product, some revenue and early customers to be noticed. Without that it is difficult to raise capital”. He went on to highlight that it is more difficult to raise capital in today’s ecosystem than it was 2-3 years ago. “Investors are looking for a really good team, with experience in the industry you are targeting”.
Krishan Kalra, the CEO of BioGenex reminded Entrepreneurs that “Your Investor is looking for ways to reduce his risk when giving you money”. He gave Entrepreneurs a few pointers on how to lower their risk by stating that “ Having customers is a way to lower risk, also having an experienced team is important. Investors look for an advisory board, publications, early products and a revenue model”.
The discussion went on to explore the options for funding for Entrepreneurs in South Africa. ” It seems like there is a lot of funding and people in South Africa willing to fund Entrepreneurs, there just needs to be a platform where people can gain access to them” said Venktesh Shukla.
Once the panel concluded, Justin Clarke, the founder of Private Property shared his journey as an Entrepreneur with the audience. ” If you don’t have a compelling idea you are not going to raise money”. He spoke a lot about the opportunities in Africa and the drive that people have to make ends meet. ” In Makoko Nigeria, if you are not an Entrepreneur you do not survive”. Justin also highlighted the importance of creating engineers in Africa and stated that ” There is a problem with poor math and poor science”.
The event concluded with Entrepreneurs having the opportunity to network with the Tie Global charter members and influential Investors. It is extremely valuable for South African Entrepreneurs to understand the expectations of Entrepreneurs before attempting to raise funding.