4 Learnings from Silicon Valley

We have recently been pleased to report that 5 of our startups have recently returned from a two week bootcamp in Silicon Valley.  An initiative of local Venture capital company, Kingson Capital, this has opened the world and new horizons to these startups, who are now laser focused on their ‘next step’.

Well done to Palesa Moloi from Parkupp, Kopano Mere from iMpeelo, Sifiso Vundla from Eevly, Victory Matibiri from Khoyn and Marsh Middleton from Flamelink.

4 Important points have come through from some of the startups we spoke to and worth sharing with you:

The scale of mindset and how big people think from the outset was a real eye-opener. Although the market is obviously bigger, the takeaway is that you can have a global mindset from South Africa. The startups we spoke to you were in awe of the boldness in the startup outlook from the get-go.
We certainly endorse this and can name a number of startups that have started out of South Africa and now have a global reach.

The directness of people in asking up-front for what they are looking for, no beating around the bush. Once again for some startups this was a cultural shift in thinking. But essentially they were mixing with people who understand the environment into which they had come and that the best way forward to make use of opportunity, was just to ask straight up for what you were looking. People are always willing to help if they can.

The difference in investor questions was obvious from the get-go. In the USA, investors are not shy, nor ashamed to ask how you intend to dominate globally.
And the clear takeaway from this is that the US investors are way more risk tolerant, but in return looking for possible big returns and big-thinking founders, who are bold in their approach from the get-go.
We absolutely love this point and although we understand you need get your ‘backyard market’ first, there is no scale without big thinking.

In the startup world, MVP is often bandied about, “just get to an MVP” as quickly as possible.
However the new emphasis is on MVT  (Minimum Viable Traction): How quickly can you prove that people will be willing to buy into your product or service, even if necessary, before an MVP has been built.
It is seldom we get startups who naturally go this route. We always hear who funding is needed to get to an MVP.
Once again a total mind shift and one that we endorse and have been advocating for some time., and part of the Lean Startup Methodology.

This can save you plenty of time, despair and money going forward.
One of the startups we had through an accelerator last year, said they were so grateful for the opportunity to test and measure as by the end of the accelerator it was clear there was not enough commercial viability globally, behind what they were proposing to do. They were looking to pivot immediately.

That is what we support: opportunities are there  and you need to grab them.

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