It was a wonderful conversation last night as we kicked off the Ignite Series. We had the first session talking with two amazing ladies, Eloho Omame and Odunayo Eweniyi, both Co-founders of FirstCheck Africa. They took us through the details of navigating the murky waters of Startup Funding.
Some of the lessons that stood out are shared below:
1. It is always important to research your investors well before a pitch
This would help you align your pitch to their particular interests. Most times, entrepreneurs end up spending time pitching to the wrong investors. For example, they might not be interested in your industry or your country or the stage you’re currently in. Odunayo shared a funny story of how she had taken about thirty minutes to pitch to an investor, and after listening attentively and asking questions went ahead to apologize and say he isn’t interested in investing in Africa.
2. Build a low tech, low expense MVP first
Eloho and Odunayi stressed heavily on this. According to them, it is always important to build an MVP that wouldn’t cost you so much at first, so you can easily see if the idea is scalable. Most entrepreneurs want to build a full scale app at the initial stage, even without doing any form of market testing. It is always wiser to first build a smaller version of what you have in mind, then, see how people adopt it, and then begin to make tweaks.
3. As an investor, you have to be very prepared for any and everything.
She said this because anything that can go wrong would definitely go wrong. Odunayo also mentioned this in her interview in the recent edition of The Spark Magazine. (Read it here)
In conclusion, Odunayo gave a deep word that seemed to resonate deeply with a lot of entrepreneurs. She said ‘an entrepreneur should never be afraid to kill a product’.
If a product isn’t working, don’t be afraid to kill it and move on the next project.
Every word from the session was lit; from the beginning to the end. You need to watch it for yourself to get full value.