The panelists were Jeff Clavier, Jared Hansen, Rob Hayes, Mitchell Kapor, and Naval Ravikant and moderated by Larry Kane.
Here are some key points from the talk:
The bar for startups is set higher, you need more than an idea to get funding, need to show traction.
Investors want to see something that actually works, if you have revenue is better.
What’s your team structure? Investors want to know who’s going to actually do all the work. Make sure you have more “doers” thank “executives” in your team.
The product that gets funding is almost never the product that ends up winning, so investors are looking for a team that can move in a big enough market, take whatever they started out with, and make it work, become massive.
You’ve gotta know how customer acquisition, retention, and referral will work for your company. If you don’t, is likely investors may pass (higher risk).
Naval says “focus on the product, the team, when the time is right the money will show up” and what he means is that the funding process takes time and energy, don’t let that distract you.
On incubators, they suggest you pick one as if you were choosing the best college. Each incubator has its own culture, find one that fits you.
A key aspect of getting funded is showing you know where you are, how far you’ve come, and that you know the meaningful milestones you have to reach for your next round of financing.
“In the last year I’ve seen thousands of startup pitches and coached hundreds of founders while working with the AngelList crew. I’ve also seen how quickly the AngelList platform improves, giving startups new ways to reach investors with every push. This is about using those tools.”
Today was the first day of the Launch Conference, put together by Jason Calacanis. Over 1,000 attendees watched startups present their products to a panel of judges.
The first to present was no other than Joel Spolsky himself, introducing Careers 2.0, a new career site for the StackOverflow crowd. Different from your typical job hunting site, Careers 2.0 focuses software developers and takes an unique approach to presenting the candidate’s abilities. At the end of the presentation and even at the end of the first day, judges and the grand jury were enthusiastic about the site.
See below a snippet of Joel’s pitch:
And below is a snippet of Joel’s answering questions from the panel:
Internet Connection That Works!
Those who have been to conferences before know that one thing is certain: internet connection sucks. Well, Launch was different. As Jason Calacanis himself explained “We figured out how to make Wi-Fi work at a conference. Make it wired” and so every seat had access to an ethernet cable with high-speed connection. I never had an issue, wish all conferences could offer this.