This purchase offer includes:
- 1 user licenses Power BI for Office 365 with SharePoint Online (Plan 2) with Yammer
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Reader must discover that we have a Microsoft Bizspark Alumni logo on our right hand sidebar. Yes, we have completed 3 years Microsoft Bizspark programme and become Alumni of Microsoft Bizspark on 27 Oct 2013. Despite we are not in creative Multimedia & New Media E-Content industry when we first joint Microsoft Bizspark programme.
However, Microsoft sharepoint now available on the cloud and even small company can afford to use self services Business Intelligence. Further, user no longer required to constantly upgrade Microsoft Office as you are on the cloud.
We will blog about Microsoft Sharepoint and business intelligence on this blog in our next post. Those who want to received free trial invitation for Microsoft Office 365 and the following can send your email address to Arbirage @ gmail.com :
I just back from outstation and went to Post Office today to do my normal delivery.
Staff of Post Office pass me a booklet ( pic below). I ask in Malay "Price increase?" and they said "yes, since yesterday ( 15 May 2013 )
With the popular of email, sms and whatapps etc. Volume of normal mail has drop gradually. However, with the popularity of people buying online. The only growth area of Pos Malaysia Berhad is parcel for ecommerce.
Generally, those parcel mail to overseas as Malaysian still do not have habit of buy online.
Thus, ecommerce operator are partner or stakeholder of Pos Malaysia Berhad. However, with a price increase. don't you think Pos Malaysia Berhad milking Ecommerce operator, it partner and stakeholder too early?
Malaysia have a reputation of provide low cost of goods globally. Pos Malaysia Berhad suppose to reduce price to increase volume to enlarge the cake rather than kill the goose that lay the eggs too early.
Ecommerce operator are challanging with US's QE1, QE 2 by US and appreciation of Ringgit currency. This has eaten margin of Ecommerce operator significantly.
It doesn't help when Bank Negara fail to control exchange rate charge by Paypal Paypal have increase it exchange rate last year. Paypal exchange rate are significantly higher than commercial bank and Licensed Money Changer. This further eaten margin of Ecommerce operator. Other than price increase of Ecommerce Mall operator like eBay. A company who control Paypal.
With the price increase of Pos Malaysia Berhad. Will this be the last straw who kill the industry and dampen the effort of Malaysia to move from manufacturing economic to become a Ecommerce hub and Economic Transformation Program (ETP) EPP121 Growing a virtual Mall is yet to be see. I really feel that price increase is not the way to acheived NKEA : Communication,Content and Infrastructure : Business Opportunity 3 : Courier, post and Broadcast.
Wipro Ltd has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the L.D. Waxsons Group, a Singapore-based fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company for US$144mil (RM436.68mil) in cash.
Wipro Ltd is an information technology (IT) consulting and outsourcing service company
located in India. It was initially set up as a manufacturer of vegetable ghee, vanaspati and
refined oils in Amalner, Dist:Jalgaon, Maharashtra under the trade names of
Kisan, Sunflower and Camel.
The company logo still contains a sunflower to reflect products of the original
In 1966, after Mohamed
Premji’s death, his son Azim
Premji returned home from Stanford University and took over Wipro as
its chairman at the age of 21 and turn the company into IT consulting and outsourcing services company.
Wipro Ltd have acquired Unza in Malaysia from Berjaya Group few years ago to become Wipro Unza have venture into household product.
L.D. Waxson Group, headquartered in Singapore, has a wide portfolio of brands, including leading skin care brands Bio-essence, Ginvera and Syahirah, as well as healthcare brand Ebene.
The company has manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia and a strong footprint in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.
“This transaction helps us consolidate our successful facial skincare business in Malaysia to a stronger leadership position, and moves us to market leadership in Singapore as well.”
Commenting on the acquisition L.D. Waxson Group chairman Dr Tor Lam Huat said: “We are happy to join Wipro, a company that shares our passion in developing brands, driven by consumer insight and innovative marketing and have seen their success in this region.
“Bio-essence’s success is driven by providing skincare products that truly perform, with visible results for consumers. We are confident that with Wipro’s marketing expertise and extensive distribution network, together we will be able take Bio-essence, Ginvera, Syahirah and other brands to new heights.”
“This acquisition propels us into a leading position in the fast-growing skin care market in South-East Asia and makes us stronger in the pharmacy channel in Malaysia and Singapore. We can leverage the strengths of the combined entities for driving efficiencies in our operations, and accelerate the growth of all our focus brands.” said Wipro Unza CFO (South East Asia, Middle East and Africa) Deepak Chandran.
Mention the brand "Tiger Balm" and an overpowering scent of camphor - or your grandmother - may come to mind.
Those little glass jars are now hot in Hollywood, and celebrities are waxing lyrical about the unassuming white ointment.
Tiger Balm has found fans in celebrities such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who told American magazine US Weekly in March that the product was "a topical cure-all balm for muscle aches and pains".
Pop singer Lady Gaga also tweeted a picture of the product in January last year, while she was on her United States tour.
She listed it as a "backstage must-have", along with the painkiller Advil.
Owned by Singapore company Haw Par Corporation, Tiger Balm began to actively introduce product-line extensions in the 1990s to suit the lifestyles of younger consumers.
The brand also expanded its range of products to include items such as the Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub in 2005, and launched its first sub-brand, Tiger Balm Active, last year.
The sub-brand caters to young fitness-conscious individuals, and includes products such as the Active Muscle Gel and Muscle Rub. Hear that, Lady Gaga?
"To reach out to younger target-market groups, we have tapped into consumer trends and insights to understand their lifestyle needs," said Mr A. K. Han, the executive director of Haw Par Corporation.
Today, Tiger Balm products are available in more than 100 countries worldwide, such as Norway and New Zealand.
Another family favourite - Axe Brand - has also been making its mark overseas.
Produced by Leung Kai Fook Medical Company, the brand is most famous for its medicated oil.
It is distributed in 40 countries, including Panama, Australia and Greece.
Mr Leong Mun Sum, the managing director of the company, emphasised that Axe Brand products are suitable for people of all ages, despite the stereotype that they are used only by the older generation.
"Young people spend a lot of time using the computer. This can result in headaches, stress, neck and back pain, and Axe Oil comes in very handy for relief," he said.
Secondary-school student Kristofer Wong, 15, is one such Axe Oil user.
He uses it whenever he suffers from headaches, stomachaches and nasal congestion, simply because "it works".
He started using the oil as a child when his domestic helper told him that it was a remedy for headaches and other ailments.
Although Leung Kai Fook Medical Company declined to reveal sales figures, Mr Leong said that the company is "doing very well" financially.
The company has been tying up with related medicine and health-care businesses, and it aims to continue marketing Axe Brand products as souvenirs for tourists and as an ointment to relieve aches caused by using the computer.
Health-care and wellness company Eu Yan Sang has also enjoyed increased revenue from overseas markets.
Specialising in traditional Chinese medicine, the company reported record sales of $289.9 million in its latest financial year this year.
More than 100 years after the first Yan Sang shop opened in Malaysia, Eu Yan Sang now boasts an extensive distribution network, comprising 299 retail outlets in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China and Australia.
Of course, Tiger beer springs readily to mind when it comes to Singapore brands that have found favour internationally.
A flagship brand of Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), Tiger beer has won more than 40 international awards and accolades, and is sold in some 60 countries worldwide, including Canada, Spain and Britain.
Shareholders of Fraser & Neave last week voted in favour of selling APB - of which it has a 40 per cent stake - to Heineken in a US$6.3-billion (S$7.7-billion) deal.
But Tiger beer's fan base remains unfazed, in part because of the beer's strong branding.
For instance, the beer has garnered fans overseas, thanks to heavy promotion, ranging from the use of sexy ads (some were so sexy they were banned in Britain) to its Tiger Translate events, which see the brand tying up with hip artists on design projects.
The events have run in the US, Australia, Britain, China, Cambodia and, of course, Singapore, besides other countries, and have even caught the eye of newspapers like Britain's The Guardian.
The beer itself wins fans, thanks to its taste, and gets tourists interested in our little red dot.
The European-style lager has found fans from as far as Norwich, England.
Mr Kevin Allen, 51, is a managing director of a company that distributes products such as aquariums.
He had his first taste of Tiger beer at a Thai restaurant near his home in Norwich six years ago.
He indulges in the beer occasionally and enjoys its "natural fresh taste".
When he realised Tiger beer was a Singapore brand, he said: "That's another good reason to visit Singapore."
Got milk? Yes, the Hong Kong government assures parents as it moves to crack down on mainland parallel traders who snap up baby formula milk here to resell for high profit in China.
Their buying spree sparked a shortage in recent weeks of some brands of milk powder – popular ones here are Friso, Abbott and Mead Johnson – as parents both in Hong Kong and the mainland rush to stock up ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays.
The brouhaha over formula milk is the latest in a series of spats between irate Hong Kongers and enterprising parallel traders exploiting a legal loophole.
By physically transporting products – ranging from geoduck clams to smartphones – via trolleys to neighbouring Shenzhen, the traders avoid paying the usual tariffs on imported goods.
The government has said that plugging this loophole would penalise genuine tourists.
But to thwart parallel traders, Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing Man said on Friday that the law will be amended to allow anyone leaving Hong Kong to take only two cans – or up to 1.8kg – of milk powder with them.
The new limit, Dr Ko said, will strike a balance between placing limits on parallel traders and meeting the needs of travelling parents.
It will require amending the Import and Export Ordinance, which could be completed this month, he added.
Meanwhile, MTR Corp, which operates trains connecting Hong Kong to the border with mainland China, will cut the maximum luggage weight allowance from 32kg to 23kg for a three-month trial, said Anthony Cheung, Secretary for Transport and Housing.
The weight limit will also restrict the amount of products that can be trundled into Shenzhen.
A hotline for parents to place advance orders is also being set up.
Baby formula milk is an especially attractive commodity as it can be resold at high profit margins.
Mainland parents are willing to pay more for formula milk from Hong Kong after a series of food scandals such as that in 2008 when six babies died from drinking melamine-tainted milk.
But soon, anyone entering the mainland will be entitled – besides the duty-free allowance of 200 cigarettes and one bottle of spirits – to just two cans of milk.
The run on milk powder here had led to empty shelves in supermarkets, especially those in the New Territories near the border with mainland China.
Some irate Hong Kongers even sought to appeal for “international aid” from United States President Barack Obama against mainland “smugglers”, in a petition on the White House website.
Titled “Baby Hunger Outbreak In Hong Kong, International Aid Requested”, the petition said: “We request for international support and assistance as babies in Hong Kong will face malnutrition very soon.”
It bears the signatures of some 14,000 people. But the number has to reach 100,000 within a month to trigger a response from the Obama administration.
If so, this would cause much embarrassment to Beijing and the Hong Kong government, and on Friday, the latter acted quickly to defuse the potential fiasco.
The restriction on milk exports, which will affect parents flying out of Hong Kong to, say, Canada, may be a sledgehammer approach, but to anxious parents, it could not have come any sooner.
Fennie Lin, 39, a marketing director, was relieved that steps had been taken to address a problem that she said has festered over the past couple of years but which has worsened in recent weeks.
The mother-of-three, including a seven-month-old baby, said that one out of every three trips to her neighbourhood supermarket at the Mid-levels for milk ended with her leaving empty-handed.
“I totally agree with the measures,” she said.
“Already, I am diversifying the brands we use, but still, there’s not enough. It’s ridiculous.” — The Straits Times/Asia News Network
I accidentally turn to NTV7 last night and discover that more team among Rock star get funding on Malaysia TV reality show "Make The pitch".
First, Chew Kai Feng of Cloudstat get RM500,000 funding for 35% equity on Malaysia TV reality show "Make The pitch".
It seem MyEg requested 35% of equity regardless of how much funding you request. While Chew seem to get the lowest funding among the participant. However, he get RM100,000 more than his request. And it seem he is the youngest and the only fresh graduate among participant.
Another team Fashion Valet, who have a chance to meet Youtube co-founder Jawed Karim last year get RM1million for 30% equity after some counter offer.
Congratulation.to both team above.
Melvin of FanXT initially accepted RM1million for 30% equity. However, Melvin change his mind after that and decline the offer.
It seem maximum MyEG offer is RM1million and minimum equity they want is 30%. Thus, do not participate next season if you aim more than RM1million or you willing to give up less than 29% equity only for less than RM1million.
We urge our customer in Australia, Australasia. Oceanias and Asia area to order from our new ebay store in Australia, to help our new store to achieved Powerseller Status and Top Rated Seller status. We will slowly transfer our product in AUD from our existing eBay store to our eBay store in Australia.
We hope customer in other country continue to support our existing eBay store http://stores.ebay.com/arbirage to help us to maintain our Top Rated Seller Status in UK and Power Seller Status.
Our present store has been move to ebay UK http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Arbirage to take advantage of store discount provided by eBay to store in UK and Australia respectively
This is in line with our company mission to set up a chain of online hypermarket. The separation also ensure that negative feedback from buyer of one country would not affect our Top Rated Seller status in other country.
We will started doing same thing with our online store with esty.com after this exercise with eBay. Then will move to Bonanza and Addoway.
Being an alumni of Stanford University and guess lecture of Stanford University. Konstantin Guericke recommended an online course offer by Stanford University, Technology Entrepreneurship E145 to startup entrepreneur in Malaysia. The course have approximately 30,000 online student worldwide to date.
I enroll in the course to learn more about enterpreneurship. The course operates according to the flipped class, where team-based, experiential education (learning by doing) is central and video lectures and readings are there for support.
Iván Doel are my course mate at Technology Entrepreneurship of Stanford University. Ivan Doeal has assigned to my team and we have worked on two assignment together and we are in our third assignment now.
I have made Ivan page owner and admin of our facebook fan page . Ivan might post some survey to study preference of our customer for our course assignment. Please participate in the survey to help us to understand our customer better.
The online course also recommended us to participate in Start up compass . To evaluate our company, whether our company in premature scaling or determine how we reach Product/Market fit to scale.
In order to reach Product/Market fit. The company must have a killer product. This mean we must have a product customer will feel upset if we no longer in business. That customer cannot live without it. Please help our company find our killer product.
Alternatively, we also want to know whether we able to reach Product/Market fir if we become online hypermarket. Where we sell everything under the sun. Please tell us whether you will feel disappointed if an online hypermarket close down it business and you unable to buy product from us again.
Co-founder of Plurk.com Alvin Woon said Plurk.com has consider to invest in Malaysia to expand 3 years ago. However, due to lack of talent and incentive from government, he has give up Malaysia and invest in Taiwan eventually.
Great potential in internet Startup
He said, in fact, there is great potential for Start up in Malaysia. Standard of product launch here are on bar with product in US. Unfortnately, investment environment here not condusive to nurture such industry.
Whether government would give tax incentive and availability of talent, are important consideration on whether or not to set up a base here. As there is no such advantage at that point. We have to give up Malaysia.
Alvin Woon is responding to a question on whether Plurk.com would set up a branch here after a conference on Entrepreneurship at University Tunku Abdul Rahman.
He said frankly that , as a Malaysian, he would like to set up a base in Malaysia so that he able to "go home" very often. But he has to face reality eventualy : " I can't told other co-founder, I am a Malaysian, so we have to choose Malaysia (to set up company) " (Translator note: Alvin Woon split shares equally among 3 co-founder before Angel investor come in)
Alvin still observing government effort in attracting investment and talent
As to Malaysia current transformation in attracting foreign investment and talent. Alvin said he will observed.
In restrospect, 90% of internet startup are by Chinese. But they rarely get funding from government.
"In fact, we can't expect to attract overseas talent to come back just by slogan. Some has come back, but unable to find neccessary manpower talent to complete the task, mission required. You have to fill up a lot of form if need funding and been through a lot of challenge.......
"Some people do come back 10 years ago, Maybe they find it difficult to stay ( in Malaysia ), have to leave and never come back again. I don't want my first experience back to Malaysia to be like this. I never give up Malaysia from the beginning until now, hope able to lend a hand to Malaysia, especially in internet startup."
He know deeply government effort in attracting overseas talent. and understand someone must make the first move " I just hope this is not a difficult first step"
Youth must venture into business earlier
Alvin Woon advised young people to venture into business earlier as youth has advantage. Not afraid to fail and can fail early. If not, you will lack time and energy when you grow older and just regret.
He has few wisdom on his journey in entrepreneurship startup. first is "Don't care about copy or compare, don't waste your time in care about what other people doing. What you did on yourself is more important.
In order to venture Plurk.com. Alvin Woon when to Toronto from US alone to set up a base. Just give up his existing job and girl friend. It is tough initially, but base on determination, he able to venture his own success.
Plurk.com launch on November 2007, have more than 20 language version and expand quickly in Asia country like Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. It has 6 million to 7 million member now. with 50% of it member in Taiwan.
Venture Capital important in internet Startup
Alvin Woon said he has to understand internet business in Malaysia market first before deciding to contribute in which area.
On how to incubate & nurture internet startup. He said funding is important. Many Malaysia have programming capability, but they unable to move next step, if lack working capital. You need money in marketing and networking. It is difficult to consider your next move if lack capital.
He stress, startup capital requirment are lower in Malaysia compare to US, plus you get higher return on capital. Many people don't understand internet startup, They don't invest even they have capital. They rather invest in property or gold. This required change in mindset.
Excerpt and translated from Nanyang dated 16 March 2012
The advantage of crowd funding over Angel and Venture Capital (VC) is no investor via Crowd funding will demand a seat on board of your company. Leaving entrepreneur more freedom to manage their company compare to getting funds from Angel and VC.
Kickstarter in US was restricted by US Regulation D and entrepreneur cannot give shares in return of investment.
Crowdcube in UK not restricted by Regulation D and company in UK have ability to offer for shares in return.
This make Kickstarter in a very disadvantage position over Crowdcube.
Given a choice, which one do you choose? Kickstarter or Crowdcube?
Comparatively, listing in Nasdaq is much more difficult compare to Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Thus, funding via Crowdcube is much more attractive as it can later listed the company via AIM as exit strategy. Company also can follow Velti footstep by transfer from AIM to Nasdaq later. It is much more difficult to follow Kickstarter direct to Nasdaq.
Alternatively, company can separately raise fund for operation in US via Kickstarter and operation in UK via Crowdcube respectively. But it is a bit difficult to plan for exit strategy in such scenario unless both can scale to very large company respectively.
Please be informed that we have set up a new blog on tumblr.com . We still analysing whether we able to used Google
Adsense with tumblr.com or not before we fully move our blog to tumblr.com .
Customer who operate a blog with tumblr.com can start to link to us http://arbirage.tumblr.com/ so that we able to re post your post like retweet on tweeter to benefit our other customer so that the whole community able to link up.
In his keynote. Naval said not to pay attention to idea, as they are irrelevant today. "Ideas are worthless as many can just sit around and think them up." Naval said he choose a team base on the team Intelligent during his interview with BFM89.9. That doesn't sound encouraging if your company never choose as top 100 company or never selected to one to one session. There is more than 500 team participate at Silicon Valley come to Malaysia Conference but only 100 choose as top 100 and less than 50 team has been chosen for one to one session with Silicon icon. Thus, Naval mean that there is at least 400 team or 80% of less intelligent team here. That doesn't sound motivated especially if your team never been selected.
Another icon from Silicon Valley Paul Bragiel of I/O Venturespeak more specifically during his interview with Entrepreneur.my. Paul said the team must comprise strong technical people. A person who able to develop software as a team member. That sound better than Intelligent if your team never chosen and your team doesn't have a technical software developer.
The most inspires speaker are Jeff Hoffman of Priceline.com. Jeff Hoffman said he has opportunity to meet with a lot of icon in traditional business. However, after speaking to those icon. He don't feel those call icon are smarter than you and me. That sound motivated.
Thus, it is worth watching his speech again even it last for more than one hour. Jeff also shares his entrepreneur journey at his keynote. Only two speaker did that. Another one is Joel Neoh of Groupon Malaysia. Apparently, Jeff Hoffman also not a technical software developer, at least not a skillful one.
Surprisingly, many people, even those who selected to have one to one session with Jeff do not know that Jeff operated a venture capital firm Smith-Hoffman Capital. What a watse that they never did their homework. If you do not have time to watch the above video. It worth reading this blog coverage as well
Also worth watching his Q&A session
Another icon Saad Khan of CMEA Capital, ask participate to email him if their start up fullfil the following 3 criteria :
Technology entrepreneur have always come out of the US, particularly from iconic Silicon Valley in California, where innovators, programmers, engineers, angel investors, universities and venture capitalists exist in abundance. But in the coming decade, expect more nascent entrepreneurs to spring up from Asia.
I think sometime over the next decade or two, we are going to see the emergence of good, start-up ecosystems around the world. and the huge markets the US used to enjoy are now in Asia, and that's why a lot of us in Silicon Valley are trying to figure out how we're going to reach Asia....Malaysia is one of the gateway to Asia.
There is a good news for entrepreneurs in asia and Malaysia, because there are still many thingd in this part of the world that don't quite work yet, and these are grounds for innovation.
Author Danny Mills says "technology is everything that doesn't work yet" and this means that you have more opportunities in this part of the world that have in Slilicon Valley. there are certain problems available to you here so the scope of innovation to slove these problems are larger here.
The ability to have access to capital is still not quite as good as that in the Silicon Valley. However, it has become a lot cheaper for entrepreneur to gain capital over the years and that asia has a great potential going forward. adding to this is that the entrepreneur ecosystem in Asia has grown in recent years and this helps Asian and Malaysian entrepreneurs. The fact that I can see hundreds of you in this room is a testimony to that.
To spur the technopreneur ecosystem. companies import foreign talents so that they can work with local technopreneurs and give them a chance to learn the spirit of entrepreneurship alongside their more experienced counterparts.
The government of Chile has done this. We know because Angel List gets applications from indigenous Chilean companies for funding and they are every bit as good as those in the Silicon Valley because they've had the bar set high by working with those from Valley itself.
Aside from the booming development in Asia, the Advent of the personal computer has given entrepreneurs around the world, including those in Malaysia, entrepreneurial leverage like never before. Entrepreneurs today have gained a lot more power han they think. Leverage amplifies the entrepreneur's ability to do things better. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses depend on labour and capital as their leverage, business succeeded in the old economy because they could muster whole teams of people to work and produce something for others to use. these business also had access to cheap capital to finance this process.
But in the 21st century, intellectual property is the new leverage. Code is power and the new form of leverage because when a programmer writes software, he does so once but every time it gets executed, it doesn't cost him extra. This is the kind of leverage that Yahoo and google had when they came into being.
As entrepreneurs, leverage is your friend and it gives you the power to do what you want to do. entrepreneurs today are more fortunate than those who came before them and they should take advantage of this.
There isn't a fixed formula to start up as an entrepreneur. The most important thing is to do what you love even if others tell you it won't work.
Pick a great co-founder as you'll need someone to be there alongside you. co-founders should be highly intelligent and possess high energy as he or she should be one who never has to be motivated.
A co-founder must have a lot of integrity. If yuou get a highly intelligent partners who's full of energy but has no integrity, you're going to get a smart crook as your partner, and that's the worst kind of co-founder you can have.
Next, pick a very large market that entrepreneurs can easily grow their business in. This is somthing that can be easily done in Asia and even the Silicon Valley does not have such huge markets. Another important thing to note is not to pay attention to idea, as they are irrelevent today.
Ideas are worthless as many can just sit around and think them up. What's more important is that you pick a large market in areas that you're knowledgeable and passionate about and you will figure out what is the right thing yo do in that space. do not go around pitching a great idea and asking for money, as that is the worst thing to do.
With the leverages that exist today, an entrepeneur should be able to get a product-market fit - where a product matches what the market needs. Then do you go to people whom you can trust to raise money, and use that money to scale your business.
While basic education is important, it's not necessary for entrepreneurs today to get a graduate degree in the form of an MBA as schools in general tend to force students to conform. Instead, they should try to get into good incubators.
It used to be if you wanted to start a company, you were told to get an MBA and/or a Masters. But entrepreneurs know that going to schools does not teach you to be innovative nor are they grounds for being creative.
The beauty of incubators compaared with graduate schools is that entrepreneurs get paid to get one's education, nothing that in the Silicon Valley, incubators can get anywhere between US$25,000 to US$200,000 of funding for a company.
When you get out, you are not expected to hunt for jobs. Instead you are expected to create jobs for others, so this is completely flipping the school model on its head. You are also not expected to do the work your professor tells you to do but rather, are expected to do something original, something of value the world has never seen before. and finally, you are graded not by professor but by the real world. so the best case is that you create a company and products that will change the world; worst case, you learn by actually creating something.
Below are some of the question posed to him and his answer:
1) Despite the distance between Malaysia and the Silicon Valley, wouldn't the angels want to invest in promising companies here?
That is a really hard problem to overcome, because even with good products, one can be too far away. an angel will first want to get to know you before they invest and once they do, they want to be able to bring their network to help you in any way possible. One way to get past that is to get a local investor who is trusted and has a network in the US himself. the second is to just grow the business to the point that people will look beyond the core team and just focus on the numbers. Perhaps, it is best to follow the Estonia model where you regularly get one or two members of the start-up team to spend six months at a time in the US. this allows them to network locally and for the local players to get to know them too. But if you do that, those who come over to the US must include at least one member of the founding team.
2) What are the key criteria angels look for when investing?
Someone I know described the process of raising money as a group of young men and women seducing a bunch of old men and women. You want to make them see something of themselves in you. which means, it is an emotional sale. Emotional sales do not work on a check list. So, while there are four key categories angels look at, they will usually look for one exceptional characteristic that they really adore. so you yourself must excel in one of these four categories.
As for the categories, it starts with the team you have assembled. the angels want to see that it is a high quality team that has a history of accomplishing good things. the school that you went is less important, eventhough you hear a lot about Ivy League schools.
The second thing they look for is the product itself. You need to focus on building a really good product. I have seen many entrepreneurs who make the mistake of building poor products or half products and then try to explain their way aroud it. Don't. Just build a good product so that investors can play with it and see what it will look like. The reality is that they are highly visual people.
Third is customer traction. This matters a lot. If you have a lot of users/ customers and growing, that is very good. But if you say, give us the money and we will go get customers, they do not like that.
Finally there is something called social proof. If you get one investor in, very often another will come in, or if you have a famous entrepreneur as an adviser, that will help the company too.
3) Right now it seems that 99% of start-ups are in the consumer Internet space. what do you think of enterprise start-ups?
Actually, the odds are very low to make money from consumer products and it takes a long time too. so, actually, more investors want to invest in enterprise rather than consumer companies, especially in this part of the world. But you have to do somthing that investors like that is exciting, new and dynamic. You can take lessons from the consumer space and bring it to the enterprise space, and absolutely no clunky apps please. One reason investors like consumer apps id because they use them too. for example, pipedrive.com is a web-based CRM and sales management software as a services tool. They basically asked themselves, what if Apple came up with salesforce.com. In this way, they brought something fresh and new to the space.
4) As a successful investor, what type of start-ups will be hot in the next five years?
Frankly, there is an enormous amount of luck involved here. I have had three successful investments and that was out of almost 60. I thought all of them were going to be as successful as Twitter!
Even looking back today, I can't explain to you why Twitter is successful and I think anyone who tells you they know what they are doing with their investment is basically lying.
But, if I had to guess, the next hot thing will revolve around the mobile. this is a device that has about 12 sensors in it and each is on all the time. someone will cleverly stitch them all togehter and do things we cannot imagine today. Also, many things don't work yet, so in reality, there is a lot to be done.
5)What about the risk of exposing our idea to someone who may copy it?
Whatever your idea is - kust google it. It is already out there.
6) The prospects for angel investors exiting from their investment here is not very strong. How do you see them coping and what other means to exit can they look at? Also, do you see your fund expanding here?
The reality is that investors don't invest where thy are not. With angel list, I wanted to deocratise angel investing globally. But in reality, over half our deal volume is in the Silicon Valley and around 90% of the deals are in the US.
As far as other means for angels to exit, I think the chances are much better, especially on the M&A side. for instance, lots of companies realise they need to go global quickly and open branch offices globally, for example, Google, Groupon, LinkedIn, and in the beginning they would buy the local clones. But hopefully those will not be the only exits here because the problem with that is that it does not encourage creativity. I should add that these companies are now also buying for the talent - the designers, engineers, developers and so on.
On the local front here, I am hoping that your large companies realise they too need to acquire local start-ups. for instance, maybe Maxis will start acquiring start-ups in the mobilephone space. That started happening in the US in 2007, but then the bubble burst. Nevertheless, I see a second coming. I don't know what will happen on the local front, but what is going to happen here is that a lot of local angel investors will lose a lot of money until the cycleturns and big companies start buying small companies. Investos in at the right time will make a lot of money then.
7) I have already raised money overseas, but I notice that local investor appetite is very poor. What can we do to whet their appetite?
The best way is to create a startup that creates rich people who then invest in other tech startups themselves. In the US, when Google went public, its staff suddenly had a lot of money, and since they made their money from a tech company, they started to invest in other tech companies.
8) What are a service-based company's chances in terms of raising angel funding?
It is harder because it is very people based; you have less leverage and lower margins. so, investors don't like it as much. while they do get funded, you have to be further along in your growth and must demonstrate that there is a strong IP-based component to the company so that it becomes a more financiable business
9) What is your take on the lean startup movement?
Well lean startups sound great - do it quickly and cheaply. I think every startup should do that, but I also encourage you not to get caught up in movement and terminology. You can take a lot from this movement, such as stay small until you figure out what works. Steve Blank, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of Epiphany, defines a startup as a search for a scalable and repeatable business model. So until you find that, I would advise you to stay very small and cheap.
The above are reference and excerpt from : The Edge .
Profile: Naval Ravikant
Naval is an entrepreneur and angel investor, a co-author of Venture Hacks and co-maintainer of AngelList, Previously, he was a co-founder at Genoa Corp, which was acquirred by Finisar, Epinions, IPO via shopping.com and Vast.com, a large white-label classified marketplace. He has advised Bix.com, iPivot and XFire and invested in Twitter. Foursquare, DocVerse, which was sold to Google, Mixer Labs - Sold to Twitter, Jambool, snapLogic, PlanCast, StackOverflow, Heyzap and Disqus. Ravikant is recognised for changing the way angel investments are made in high tech startups, earning the title of one of the Top Angels in Tech by BusinessWeek in 2010.