You have only 5 seconds to tell me, what do you do. Time has gone!

A few weeks ago our project Wokka Lokka finished the pre-accelerator of the well-known Arab investment fund TURN8 in St. Petersburg. From 55 applications just 30 startups got the invitations on 2-week training program. We became 1 of 2 team, which in finale was selected for the following stage — a trip to Dubai directly in the accelerator of TURN8 in order to get a chance to raise money from US investors in the next investment round.

Today I want to talk about the 5 most important tips from this pre-acceleretor, which inspired me and helped us to improve our project. I’m sure that it can help other young entrepreneurs.

  1. The amazing idea is perfect. The amazing realization is everything
Startups don’t die because of bad ideas. Startups die because of the absence of clients.

Very often we think that if we are able to create any new technology or any wonderful product, we will fly up on business top, investors will queue for us, and we will be included in Forbes list. I thought so too. The most surprising that in most cases investors look not for unique ideas and technologies — they look for unique teams and effective ways of realization. The old idea with old technology, but with extremely perfect realization will attract investments with much more chances, than new idea on unique technologies, but with awful realization and a weak team.

Conclusion: in the beginning think carefully about your team and your core competencies, which allow you to launch even any “old idea” by very effective way.

2. Think globally. Operate locally

Facebook was launched as a simple tool for vote for 1 of 2 photos in only 1 university. For few weeks it has conquered all Harvard, and for few years — all rest of the world.

We so often want to become the Big immediately. We want to create a Big Story: millions of clients, thousands of employees, hundreds of partners and tens of offices. Our product will do this, this and this. The ambitions is a good thing! They inspire and move us forward. But when you just start it’s very important to concentrate on something local. It can be some special target group of clients, or separately taken territory, or some basic functionality of your soft. In other words, it is very important to start with something that will help you to achieve success as fast as possible, and then can be scaled easily.

Conclusion: at the beginning choose the small niche where you will be able to become the leader in a very short period of time, and then achieve this goal.

3. Feedback from clients is the main driver of growth

Right business logic: ask — pre-sell — make. Wrong business logic: make — sell — ask

Very often young entrepreneurs spend months (sometimes years) on creating an ideal product before they try to sell it and to communicate with their potential customers. The problem is that an “ideality” often is absolutely different for entrepreneurs and users. Therefore it is much more important to be able to correctly communicate with prospects at the beginning: to understand what concerns them, what isn’t pleasant to them in other solutions, which they used before etc. The answers to these questions will help to offer pre-solution for the potential clients or to create very simple MVP, which solve the most important pain of your clients. Show this solution or your prototype to prospects and try to get the pre-orders even if it will be required some completions. Only after that throw all your forces into fight.

Conclusion: begin to communicate actively with clients before you launched your project, learn to collect and analyze any feedback from them step by step to do your product better and to increase sales.

4. Have a short pitch about the project

You have only 5 seconds to tell me, what do you do. Time has gone!

All of us are people. And all of us live by emotions. You can have a strong team, fantastic technology and big potential, but if you aren’t able to tell simple and clear sentences to your investor, partner or client how all these things will help them to solve their problems, you risk to remain unnoticed. We on real examples saw how due to long and difficult descriptions of essences of the projects were eliminated truly good teams. Your opportunity to be remembered and to grow further depends on what emotions you will be able to cause from your listeners.

Conclusion: constantly update your pitch for several audiences, improve each word in order to just in 5 seconds you could tell accurately how your project will help me.

5. If you hear: “No”, it doesn’t mean that it is the end.

Investors can don't choose you not because you bad but because you actually don’t need money — you are still capable to develop independently.

It is difficult to add something else. The entrepreneurs is a person who is able to overcome difficulties and to find way out from various situations. Fight for your project, continue to go forward, support communications with investors and partners even if at the first stage they refused your offer. Share with them your progress and failures, be pro-active and you will surely achieve your goals.

Conclusion: constantly get acquainted and keep in touch with investors and partners, fix the mistakes and progress, share it with your contacts.

Of course during this pre-accelerator there were a lot of other interesting thoughts, councils and discussions. I will tell a bit later. But these 5 lessons fhave inspired us and helped to make our product even better.