Dear Investors and Mentors,
Thank you for joining us this Friday, on Day 2 of JFDI.
What will we do that day?
Our goal on Day 2 is to give the startups a taste of Day 100. On Demo Day, the startups will present to over 100 investors, each of whom will be prepared to lead or join a funding round of between $0.5 and $2M.
They will listen critically. So please listen critically.
They will ask hard questions. So please ask hard questions.
But they won’t share what they’re thinking. They’re there to buy, not to teach.
This Friday, we’d like you to teach.
At any time, you have the power to hit the pause button. If a teachable moment arises, you can stop the proceedings and explain what’s on your mind. Explain why you asked a question. Explain what you understood of their pitch. Explain why you think a proposition is investible, or not.
Every other person in the room can hit that button too. Another investor might ask you what you’re thinking. A founder might stop you and ask what answer you’d like to hear. Hugh and Meng might ask you to stand up and deliver your version of the pitch in 60 seconds, so stay on your toes.
Over the course of the JFDI bootcamp, we’ll work with the startups on pitch technique: delivery, content, pacing, demo. You can leave the basics to us.
But on Friday, the startups will have questions only you can answer: What goes through an investor’s mind when she hears a pitch? How does she make a decision? Between January and May, what do they need to change?
Each company will pitch for 10 minutes – exactly as much time as on Demo Day. We’ll have 10 minutes for questions and educational commentary.
We’ll do half a dozen startups in the morning, and another half a dozen in the afternoon.
Lunch from 1pm to 2:30pm. Options include the food court connected to Block 71′s 2nd floor, the hawker centre downstairs, and the restaurants at Fusionopolis, which include a food court on B1. Please come back on time – we will start at 2:30pm. If you want coffee or tea, send an SMS to Nicole or Erin with your order.
When all the teams are done, we’ll invite the investors to sum up what they heard, offer group feedback, and take group questions.
Each startup needs to know its marching orders. Exactly what do they need to do over the next 98 days to become an investible proposition? Don’t pull any punches: if they need to dump their idea and do something else, say so. Now’s the time to pivot.
We’ll ask you to identify one or two startups that you think are particularly promising. JFDI staff will follow up to ask if you want to be part of the mentoring team that we’ll assemble around each startup.
At 5pm the floor is open. If you have a short, canned, 15 minute talk about some aspect of investor decision-making, or how venture financing works, or your personal story, or how startups should focus on customer value – please stand up and give that talk.
At 6pm, the lion arrives and the party begins!
Other things to note:
We won’t ask you to disclose your fund affiliation or discuss your own portfolio. But at the start of proceedings, we will ask you to please introduce yourself by your first name, and say how roughly how many investments you’ve made recently (or over your lifetime) and what dollar amount you prefer. What is your sweet spot? Do you have a sector focus? We want to give the startups an idea of how different investors think about things.
We don’t expect you to find an investible company on Day 2, but if you should happen to find one you love, we’re perfectly happy for our startups to take funding ahead of Demo Day. We’ll coach them on deal terms, cap table, etc.