How to present yourself with impact to VCs

10 July 2024 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

SICC Members' Room

We broke a habit of a lifetime yesterday. We did not have a pre-event panel huddle. The moderator only knew one of the three panellists and had never met the other two before. It could all have gone horribly wrong. It didn’t thanks to the authentic, diverse and super smart Venture Capitalists (VCs) convened by Wong Joo Seng, Chair of our Entrepreneurs Interest Group. Joo is Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Spark Systems, a VC himself and our Deputy Chairman. Thanks to him we had Terence Sim, Investment Director, Smile Group and Vadim Shpak, Managing Director, Vickers Venture Partners along as his fellow panellists. They and the audience were a delight for our Chief Executive Victor Mills to moderate.

Here are the key takeaways:

🚀💵 VCs invest in startups and other businesses with the potential for substantial and rapid growth. VCs are looking for returns. About 80% of deals fail which means the other 20% really need to succeed to keep the VCs in business.

🚀💵 Different VCs focus on different sectors but there is rising interest in financing businesses in sustainability and the circular economy. Why? Because of the large potential market – something close to the hearts and minds of all VCs.

🚀💵 VCs look for fresh ideas and outliers – businesspeople with a unique business case with the potential to meet the needs of a large, addressable market. In other words, something worth investing in.

🚀💵 The human dimension is critical.  A warm introduction to a VC is a good idea. They look for humility in entrepreneurs. They look for decent human beings with good ethics and values which they practice consistently.

🚀💵 Mutual trust is essential because VCs and the businesses they invest in are not undertaking a transaction but entering into a 10-year relationship. Like all relationships, these take work. VCs are looking to back smart jockeys who ride fast horses. In other words, smart people with a bankable proposition who can quickly pivot and succeed when circumstances force change.

Rounding off a fun session, Chamber member NTU shared their talent development programme, upcoming learning journeys for entrepreneurs with very generous SkillsFuture funding.

Many thanks, once again to our terrific panellists and presenters and to all attendees for being a great audience.

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