In 2017, there was a bunch of ICOs and startups introducing an implementation of blockchain in their business model. Most of them started to disappear very soon after the fundraising periods or did not actually end up developing into a business. The trend we are looking at right now is that bigger corporations, like those in the pharmaceutical or food industries, are joining into the blockchain rush. They don’t have the fundraising issue, so it feels like the motion will sustain, as more and more professional participants will keep joining in.
Guidelines for winning startup accelerating projects
When startups decide to participate in accelerating competitive events, they need to come in the particular mindset. Although it’s very important to fight for space and get the prize, not less important is to actually present yourself and be present during the competition. Don’t think twice: take this opportunity with both hands, find it, admit it and get yourself on the stage with it. The major takeaway here is that you need to end up presenting, simply to become being recognized and open doors.
But be practical and thorough: in your offer people want to see some cash flow, market value proposition. Over time, as we see investors becoming spoiled, they need a tangible and mature idea, NVP at least. Since I am about to open my 12th accelerator, we gained some strategy to win those: a minimum of an NVP to deploy the project, all to come back to an investor with users matrix after 3 months of actual functioning.
Raising money is a bitch. It’s difficult every day of the week, every second of a day. You’re standing with something close to technology and pitching it to a person that you’ve met 5 minutes ago to give you a million dollars. How easy can that be? I’m talking to startups now: find a real need, develop your NVP, launch it quickly and don’t hope you’re God of Tech. Be humble, be direct, be active, be practical.
Present to investors, like you would to ordinary people, but smart and having tons of experience; simply remember: money is always there for good ideas. Be sure to deliver the technology and realization itself properly, not just a powerful presentation.
Ecosystems as biggest support to startup blooming
I see ecosystems worldwide evolving. Right now, Israel is flourishing much more then Europe: Austria or Italy and, hopefully soon, Switzerland, the Baltics, some of the Nordics and the Balkans are only halfway there. The actual difference here in Israel is more to do with the “ecosystem”: academies, universities, colleges, all institutions, having the role of teaching. Then comes the tech industry itself, as a customer for the innovation, and lastly, municipalities, the government. They all have major roles.
The progress and involvement of the ecosystem, that we can now report, is that Israel’s GBP is 3 hundred billion dollars and our government invests 4.7% of it into the development of high-tech startups in an initial investment. In the era when startups don’t care to promise their investors to come back with cash flow but guarantee the number of users only, this kind of money demonstrates high hopes government puts in the young minds.
The more emerging countries as in Europe or Africa are different, they still work on it as we speak. But in funding at the European Union, money is sometimes coming into the country with a direct purpose of investing into the ecosystem. Little by little it builds up. Government representatives coming to our event get us and them familiarise in a way so that they know they can all together contribute, gather in an effort to develop something further.
“Numbers are rising, hundreds of millions of dollars being invested, satiation is far away”
No one expects easy, easy is for the weak. We wanna tough because we are entrepreneurs and startups, we like it tough. Nevertheless, I know that in 2017 ICOs were like 4–5 billion and I can say that Israel contributed 5 hundred million to that number. So ICO is growing, but we all still hear Warren Buffett’s: “Forget about it”!
ICO takes people that believe in it and now it is a huge market. Just now in Switzerland the legislation to let crypto into an everyday roundabout failed, though 25% of the population voted “for” it. It is coming, alongside approaches the regulation. Generally speaking, India is full “against”, whereas Japan is mostly “for”, Gibraltar and Malta are now leading the world with regulations. The legal side of the situation will balance out somewhere in the middle, though we’re far from it: numbers are rising, hundreds of millions of dollars being invested, satiation is far away.