skip navigation

Skip Navigation LinksHome > News > Latest Highlights

Five important lessons from Silicon Valley veterans

29 Sep 2017

At a recent event by Platform E – SIM’s entrepreneurship centre - over a hundred participants turned up to learn about start-ups and investing from Silicon Valley veterans.

Sharing their invaluable experiences: Silicon Valley personalities (from left) Bill Reichert, Gigi Wang, Ken Singer, Kal Deutschand and Dr Eddy Lee.

The crowd gained key insights on start-up success and insider stories from Silicon Valley.

At the three-hour Straight from Silicon Valley: Insights on Start-up investing talk, participants gained five key takeaways:

#1: Understand that your potential investor is looking for a long-term sustainability plan, and not just how your idea will impact the market.

Bill Reichert, Managing Partner of Garage Technology Ventures, shared the key factors to consider when deciding whether to invest in a start-up – Unique Value Proposition, Unfair Advantage, Team, Technology, Traction, and Finance and Economics (WTF model).

#2: If you are looking to start on your entrepreneurial journey but don't have an idea, or are facing some setbacks, don't worry, because there are other ways to get going.

There is no singular approach for start-ups to get going. Twitter began with a team; Google started off as a research project; and Post-It was founded by accident.

Serial entrepreneur and start-up mentor Ken Singer advised that it doesn’t matter how you start because all start-ups will face similar issues of working against the industry they are trying to disrupt.

#3: Your investors are looking for more than just your executive summary and a pitch deck.

Preparing documents (e.g. organisational documents, sales and marketing plan) in advance gives you the opportunity to critically assess your start-up and develop a much stronger strategy before you meet your investors.

Kal Deutsch, Partner and founding investor-advisor from The Batchery, shared that you will need to convince investors that you have a sustainable plan and support to take their investment further.

#4: Think about how you can get all your stakeholders in your value chain to participate.

You will have to properly identify your end-users, buyers, and partners. Everyone in the customer value chain must benefit.

Gigi Wang, Industry Fellow at Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship in UC Berkeley, stressed the overarching importance of value extraction. Companies like Google, Facebook, AirBnb and many of today’s tech giants didn’t start making a profit until much later. They managed to develop innovative business models, which transformed processes and identified new revenue streams.

#5: It is important to build your network and have an innate understanding of each country and market given that Asia presents different political and economic landscapes.

Sharing his insights on Asia, Singapore’s Dr Eddy Lee of Coffee Ventures said that while there are many takeaways from the stories of Silicon Valley start-ups, Southeast Asian market has its own mix of unique challenges.

Southeast Asia cannot be like Silicon Valley, it will eventually innovate and become another version entirely, with its own success stories tell.

Information session on entrepreneurship programmes at Platform E

A comprehensive ecosystem by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Platform E will also be holding its next programme information session on 21 October 2017.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can find out how Platform E nurtures the entrepreneur, the idea and the business. They will learn about the various entrepreneurship tracks available and which programme best fits their aspirations and needs. It’s also an opportunity to speak with current participants as they share  how Platform E has helped kick start their ideas and advanced their start-up journey.

Date: 21 October 2017
Time: 2.00pm - 4.00pm (Registration starts at 1.30pm)
Venue: Atrium, Level 4, 41 Namly Avenue, Singapore 267616

Register via this link:

Share this page.