Ashley and his fellow colleagues from Petrofeed (http://www.petrofeed.com/) gave a very interesting speech/discussion to kick off Hack Night on Tuesday, May 14. The topic was ‘How to identify what a good problem is and how to communicate it.’
Not enough industry specific entrepreneurs are working on big and ambitious problems in many industries today. They are selling themselves short by tackling smaller, less impactful problems because there is a fear that larger problems cannot be solved. A common misconception is that the big problems need to be solved first. Ashley explains, that you should look for smaller bits first, incrementally solve the problems, and your main focus should be on the element of distribution (how do you get people to know your product)
As he summarized his opening remarks, Ashley and his team took some questions. Here is a condensed version of the Q and A from Tuesday night:
Q: Core people who are making the spending decisions, what comes first?
A: Need to monitor industry activity, right now its scattered around the web, borrowed concepts from social network – profiles and stories are land development and wells, industry data you care about and then define geographic boundaries, social stories into feed – sharing data using core audience – Connect with a lot of different data sets from many different sources.
Q: Biggest challenges for metrics to get next round of funding?
A: Each user represents a certain amount of revenue they can spend, of these x users there are a percentage in the systems and represent x amount of capital for Calgary. Virality and speed of adoption are the key areas of interest for investors who are looking to invest in tech startups. Investors and audience need to understand the problem that you are solving! Work on people that understand your problem and space, if not it is a waste of your time and the investor’s time.
Q: What are some of important elements when pitching to investors?
A: Tell a story that people can walk away with and three high level buckets. It is important to understand your audience and to create a pitch that will have the greatest retention. Use appropriate pitch materials that is industry and investor specific.
What Startups need and what they are working on
- Jeff Sinclair – Fitsee – take a picture of smartphone to comparatively shop for fit online – smart phone, piece of paper and favorite piece of clothing to actively compare clothing online – website, users signup, upload clothing, through the catalog and browse items, compare the fit and accuracy up to 1mm – SKILLS (People in the clothing retail space with connections with manufactures) email@example.com
- RockitRecords – Rockkit is LinkedIn for the music industry. We help bands, promoters, venues and record labels cut through the noise of finding talent and give them tools to put on great live shows, manage contacts and manage their music businesses – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Camille and Nick – AdCatch – click on an online ad, they get interrupted – browser plugin, stop the redirect and save that ad to an adboard for later, people can browse uninterrupted and can view the ads when it is convenient to do so – track behavioral interactions people have with ads and tie with a demographic profile and sell that information back to advertisers – graphic designer, web designer (proficient with mobile) and beta testers – Camille@adcatch.ca
- Mark – FinanceForGood.ca – the first and only social impact bond intermediary in Canada – we exist to catalyze a shift from treating symptoms to treating root causes – we do this by mobilizing private sector capital towards complex social issues and enabling our governments to pay for results, rather than programs (that may or may not work). We work closely with provincial government ministries, leading non-profits, and local investors Mark.email@example.com – happy to connect with interested parties
- MusicYYC – Coline – MusicYYC is the beginning to MusicIYC, which stands for Music In Your connecting artists, venues and fans in localized hubs using airport codes as the URL’s. –JQuery code for a music player, live music player, user profiles implemented – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brad – BixNets.com – Bixnets.com (Business Intelligence eXchange networks) is a knowledge legacy platform for business that combines knowledge crowdsourcing and a mentoring social network that makes it pay to share expertise. Think of iTunes for business know-how combined with LinkedIn for mentoring, but where you can get paid for sharing your know-how. Bixnets.com makes it simple and easy for both organizations and individuals to package their innovations, best practices, experiences, and know-how; share it; mentor it; and prosper from it. Through crowdsourcing, people’s wisdom lives on, the value of “know-how” is retained, recognized and rewarded, and a lasting knowledge LEGACY is built. – need beta testers
- Chris Green – Heart Attack Prevention Club – to create a best practice guide to healthy eating - WordPress help – email@example.com
- Todd O’Brizlo – Dogshare.ca – is a way to share the love. It helps dog owners by providing safe homes for short-term stays at no cost. It helps non-dogowners get some dog time, which reduces stress. Another service, it helps people who want to own a dog part of the time. Set-up co-parenting partnerships for dogs – visualstudio.net developer – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Panoptic News at the Gateway Gazette – a collaborative solution for Digital Media – news website, with multiple publications on one collaborative website (Not RSS feed) providing convenience, continuity and credibility to a larger audience – email@example.com – in need of content providers, investors, advisory board
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