What type of investor do you want to work with?
We at Global Accelerator Network first look at the team. Is the team somebody you think you can work with. So as an entrepreneur also you want to flip that on the investor to see if they are the type of investors you want to be working with. The last thing we ask before we make an investment is can our team have a clear and likely benefit on that startup, if yes then it makes sense but if not then it is an opportunity to pass or to hand it off to someone else in our network that could have a clear and likely benefit for that team.
Different forms of funding
I wouldn’t say startups are always looking for funding. A lot of them are but that funding might come in different ways. It might come through revenue, investment, or exit opportunities. Deciding when to jump in depends on where you can have the most benefit. What is your thesis on the investment, what are you looking for and can you have a clear and likely benefit from that company?
Every source of funding is different. From the accelerator side and the incubator side, it is really about the stage. Where are you at as founder? What type of help do they do for their business right now? That might be a community, a group of great mentors, it might be access to partnerships. They might not be ready to go raise institutional funding. Not every company that gets investments will go to the next stage. So not every company is going to get into an accelerator program and not every company that goes to an accelerator program is going to be successful. So I think it is really about the stage. If you look at any life cycle of a venture or any startup, you go through life cycles and where you are at, at a certain time and how can the ecosystem help you grow your business. Also from the investor side or the help side how can you help that startup at that time? Everybody is a member of the ecosystem and a member of the tribe, it is just about where is the help needed for that founder right now and can you have a likely benefit on the team.
Outlook for 2018
Going into 2018 now, the ecosystem around the world has grown to a certain point where you as a founder, any company or an investor, you can create and grow your business wherever you are. If you are based in Seoul, there is no reason for you not to grow and create your business here. There are increasing resources, there is a huge community here, there are even investors who are looking for deal flow actually in your neck of the woods. No longer do you have to go travel to San Fransico just to grow and create a tech startup. You may have to go through there for one reason or another, but I think the ecosystem as a whole globally has really matured that if you are in Southeast Asia, there are unicorns and great solid businesses there that are being grown which is really showing that you can create your business wherever you are, just finding the right resources and the right partners in your ecosystem is what I think is really important.