Still wondering how to turn into one of those cool Silicon Valley entrepreneurs? It seems like paradise to develop your startup, particularly in that region. However, in order to succeed, you need to bring out something really extraordinary to the local audience of investors and experienced startup companies. Recently Marvin Liao, a partner of ‘500 Startups’, went through the latest business tendencies on the west coast and explained his vision of a typical promising startup project worth expert help and investors’ participation.
‘500 Startups’ is a famous investment fund coming from Silicon Valley but now opening its offices all over the world. They invest huge sums of money in perspective startup projects, most of which have already covered the incurred development costs and thus closed the $85 million fund.
Marvin Liao is working at ‘500 Startups’ hub in San-Francisco, where he is currently dealing with a new batch of 34 international startups carefully shortlisted from the initially accepted 1100 projects. These numbers demonstrate the heavy selection process done in the leading seed accelerator, where only 30-50 startups are usually lucky to get professional assistance from qualified ‘500 Startups’ teams and eventually reach high revenues in a short period of time. Marvin points out how essential the project sales and their growth potential are since investors need to see the working business model before they decide to provide funds.
Obviously, the majority of modern successful startups belong to the tech field. According to Marvin, tech companies make extremely high profits today, but the numbers themselves do not make a sign of real success. It is more important to guarantee the positive growing trend at least for two years, or in other words, certify the longevity of a company’s business model.
Liao also admits the magical effect Silicon Valley has on the world business environment being a kind of magnet pulling all the leading investors, entrepreneurs and explorers to cooperate for the sake of innovations. Here people take risks easier, because even if their own project fails, there are millions of others in which they can participate. Also, the local venture capital funds are much more competent and mature, used to simultaneous work with numerous startups and majoring in all stages projects’ support. In contrast, European venture funds mostly specialize on seed investments and, therefore, are not able to lead some really perspective deals till the end. Moreover, capital and financial support are still less available in Europe. At the same time, there are numerous talented young minds with impressive business ideas, who cannot promote their projects without proper investments.
Finally, Marvin shared his experience of finding real startups, the ones that eventually grow into serious businesses and change the relation of market forces. Unfortunately he claims that nowadays being a startupper is considered to be cool, or just implies an independent way of life in which you pretend to be a businessman. In reality good startups are not just ideas on paper, you have to put a lot of effort into launching your business from scratch and it is far from easy. Serious funds like ‘500 Startups’ prefer cooperation with already working business ideas.
That is why before you decide to become a startupper, check in advance if you have these: a well-designed business idea, a knit team of professionals, a suitable market niche for your future product and, most importantly, courage to be always responsible for any possible failure.
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