Expert panelists shared guidance for start-ups in the Investment session and Start-up Challenge. Here are some highlights:
- The right investor changes as you grow. Once you're past the seed stage and have a few customers, look to the industry. More than funding, you'll gain expert advisors. Once you’re to market, it's time to look for a strategic investor or maybe VC. Shift your board to advisors who know the space.
- The buzzword in investing now? Semiconductor. The market is beginning to understand that photonics is an enabler to lots of hot markets, and value it accordingly. Supply chain. How do I fit into it, address it, secure it? A supply chain play can strengthen your value proposition. On the flip side, expect to be able to address your own supply chain in fundraising.
- "Longest wait for a recession ever." VC capital may slow as they anticipate the need to shore up their existing investments.
- Prepare for valuations dropping, as the terms are not as favorable as a year ago. Make sure you have multiple irons in the fire.
Straight talk from Shahida Imani, Sujatha Ramanujan, and other panelists:
- Be honest with yourself. Don’t drink your own Kool-Aid!
- Don’t engage with rotten people.
- Keep showing up to the arena.
Looking for a strong marketing plan for your start-up business? We’ve created a guide with sales and marketing best practices for five different stages of growth.