Fundraising masterclass for founders with Founders Grindstone

fundraising-masterclassIn order to set up a business, the first important problem that owners must address is the need for capital. Back then, business owners typically have to cough up their funding to achieve this. But with all the developments in the business ecosystem particularly within the startup tech world, founders now have access to an array of options for fundraising such as VCs, angel financing, crowdfunding, and many others.

Moreover, going beyond a company’s initial launch, fundraising is also vital for expanding businesses, developing new products and services, and exploring new markets. With the help of a good fundraising round, it opens up so many doors for promising startups to take their brand to a global stage and achieve their vision of success.

With all the possibilities that are opened up through fundraising, startup founders must be equipped with the necessary skills and core knowledge to create a compelling case for potential investors to be interested in. This will allow them the ability to fully grasp complex concepts regarding legalities and due diligence, develop strategies for pitching, and design persuasive pitch decks among others.

founders-grindstone

As such, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) launched the Founders Grindstone programme (FG) last year. MDEC’s FG is a capability-building programme with a keen focus on helping local tech entrepreneurs to enhance their knowledge in areas of fundraising and equip them with the right skills to increase their chances of securing investors.

MDEC understands the amount of raw potential that many promising startups possess, and through the FG programme, MDEC is committed to helping startups maximise that potential to open floodgates of opportunities for them.

Also read: How founder-CEOs can setup their startup for a successful IPO

MDEC’s FG programme entails intensive workshops conducted by leading investors, venture capitalists, equity crowdfunding platforms, and legal firms. This programme aims to equip founders with an understanding of regulatory, legal issues, investors’ requirements, pitch deck preparation, and other matters regarding the journey of fundraising. In addition, following the series of workshops, a pitching competition and business simulation are organised for twenty shortlisted startups, giving them an opportunity to highlight their business to potential investors.

A successful run with promising startups and leading investors

In 2020, the first FG programme was held in partnership with Draper Startup House (DSH) and a legal consultancy company, Izwan & Partners. At FG 2020, the top ten participating startups were connected to DSH-world’s largest network of VCs under Draper Venture Network, with connections to 24 global funds, and three startups were awarded scholarships to participate in the virtual Draper University entrepreneurship programme.

This year, they launched the first batch of Founders Grindstone 2021 in an even bigger and better programme that included a 2-hour mentoring session with RHL Ventures, The Hive SEA, and Tenggara Capital. Moreover, the top 10 companies from the pitching session enjoyed a 1-hour mentoring session with Damien Yee (Co-Founder of Epitome Global), with a select few being given the green lane for a pitching session at ASEAN Startup Meet @ Taipei, and awarding AWS cloud credits for selected startups.

futurelabFutureLab.my, an EdTech startup that provides mentorship software for corporates, learning institutions, and start-up accelerators, was one of the lucky startups to make it to the top 10. Brian Tan, CEO and Co-founder of FutureLab, explained “it was a good experience going through the programme, we got to meet investors that we haven’t met before, got insightful mentoring sessions, and got great feedback from the Taipei pitch day panel.”

Tan added that the programme gave them more opportunities to work on their pitch deck, enabling them to pitch and get feedback from investors. “We were in the process of fundraising during the program so the extra practice was valuable and I am happy to say that we got our term sheet signed by a couple of investors”, Tan said.

Meanwhile, Junya Yoshizaki, Chief Operating Officer of Chaintope Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. shared that the programme was a great opportunity to explore networks of top-quality investors. “We had a good meeting with the mentors which MDEC connected with us. We got some advice on how to improve our pitch deck to make it more attractive to VCs and investors. Mentors were from different backgrounds, such as VCs, successful startup founders. etc., and it was great to get advice from different perspectives,” Yoshizaki explained.

Also read: Here are the most promising startups in the 5G space

Chaintope is an IT blockchain company developing a hybrid blockchain called Tapyrus. Tapyrus Platform provides useful APIs for both FinTech and non-FinTech sectors. They are mainly focusing on the fields such as supply chain traceability, energy (P2P, REC), environment, government DX.

Yoshizaki added, “since our focus area is blockchain, company introduction typically becomes too technical, and it was quite difficult to explain to the audience about what we are trying to achieve. Actually, we just prepared a new version of the pitch deck in March when we joined another accelerator programme, and Founders Grindstone helped to brush up the deck even further.”

FutureLab and Chaintope are only some of the many exciting companies that benefitted greatly from the programme. Yoshizaki elaborated that “in this COVID-19 era, it is a tough time for startups, but at the same time many opportunities are opening up. MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme helps startups to improve our fundraising strategies. [It also provides us with the opportunity] to pitch in global events [and obtain] global exposure.”

Meanwhile, Tan affirmed his trust in the FG 2021 by saying “I would recommend this programme for all startups that are looking to meet local and international investors. MDEC did a great job looking after us and gave us the space to [hone our skills] and at the same time have scheduled meetings with potential investors and mentors.”

Exploring valuation methodologies and market readiness of a company to fundraise

“Special thanks to MDEC for organizing this initiative. It was a great experience meeting all the startups in Malaysia, reminding us that Malaysian startups have plenty of potentials. All it takes are the right exposure and guidance for them to prosper, which is what Founders Grindstone is all about. We hope that through this initiative, we can see the startups go on to achieve great things and become Malaysia’s new generation of tech leaders,” explained Raja Hamzah, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RHL Ventures.

With online avenues becoming increasingly mainstream, geographical boundaries are getting blurred. While this opens up ample opportunities for startups to expand beyond home markets, businesses are also faced with new challenges- from data security to compliance regulations and legal due diligence. In line with these emerging industry trends, FG 2021’s main focus this year is on equipping startups with various aspects of company growth, and providing tailored training classes according to their company lifecycle. This includes sharpening pitching skills and investors relations, fundraising for market expansion and also fundraising for growth-stage companies.

Also read: Scaleup Success: How can startups tackle the challenges of international expansion?

“Founders Grindstone is a fantastic initiative for the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem. It promotes knowledge-sharing between founders and venture funds like the Hive Southeast Asia and The Hive in Silicon Valley. As Investors, we gain a better understanding of the needs of Malaysian startups and together we can help build a richer ecosystem. Definitely a great initiative to prepare our Malaysian startups for their journey to become regional and global champions,” shared Shahril Ibrahim, Advisor of The Hive.

The second batch of FG 2021 that happened in the month of May focused on different valuation methodologies for startups ranging from early-stage to growth-stage and understanding the expected needs and readiness of a company to fundraise and expand from the point of view of a VC. The first workshop exploring valuation methodologies was held in collaboration with Equidam on May 5th. The next workshop on market expansion was a deep dive into market readiness, expansion strategy, product-market fit and market outlook, held on 25th May with AC Ventures who shared on regional expansion. In addition to this, The Hive will cover more on the global perspective in another workshop scheduled to be held on 1 June.

To join the next batch, visit the Founders Grindstone website.


Disclosure: This article is produced by e27, sponsored by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation

We can share your story at e27, too. Engage the Southeast Asian tech ecosystem by bringing your story to the world. Visit us at e27.co/advertise to get started.

Feature image credit: Pexels

The post Fundraising masterclass for founders with Founders Grindstone appeared first on e27.

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fundraising-masterclassIn order to set up a business, the first important problem that owners must address is the need for capital. Back then, business owners typically have to cough up their funding to achieve this. But with all the developments in the business ecosystem particularly within the startup tech world, founders now have access to an array of options for fundraising such as VCs, angel financing, crowdfunding, and many others.

Moreover, going beyond a company’s initial launch, fundraising is also vital for expanding businesses, developing new products and services, and exploring new markets. With the help of a good fundraising round, it opens up so many doors for promising startups to take their brand to a global stage and achieve their vision of success.

With all the possibilities that are opened up through fundraising, startup founders must be equipped with the necessary skills and core knowledge to create a compelling case for potential investors to be interested in. This will allow them the ability to fully grasp complex concepts regarding legalities and due diligence, develop strategies for pitching, and design persuasive pitch decks among others.

founders-grindstone

As such, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) launched the Founders Grindstone programme (FG) last year. MDEC’s FG is a capability-building programme with a keen focus on helping local tech entrepreneurs to enhance their knowledge in areas of fundraising and equip them with the right skills to increase their chances of securing investors.

MDEC understands the amount of raw potential that many promising startups possess, and through the FG programme, MDEC is committed to helping startups maximise that potential to open floodgates of opportunities for them.

Also read: How founder-CEOs can setup their startup for a successful IPO

MDEC’s FG programme entails intensive workshops conducted by leading investors, venture capitalists, equity crowdfunding platforms, and legal firms. This programme aims to equip founders with an understanding of regulatory, legal issues, investors’ requirements, pitch deck preparation, and other matters regarding the journey of fundraising. In addition, following the series of workshops, a pitching competition and business simulation are organised for twenty shortlisted startups, giving them an opportunity to highlight their business to potential investors.

A successful run with promising startups and leading investors

In 2020, the first FG programme was held in partnership with Draper Startup House (DSH) and a legal consultancy company, Izwan & Partners. At FG 2020, the top ten participating startups were connected to DSH-world’s largest network of VCs under Draper Venture Network, with connections to 24 global funds, and three startups were awarded scholarships to participate in the virtual Draper University entrepreneurship programme.

This year, they launched the first batch of Founders Grindstone 2021 in an even bigger and better programme that included a 2-hour mentoring session with RHL Ventures, The Hive SEA, and Tenggara Capital. Moreover, the top 10 companies from the pitching session enjoyed a 1-hour mentoring session with Damien Yee (Co-Founder of Epitome Global), with a select few being given the green lane for a pitching session at ASEAN Startup Meet @ Taipei, and awarding AWS cloud credits for selected startups.

futurelabFutureLab.my, an EdTech startup that provides mentorship software for corporates, learning institutions, and start-up accelerators, was one of the lucky startups to make it to the top 10. Brian Tan, CEO and Co-founder of FutureLab, explained “it was a good experience going through the programme, we got to meet investors that we haven’t met before, got insightful mentoring sessions, and got great feedback from the Taipei pitch day panel.”

Tan added that the programme gave them more opportunities to work on their pitch deck, enabling them to pitch and get feedback from investors. “We were in the process of fundraising during the program so the extra practice was valuable and I am happy to say that we got our term sheet signed by a couple of investors”, Tan said.

Meanwhile, Junya Yoshizaki, Chief Operating Officer of Chaintope Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. shared that the programme was a great opportunity to explore networks of top-quality investors. “We had a good meeting with the mentors which MDEC connected with us. We got some advice on how to improve our pitch deck to make it more attractive to VCs and investors. Mentors were from different backgrounds, such as VCs, successful startup founders. etc., and it was great to get advice from different perspectives,” Yoshizaki explained.

Also read: Here are the most promising startups in the 5G space

Chaintope is an IT blockchain company developing a hybrid blockchain called Tapyrus. Tapyrus Platform provides useful APIs for both FinTech and non-FinTech sectors. They are mainly focusing on the fields such as supply chain traceability, energy (P2P, REC), environment, government DX.

Yoshizaki added, “since our focus area is blockchain, company introduction typically becomes too technical, and it was quite difficult to explain to the audience about what we are trying to achieve. Actually, we just prepared a new version of the pitch deck in March when we joined another accelerator programme, and Founders Grindstone helped to brush up the deck even further.”

FutureLab and Chaintope are only some of the many exciting companies that benefitted greatly from the programme. Yoshizaki elaborated that “in this COVID-19 era, it is a tough time for startups, but at the same time many opportunities are opening up. MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme helps startups to improve our fundraising strategies. [It also provides us with the opportunity] to pitch in global events [and obtain] global exposure.”

Meanwhile, Tan affirmed his trust in the FG 2021 by saying “I would recommend this programme for all startups that are looking to meet local and international investors. MDEC did a great job looking after us and gave us the space to [hone our skills] and at the same time have scheduled meetings with potential investors and mentors.”

Exploring valuation methodologies and market readiness of a company to fundraise

“Special thanks to MDEC for organizing this initiative. It was a great experience meeting all the startups in Malaysia, reminding us that Malaysian startups have plenty of potentials. All it takes are the right exposure and guidance for them to prosper, which is what Founders Grindstone is all about. We hope that through this initiative, we can see the startups go on to achieve great things and become Malaysia’s new generation of tech leaders,” explained Raja Hamzah, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RHL Ventures.

With online avenues becoming increasingly mainstream, geographical boundaries are getting blurred. While this opens up ample opportunities for startups to expand beyond home markets, businesses are also faced with new challenges- from data security to compliance regulations and legal due diligence. In line with these emerging industry trends, FG 2021’s main focus this year is on equipping startups with various aspects of company growth, and providing tailored training classes according to their company lifecycle. This includes sharpening pitching skills and investors relations, fundraising for market expansion and also fundraising for growth-stage companies.

Also read: Scaleup Success: How can startups tackle the challenges of international expansion?

“Founders Grindstone is a fantastic initiative for the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem. It promotes knowledge-sharing between founders and venture funds like the Hive Southeast Asia and The Hive in Silicon Valley. As Investors, we gain a better understanding of the needs of Malaysian startups and together we can help build a richer ecosystem. Definitely a great initiative to prepare our Malaysian startups for their journey to become regional and global champions,” shared Shahril Ibrahim, Advisor of The Hive.

The second batch of FG 2021 that happened in the month of May focused on different valuation methodologies for startups ranging from early-stage to growth-stage and understanding the expected needs and readiness of a company to fundraise and expand from the point of view of a VC. The first workshop exploring valuation methodologies was held in collaboration with Equidam on May 5th. The next workshop on market expansion was a deep dive into market readiness, expansion strategy, product-market fit and market outlook, held on 25th May with AC Ventures who shared on regional expansion. In addition to this, The Hive will cover more on the global perspective in another workshop scheduled to be held on 1 June.

To join the next batch, visit the Founders Grindstone website.


Disclosure: This article is produced by e27, sponsored by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation

We can share your story at e27, too. Engage the Southeast Asian tech ecosystem by bringing your story to the world. Visit us at e27.co/advertise to get started.

Feature image credit: Pexels

The post Fundraising masterclass for founders with Founders Grindstone appeared first on e27.

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