6 things I learned from attending the Fundica Roadshow in Ottawa

I believe attending events is a crucial activity for a startup. Doesn’t matter if it’s one team member or several, having a presence is paramount. As a startup, you’re always looking to meet new people that can help you in some way, shape or form. It could be an investor, a connector, or just simply showing up to support the community.

For those of you who don’t know what the Fundica Roadshow is, it’s a group organized by Fundica that travel to 11 cities across Canada connecting investors with startups. Below is a screenshot taken directly from fundingroadshow.com

fundica roadshow

The top 7 things I learned from attending the Fundica Roadshow:

 1) How important it is to get involved in the startup community:
First, a startup should not be confined to their city. Many entrepreneurs/startups at the event kept talking about how all they have been doing is traveling to different startup events fro city to city and meeting people/ investors in those cities. The main cities that stood out were New York, Boston, San Fran, LA. Montreal, Toronto.
So what the heck are we doing building bumpn in Ottawa?? Well let’s save that for another post 🙂

Second, the importance of incubators and accelerators: For example, Lee Sylverstone from Gymtrack met Dave McClure, founder of 500 startups at a startup event in Montreal and literally, that same conversation, Dave asked Lee if he would join 500 startups which started 3 days from when they met. No application needed! They obviously decided to do so and they said it’s life changing in regards to the people they meet, investors, advice, mentorships etc. Oh ya, and they just closed a $2.5M seed round… hint hint!

2) The importance of your STORY:

Some of the investors said it loud and clear. They don’t really care about your product as much as they do about YOU, your team and your startups story. If they see the potential in YOU (humility is key) they are far more interested. They love hearing “started from the bottom now we here” type stories.

3) Know who you’re pitching to very well:

The speakers essentially said that angels and VC’s all have a specific niche they like funding in. If you approach an angel or VC who loves investing in SAAS and you’re a mobile app then you’re wasting your time and most importantly their time and have not done your homework.  It’s important you always start a pitch with things that RESONATE with them. “Hello Mr Investor, I’m so and so, looking for X for Y. I know you love the mobile space and congratulations on X, Y and Z. I’m really excited and want to show you what we ave today…

4) Leverage the startup resources available to you:

There are so many resources (tools, peoples, funding etc)  available to startups not only in your city but online as well. For example for us in Ottawa, we have SREDS and IRAP and a few other resources available through fundica.  We have establishments like Invest Ottawa and the Ottawa Network. Get your name and product out early because if you’re liked and you’re working on something cool the word will get out. There’s nothing better then going out and you have some key people coming up to you saying “ohh hey Monty what’s bumpn” In fact, ever since I started becoming more active in the startup community I started building relationships with Startup Ottawa and Startup Canada who are helping us get the word out.

5) There are no shortcuts:
If you haven’t figured this out yet (the hard way) then get to know it. It’s VERY important that you take the right steps at the right time because it’s the baby steps that make you a much better person and give you a much better product.
Make sure you get your MVP out and you test it properly. Collect feedback, data and surveys from your target demographics. Find your angle, your pitch, your descriptions, brand, messaging, features, icons, flow, etc Make sure you have it down PERFECT before you tell the world about it. Otherwise you will never see the success that you hope for.  If you need money to iterate and iterate before going to market then so be it, grind your ass off to making that happen.
When you feel that you have “NAILED IT” – and that may mean stripping things out, changing the flow whatever… then you can start getting ready to go to market.

 

6)The power of congruency from product to market:
What does that mean? Well if we decide we’re going to launch with a celebrity angle (I just claimed my name on bumpn @Monty … come check me out) then the app needs to reflect that from the moment users sign up. ie the ability to claim their name on bumpn right when they sign up.

If your angle is the “easiest way to share photos and videos with friends” then that’s exactly how your UX should be designed.
If it’s ‘Never miss a moment” then show users what’s happening around them the moment they sign up etc …you get the point.

 

Let me know what you guys think and if you have any comments. That’s a wrap folks!
I'm a Family man and Entrepreneur. bumpn is my latest start-up which I am the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing. I believe in abundance and sharing value to everyone I can reach. I love tech, mobile and marketing. Follow this blog, or find me on FB or Instagram to learn from all the crazy stuff I'm part of and of course help you along your journey!