Today I had the pleasure of speaking at the Philippine Software Industry Association’s Spring.ph LaunchPad Event. 7 startups applied for the program by presenting their startup ideas & Business Model Canvas. The coaches asked questions, offered feedback and help and I gave a 30-minute talk on Helpful Marketing.
Want to see what I presented at Launchpad – and get the slides?
Unfortunately there are too many bad startup events – especially in Asia
Ironically enough, yesterday I had a call with Paul Orlando, founder of AccelerateHK and one of the leading voices advocating Lean Startup in Asia. I was giving him feedback on the draft of his new book, Startup Sacrilege for the Underdog Entrepreneur. We commiserated about some of our frustrations with startup events here.
Today’s event was an example of best practices – here is what I respected.
Coaches – NOT judges
I don’t like being called a “judge” at startup events. We don’t need to be judges – the customers are the only judge that matters.
The people providing teams help and feedback were called “coaches” – it created an atmosphere of learning and sharing.
An emphasis of learning over “idea”
You could almost feel the aura of Steve Blank smiling in the back of the room. I don’t think I heard anyone mention the words “good/bad idea” the entire day. Instead the feedback and questions were about the needs of the customer, what was learned through discussion and how to do Customer Development.
The coaches understand Lean Startup. They asked insightful questions and gave feedback that was as good as any I have heard worldwide.
Honest – but helpful feedback
The program can accept only so many teams – but every team got personal, 1-on–1 specific feedback with suggestions. Teams who were not accepted were told why and given specific tips on what to do.
No “best pitch” discussions
As an Angel investor I really don’t care much about “pitch” quality – I care whether you’re solving a real problem for customers and can make money doing it. Some of the most promising businesses we heard today were not good “pitches”.
Bravo Joey Gurango, Karen Reyes and everyone else who made it possible
Well done everyone. You’ve got a world-class program and I’m honored to have been invited.
If you’re planning a startup event in Manila I would suggest contacting Joey for some advice.