ABCs of Entrepreneurship:
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Regional Office, in collaboration with WOWs Global, kick-started the inaugural ABCs of Entrepreneurship event on May 13th at The Great Room, Gaysorn Tower. The event witnessed an impressive turnout of over 90 founders, co-founders, and investors.
Commencing with a Knowledge Session led by WOWs Global's Founder & CEO, Gagan Singh, the event delved into crucial insights and discussions. Two panel discussions took place as part of the event. The first panel brought together founders who openly shared the diverse challenges encountered at each stage of start-up growth. The second panel featured investors who provided valuable perspectives on the various types of investors and their expectations.
Simplifying the Jargon
During the event, Gagan Singh delivered an enlightening presentation, simplifying critical concepts, metrics, and terminology for both founders and aspiring entrepreneurs. His informative session aimed to equip participants with a better understanding of key aspects related to fundraising.
Thai Based Founders through the Start-up Stages
Following the informative session, a panel discussion took place, featuring founders representing different stages of start-up development. The panellists shared their valuable insights and experiences, highlighting the distinct challenges encountered at various stages of the entrepreneurial journey.
During the discussion, the panellists delved into the specific hurdles faced by entrepreneurs in the early stage, growth stage, and mature stage of their ventures. They provided first-hand accounts and valuable perspectives on the unique obstacles and strategies required to navigate each stage successfully.
Here are some key takeaway messages from our Thai-Based Founders:
Figure out your strategy, when you’re starting out, your role will not be defined. You will need to be flexible.
Whether the business is small or large, you need people who are open-minded and are problem solvers.
Mentors are important in the entrepreneurship world. To have someone who provides you with a shield, tell you what is right and wrong, and how to play the politics is crucial to survival… I found that going up to [someone you admire] and asking them directly "I want to be where you are today, can you be my mentor?" it worked for me.
An overlooked aspect is cultivating relationships, please do not undervalue this. You need to learn to take criticism and feedback.
You need transparency with your staff. Assign them key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals and assure them that as founders of the company the rest will be taken care of.
A Glimpse in the Variety of Investors
The final panel discussion focused on various types of investors, including Venture Capital investors, Private Equity investors, Family Offices, and Angel investors. The aim of this session was to provide attendees with valuable insights into the diverse landscape of investor types and preferences.
During the panel discussion, our esteemed panellists shed light on a range of topics, including geographical preferences, average check sizes, industry biases and preferences, capital deployment rates, relationships with limited partners (LPs), internal structures, existing portfolio, and key criteria for founders, amongst others.
Here are some key takeaway messages from our Investors:
There are more opportunities, we now see investors starting to invest more in Thai start-ups.
VCs are demanding more from start-ups [than before]. There are global VCs across the globe. Competition is high and options are limitless. These are year-long commitments.
We also see Middle eastern money coming into the Southeast Asia. There has been a lot of interest but with the upcoming elections, this can affect investment.
Have conversations with your investors and understand what they want.
We definitely sometimes get caught up in spending other people’s money – and no one ever wants to share bad news. However, remember that your investors are ex-founders and they can share advices with you.
The ABC's of Entrepreneurship is an initiative by FNF Alumni, aimed at empowering local start-ups in Southeast and East Asia while educating young professionals about entrepreneurial best practices. It serves as a platform to support and equip aspiring entrepreneurs in the Southeast and East Asia. If you are interested in becoming an FNF Alumni and creating a project with us please follow the #FNFAlumni.
In collaboration with WOWS Global, FNF released and distributed the comprehensive A-Z of Fundraising booklet to all participants. This booklet serves as a valuable resource, presenting essential concepts in a clear and accessible manner.
We would like to thank all of our speakers: Gagan Singh, Shannon Kalayanamitr, Lucas Pinoli, Prathan Thananart, Chanisa Rueangkirianya, Harprem Doowa, Pun Jaruthassanakul, Amarit Charoenphan, Pahrada Sapprasert, Ashwani Ahuja, Wing Vasiksiri.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is immensly proud to be a part of this activity.