A Reality Show for Start-ups: The Final Pitch

I am an avid fan of Shark Tank. I love watching Start-up pitch their ideas, even if some are super unprepared. I love seeing the different ideas that people have. Man, there are a lot of unique and creative ideas. I love taking note of the judges questions and I am always amazed at how good they are with numbers. I think Shark Tank is the only show that I watch where I have my notebook by my side to actually take down notes. You may laugh at me (haha!) but I do learn a lot from this show.

In my mind, the end goal really of the start-ups joining the show is either to raise capital (which is pretty normal) or to gain enough publicity to build traction. And for the rest of us watching the show, it’s really for our entertainment and education. Anything that I could learn from, I love!

Imagine my delight when I was invited to the Final Pitch press conference. I didn’t get to go (because I had to focus this week on Taxumo, but I decided to share it anyway. The Final Pitch is something like Shark Tank. The show will challenge entrepreneur contestants in every way — from exploring funding options, refining their business plans, and marketing their products and services. The show is set to air on History Channel this May, 2017

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“The Final Pitch aims to help entrepreneurs find success by connecting them to investors who can finance them, and to mentors who can fine-tune their businesses—reducing risk factors and boosting growth potential and sustainability,” shares the creator and host of The Final Pitch, John Aguilar.

The show will make entrepreneurs go through a series of challenges that will test their creativity, motivation and character. At the same time, they will learn the secrets behind the success of their potential investors, who are also tasked to handpick the top finalists to proceed on the show.

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

For Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, founder of a well-loved global food brand and one of the investors on ‘The Final Pitch’, his picks for the show would be based on whether or not he can see them as future business partners. “I’m looking for people who deserve a break, as I believe in the person more than the business,” he shares.

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Other investors include the multi-awarded Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong; self-made billionaire and the youngest chairman of a publicly-listed company in the PSE, Joseph Calata; and lastly, 25-year old millennial CEO of the angel investing group MFT Group of Companies, Mica Tan.

In addition to the potential funding from the investors, contestants will receive business coaching from an esteemed lineup of mentors, who are composed of well-known business experts and inclusive business champions, namely Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, Mon Lopez; former President of MicroVentures, Inc., Senator Bam Aquino; Chairman of Start Up Village, Prof. Jay Bernardo and; President of the Ateneo Center for Entrepreneurship-Masters In Entrepreneurship (ACE-ME), Dr. Andy J. Ferreira, among others.

I think this is a good initiative, because (1) Filipinos need to see that there are a lot of opportunities out there — opportunities to solve problems, opportunities to innovate and opportunities to make a difference; (2) We need to stir up the start-up ecosystem in the Philippines and having more publicity for the entire industry is good (in that way, we, startups won’t have to explain what we actually do, especially to our friends and parents. haha!);  and lastly, (3) We need to strive to be better than we are and let go of that “okay na ako” attitude. We, Filipinos, are very talented individuals and it’s such a waste to see people full of potential not maximize their talents and skills.

So there, these are the reasons why I, personally think, that we need shows and other activities like this. Will we join this competition and represent Taxumo? Maybe. We will have to think about it! haha!

But for those who are ready to join, here are some details:

To join The Final Pitch, applicants will be required to fill up and submit an online entry form to The Final Pitch via its official website www.TheFinalPitch.ph Deadline for submission of entries is until March 17, 2017. Investors interested in becoming a part of the show or investing in the entrepreneurs behind the scenes may also get in touch with The Final Pitch through through its website.

*The Final Pitch’ is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc., the company behind the longest-running real estate and construction TV show Philippine Realty TV. For more info and for sponsorship and partnership inquiries, visit www.TheFinalPitch.ph or call 0917-8136674.

Goodluck to all my readers who want to join! Message me so that we can all watch you!

Online Software for Developers: Samebug’s Renata Irsai from Hungary Shares her Story

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From one of the largest cities in the European Union, Budapest (in Hungary), a very admirable lady named Renáta Tamási-Irsai runs a technology company. She is one of the women in power that I have met during my short visit to Israel. She is the CEO of Samebug, a technology company.

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Renata founded Samebug with her husband who she married 10 years ago. She is a mother of three young children. “I am raising a child who is different than other people, through this I develop an understanding of what it means not fitting in to society. Using this experience I am able to listen and help other mothers who are in the same situation,” Renata added.

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Renata also mentions that her Christian faith plays an important role in her life.

She is a very organized person and she love things to be in order in every aspect of her life. She’s a member of the Budapest Toastmaster Club: http://toastmasters.hu/. She is also very passionate about cooking. She loves inviting people either to cook together or eat what they have cooked. In fact, cooking is another shared interest with her husband. “I am an introvert, but if you know me deep and long enough, you would not tell. Reading is my favorite activity when I want be alone,” Renata says. “My goal in life is to get to know the purpose of my life and become the person who I was created to be.”

My interview with Start-up Founder, Renáta Tamási-Irsai, CEO of Samebug

Ginger: Hi Reni! Can you share with my readers what your start-up is about?

Renata: Samebug is an online software startup company that builds a platform to help developers to find solutions to software problems. Simply take a stack trace from a crash, plug it into Samebug (either via a browser or plugin to IntelliJ IDEA or Android Studio) and it will search across over 800,000 (and growing) solutions to determine if the problem causing the crash has been solved by another engineer or not. If it has, Samebug will present the solution, if the problem has not been solved, Samebug will connect you with experts who can help. Founded in 2015, Samebug is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary and owned by a Delaware Corp, Samebug, Inc. The three co-founders are full-time employed, two of them are computer scientists, the CEO has a MBA degree in Finance.

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Ginger: Your product is a bit technical. I was wondering who your target market is for your product/services?

Renata: 18.5 million developers all over the globe. Our software is a developer tool, the market is given. The technical founders who are developers are solving their own problem. Developers are spoiled all of over the world – they are in high demand as every company is becoming more and more digital. Good developers are expensive and rare. They are used to use development tools free, so it is hard to get them to pay for any tool.

Also in our market the user and the customer is two different person, and you have to find the ways to make both of them happy at the same time.

Ginger: Excellent! So how did you and your husband come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

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Renata: My husband, Árpád has been a developer for 25 years and an entrepreneur for 10 years, developing tailor-made softwares to a financial company. 3 years ago, when the business was struggling and he got his Master degree, we both felt that we need to change what we are doing. Samebug was one of the option out of the three we evaluated, things pointed towards Samebug and we took plunge, jumped and has been doing it for 3 years.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Renata: Lack of knowledge of startup world, funding.

Ginger: Yes, I have to agree. This is what we went through as well. How about anything specific to your country? What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Renata, CEO of Samebug

 

Funding. Lack of understanding of the startup world, building a global company and lack of trust. Most of our family and friends do not understand what we are doing, what we are live on and why is it exciting.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Start-up founder should have when starting their own business?

Renata: Risk taking, commitment and willingness to be different and work hard.

Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Renata: I rather let go of what I have worked for and sacrificed a lot rather than doing a bad deal or make compromises on my values.

Ginger: Oh, that’s great! I just read an article yesterday of one company that was looking to hire a CEO that would die working or would rather spend time working than spend time with his family, and I just thought it was so sad. So, what advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Renata: Act as you don’t have Plan B, but have a Plan B to act on it when it is necessary. Be honest and transparent and stick to your values (if they are good) I also don’t believe tha everyone should be entrepreneurs. I believe there are many things that has to play in harmony for someone to be willing to take the risk.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Renata: Angel investors abroad and when the product gets to that stage later stage investors in abroad. There is very little chance to raise it in Hungary. The culture of building a global company is almost non-existent. We can provide services and from the money we can fund our startup.

Ginger: What is your growth strategy?

Renata: We are Software-as-a-Service company, selling online and later on targeting major enterprise corporations.

Ginger: Just to give others an ideay, what are tech tools that you use for your business?

Renata: Evernote, Slack, Jira, Skype, Google Docs, Balsamiq Mockup, Sketch

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, Renata. Again, it was great having one of the women in power from Hungary join us today! 🙂

If you want to know more about SameBug, here are the details:
Website: https://samebug.io
Email address: renata.tamasi@samebug.io
Mobile Number: +36 70 381 9619
Twitter account: @samebug

8 Things That You Can Do to Feel Like a Startup Winner

Yesterday, I had a really itchy palm and I thought something great was about to happen. They say that if you have an itchy palm, you’re about to receive money. Well, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Haha! Then, today, I’m sitting in this coffee shop in BGC with huge number 8’s on the wall. Just by seeing this number, I feel so lucky already! But obviously, all of these – lucky numbers, horoscopes, etc., are not guaranteed to bring you Startup success this year. What brings you success is really more of the positive feeling and the energy that you get from believing that things will be great and awesome.

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Having the right mindset in business is crucial. I have noticed that whenever I feel like a winner or whenever I feel positive, that’s when I get to book deals and get to do something productive. Also, I have noticed that there are particular things that I do that make me feel a Startup Winner. I know that things can get you down easily so today, I’ll be sharing with you 8 things that I do to make me feel positive and vibrant oftentimes.

1. Start the day early. When I start the day early, I get to do more things. If I feel that I have done so much before the clock strikes 12 noon, I become even more inspired and do a whole lot more after.

2. Set aside time for “moving”. Noticed that I used moving, instead of working out. I don’t know. Working out just seems too heavy. I have noticed that in the morning, when I decide to walk and do get to walk (not hurriedly) to a bakery shop or a café a few buildings away, this activity puts me in a brighter mood.

3. Always fix your work space in the evenings or right before you retire to bed. I noticed that when I wake up to a clean desk, I feel energized to work. It just makes me feel “ready”.

4. Update your vision board. My vision board is right across my bed. When I wake up, that’s the first thing I see.

5. Have ME-time days. Schedule a once or twice a month day for yourself. On that day, do everything that you want to do, but never really get the chance to do because you’re just too busy (book a massage, cut your hair, have a manicure or pedicure, etc.).

6. Do something, be somewhere, be with someone or eat something that puts you in a good mood. Sometimes, I just like to sit alone in a café and just write because writing puts me in a good mood. It also helps me focus more after.

7. Help others. I’m sure you know this and I know you’re familiar with the feeling. When you help others, without expecting anything in return, it makes you feel more alive. The feeling that you are part of the community and the feeling of giving back to society is something that makes us feel good.

8. Connect with someone. Write your hubby a letter. Invite a friend for coffee. Call your sister or brother and just talk about random stuff. Call a business partner or a supplier and don’t talk about business. Try to build relationships by going for things that goes beyond what is expected from you.

I don’t believe that people are born lucky, but I believe that all of us are born to be winners. I believe that luck and success comes from the way you feel about yourself. I believe that whenever you feel good, all things positive gravitate towards you.

Hope you like my tips! Be a winner!