Two days ago, the fastest and one of the most important 3 minutes of our lives happened. During that day, our team had to deliver a 3 minute pitch for the Philippines Qualifiers for Echelon Summit Asia 2016. We didn’t even expect to be part of the top entries in the Philippines, since we really didn’t have any basis on what the judges were looking for. This was the first time that we were going to pitch after several years. Looking at the list of startups, we felt like babies pitted against the pros who have done this several times before. All we had were the business experience of each member of the team, confidence and a lot of preparation. It may seem very trivial to spectators, but let me help you understand how important these pitches are for startups.
Pitching is basically summarizing the time and effort spent in your business in 3 minutes. We started conceptualizing our business late last year, but some of these businesses have even been in the industry for a year and already gaining revenue. We have gone through brainstorming, idea generation, choosing what brand or product name to go with, purchasing hosting or even dedicated servers. We have gone through hours and hours of coding to create product prototypes and user friendly websites. We have gone through market analysis, market strategies, market research. We have analyzed the market sized and have come up with the best business model that we could think of after deciding that thinking about it too much caused analysis-paralysis. We have gone through all those and more and in pitches, they expect us to relay all of these things that we have done in 3 minutes. Can you just imagine that?
Pitches open doors. Startups pitch business ideas for different reasons. They pitch because they want funding and pitches shows investors a little bit about who and what you are as an entity. Some startups use it to validate ideas and some use it as a testing ground to learn more and to improve their product by hearing what the investors and judges have to say.
As mentioned. we haven’t attended a pitch since 2010 and this is the first time again that we are actively joining this scene. I haven’t been in touch with this industry for several years, but since two years ago, I have joined friends who wanted to make a difference by putting up a tech startup. And recently, I have become even more attracted to this community and I’m beginning to love it.
As far as I have seen, people are very nice and are willing to share ideas and input that would further improve your product. They are also very helpful and are willing to share contacts for resources that you might need. Of course, you still have to protect you ideas, but so far, I’m loving the vibe of the Philippine Tech Startup Scene.
What I have noticed is that a lot of Filipinos have new and great ideas and not a lot of them have access to things like these pitches. I have been helping my fellow entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs come up with solid business plans and marketing strategies for a couple of years now and it was only recently that I got to absorb and see with my own eyes what articles or what people meant when they said that the Philippines is the up and coming startup scene in SEA. I have my own start ups in the Philippines and it was just fairly recent that I got to realize that there are already quite a number of incubators, angel investors, venture capitalist who are willing to invest in startups with good, unique and revenue generating ideas.
I highly recommend people to check out this industry and if you have new ideas, just go and check out its feasibility and its potential.