Disrupt #25: Are investors asking all the wrong questions?
By Dr V. Sivapalan November 14, 2014
- Are investors losing out on good investments?
- Is there a disconnect between entrepreneurs and investors?
THE usual lament of investors is that there is no good deal flow. On the other side of the coin are entrepreneurs who say that investors don't understand or don't bother to understand them or their businesses.
Up to five years ago, an argument could be made by investors that entrepreneurs were too ‘techie’ and did not explain or pitch the potential of their business, often drooling too much only about the technology.
However, with the numerous coaching programmes, accelerators, hackathons, pitch events, international competitions and so on that seem to be happening on a monthly basis, entrepreneurs have gotten much better at selling their business potential, and have learnt ‘Investor-speak,’ a language barrier that previously eluded many.
If you were to speak to entrepreneurs nowadays, the buzz phrase seems to be ‘smart investments,’ and not just money for the sake of it. Many are scrutinising investment memos and even turning down investments.
This signals a maturity in the market, at least amongst entrepreneurs.
So what is this ‘smart investment’ that entrepreneurs are seeking? Many entrepreneurs say that the type of questions an investors asks, says a lot about the type of investor they are, and hence the DNA-TeAM Disrupt panel discussion for November asks: Are Investors Asking All the Wrong Questions?
Disrupt is a monthly networking session and discussion organized by Digital News Asia (DNA) and the Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM).
Our panellists include one of Malaysia’s upcoming entrepreneurs in Lee Ching Wei (pic) of the iMoney group, who has pitched to more than 20 investors over the course of the last two years.
Our second panellist is Amin Shafie, cofounder of the Questmark Group, a venture capital firm based in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Questmark is also a partner with Malaysia Venture Capital Management (Mavcap) and the Axiata Group in the recently-announced Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF).
Amin has more than 16 years’ experience as a venture capitalist, and is currently president of the Malaysian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association or MVCA.
Finally, the third panellist is yours truly. I am an angel investor with seven investments, and lead coach for Proficeo & Cradle Fund’s Coach and Grow Programme. I am also director of TeAM’s Policy Institute.
Our latest Disrupt will be held on Wednesday, Nov 19 from 5.30-7pm at the Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre in Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur.
TM Innovation Exchange is sponsoring the venue and Proficeo Ventures is sponsoring food and beverages.
To register for the next Disrupt, click below:
Disrupt: ‘It’s hard to raise money in Malaysia’
Hey, VCs: Market trumps team
Angels with pitchforks, VCs who don't venture
500 Startups’ Khailee Ng on his investment preferences
TeAM and DNA out to ‘Disrupt’ the ecosystem