For small businesses, an initial public offering (IPO) is sometimes a key milestone that many strive for. It is the first time that the stock of the company is offered to the public, and represents a new wave of capital and expansion. Small businesses often use IPOs to further their company’s growth and see the IPO as a necessary and crucial step forward. However, sometimes the IPO turns out to be more hindrance than help imposing limitations and headache son the very company that sought to use the IPO as a source of expansion. “Data published by Renaissance Capital indicate that as of June 2, 2016, there were only 34 IPO pricings, compared to the same point in 2015 when there were 70 IPO pricings. These 34 IPOs raised only $5.5 billion as of June 2, 2016. This amount is 55.8% below the $12.5 billion raised by IPOs between Jan. 1, 2015, and June 2, 2015.”
Callum Laing, a partner in the private equity firm Unity-Group and co-author of a new book “Agglomerate – From Idea to IPO in 12 Months”, shares a whole new insight of five ways an IPO can hurt a small business. These are a few ways that you should avoid at all costs, or your next IPO may become one of the many that flounder.
Entrepreneurs are usually integral to the business. They build the company from the ground up, know the ins and outs of the business, are familiar with its culture, and are even at times central to the image of the business. Most of the times, they are the driving force and passion behind the enterprise who are working tirelessly for years to help the company reach an IPO. However, when it is the time for an IPO there may be shifts in how much they can be involved in the day to day running of the business, and often, the original entrepreneur leaves, taking most of the drive and passion with them.
With the major changes that come from an IPO, key people often leave the business, sometimes with the key customers. This is truer if the business is not well prepared for the transition. For small businesses, talent is crucial and the dynamics of the team and the unique talents of those involved are often a central selling point. Often, even the departure of a single customer or key staff member can result in serious fiscal consequences. An IPO can also result in a shift in the brand identity, forgetting that the brand is actually a valuable asset that should be retained. However, with the brand and culture now controlled by a board of investors rather than individual entrepreneurs, culture and identity may fall second to maximising profit margins, ultimately hurting both.
Listing IPO’s is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Entrepreneurs used to working with a small tight knit cabinet find they will need a board to run the business and the IPO. In addition to advisors, specialist non-executives and experienced board members are often essential to attracting investors. Some companies think having strong international markets and business partners is a great way to reduce risk and improve valuation, but the added risk and expense of operating in a foreign country can mitigate any of the benefits such a strategy provides. Finally, public company investors are a generally very different from the angel investors and venture capitalists that the business would have worked with so far. Because of this, most roll-ups are either debt funded or investor funded – either way, this creates huge stress on the business.
Raising money for smaller businesses is very hard. Small businesses may find that they are just not big enough or de-risked enough to attract adequate funding from an IPO. With the Federation of Small Businesses reporting 99% of all businesses globally as small or medium enterprises, the competition is stiff. And even when you do get investments, it is often at the price of control over the business. Publicly listed shares will often carry a premium for their liquidity, and the entrepreneurs must show a strong business case for every use of money to their new board of investors. Even with more capital, the lack of liquidity and slow movement of funds can prove more of a hindrance than a boon.
Timing is critical to creating the best value and wealth from an IPO. Many good businesses that were keepers back in 2007 or 2008 do not exist anymore. The biggest question is always when to sell? Sell too early and you may miss out on all those contracts that you have slowly been building trust and market presence to acquire. The biggest issue with wealth creation in business is that only a small percentage of businesses actually create any wealth for their owners, and often nothing more than a return on capital. Not a great return if you add up all the hours, risks, and sacrifices required to start a business.
What is the Alternative to Traditional IPO?
Instead of going at an IPO alone, and potentially facing all of the pitfalls, small businesses can consider joining together with other small businesses and forming a holding company, banding together for a collective IPO. This process, known as “agglomeration”, can give all the member businesses an instant boost in scale and diversification, as well as boost the geographic reach of each member if other members are in diverse locations. This can immediately increase valuation and make the small business more attractive to investors. The public listing allows business owners more financial freedom while tackling the public listing with other small business owners helps foster cooperation to drive share value. Agglomeration allows a pooling of resources that also reduces the cost of the IPO, eliminating the need for separate advisors, boards, and non-specialist executives for each company.
Best of all, each individual entrepreneur can remain 100% in charge of their own business, retaining their own brand name, culture, and staff. This reduces the risk of shifts in company culture and staff or leadership that often mars the IPO process. Since each business is an individual unit within the group, there is limited liability – and if one entrepreneur chooses to leave, it is relatively easy with publicly listed stock to go and bring a similar business unit into the holding company and assimilate their management team. This creates easy natural succession without having to sell the entire parent company.
IPO’s can be difficult for small businesses to go at alone, with many pitfalls that can wind up hurting the business more than the increased capital can help. Agglomeration with other small businesses can allow entrepreneurs to have a better chance of making the IPO, and their business, a true success.
400 cities, 135 countries and the 54-hours! Startup Weekend has a reputation of being one of the biggest entrepreneurial events held throughout the world and it has produced hundreds of successful startups. The Startup Weekend is coming back to Karachi with its 4th edition this November. Aplos Innovations has teamed up with SEED Ventures is hosting it on the dates of 25th to 27th November.
What is a Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that includes brainstorming of ideas, creation and pitching. It is usually held over the course of three days at the end of the week. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs not only a platform on which they can develop their ideas into an applicable business plan and structure in the 54 hours, but also pitch and sell their product on a global scale.
The event provides a platform to all the entrepreneurs and professionals like designers developers and business analysts to work on their big idea and create a successful unique Startup out of it! Don’t worry if there is nothing in your mind yet or you don’t have an idea, you can still join Startup Weekend Karachi and be a part of it if you are good at what you do. You can join a team, work with them on their idea and become a partner!
This program is for everyone. You can become a part of it just by registering yourself and paying a small fee. Once you’re registered, you have become a participant and you can pitch your idea and receive help and feedback on that from the speakers, mentors and judges at SW over the weekend, they will help you work on your idea and turn it into a potential and useful business product. Since this event is also a part of the Global Startup Battle, It is a global competition and the winning team gets qualified to participate in it. They’ll get a chance to go to compete in finale of the Global Startup Battle.
Who is hosting Startup Weekend in Karachi ?
Aplos Innovations has teamed up with SEED Ventures to bring this unique platform once again in Karachi. Aplos Innovations have always played an encouraging role in this regard. They believe in the strength of technology and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur acting as strong catalysts to our socio-economical growth is Aplos Innovation’s catch in this. Hashim Yasin is the official facilitator credible for past three Startup Weekends held in Karachi. Here’s what he has to say:
“Startup Weekend is a big opportunity for all the budding entrepreneurs who need a platform to pitch and present their ideas.
Startup Weekend Karachi is part of a global celebration happening in over 250 cities around the world and we really want our winning team to be among the shortlisted ideas which will be competing with other startups in the Global Battle. It would be a moment of pride for all of us”.
– Mr. Hashim Yasin, Facilitator of Startup Weekend
With partners like eventbrite, .CO, Google for Entrepreneurs, KASBIT, Starlinks, Jang Group, Pizza Hut, FM 91, bookitnow.pk and Lipton, this Startup Weekend is expected to be the biggest and most successful Startup Weekend ever.
This year, this prestigious program is being arranged as a part of Global Startup Battle(GSB) from Friday, 25th of November 2016 to Sunday 27th of November 2016.
Startup Weekend Karachi will incorporate three distinct events:
- Opening night with a wonderful theme dinner.
- Working & Mentoring Sessions which will be followed by a Social Night
- The Closing Ceremony followed by a Theme Dinner.
Reach Us At?
Ask us anything you want to at: email@example.com
Or call us at: +92-336-4069-039
Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 was a huge success, converting ideas to reality by involving people who can do intensive work and by providing top notch mentorship to the participants. After the event many team’s appreciated the efforts of organizing team and were energetic to take on the market with the ideas they have worked on over the weekend. Here are views of some of the teams at Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016:
Mars is still far away, there are enough wonders to explore on planet Earth! This is the vision behind team Mad Hunt and this is exactly how we came up with the idea of Mad Hunt.
Mad Hunt is an amalgamation of real time and mobile gaming. How? Mad hunt is a real time scavenger hunt in which location specific clues are spread throughout your city and there are numerous vouchers hidden under those clues. But here’s the catch. You can only view the clue through our application and once you are present near that point physically. The GPS will guide you know where exactly the clues are placed. All you have to do is go to that point physically, solve our clue and Viola! In this manner solve as many clues as possible and not only increase your chances of winning amazing vouchers but also stay on top of the leaderboard.
You can play this game while coming back from office, during your class break, literally any time when you just want to relax and have a little fun. Also you don’t have to be worried anymore when going to a new city. Mad hunt will be your personal tourist guide wherever you go! So what are you waiting for! Download this game today and experience for yourself the madness that we have to offer:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pk.codistan.madhunt
Our experience at Startup Weekend was amazing as we got very useful insights on how we can refine our idea even better. All the mentors were very encouraging and this experience helped give us a huge confidence boost as well and now
with a bang! The organization of the event was also professional, credit goes to Startup Hub, Air university and partners of startup weekend Islamabad.
Team Mad Hunt, Winner Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016
I-Matter is aimed to be a finishing school of business for the transgender community based on the theme of “Learn and Earn”. It intends to provide them with basic education, vocational skills and freelancing skills so that they can earn and stand with the whole nation at the same level. I-Matter believes that considering gender as a binary system makes our views narrow and we lose some of the greatest talents present around us. It also believes that now is the time to refute the social stereotypes of the society to give transgender a platform where they can become successful without any discrimination. Our team members include Muhammad Mujtaba Khan Raja, Maham Johnson and Talha Ahmad. It was a great fortune to be a part of Startup Weekend Islamabad, 2016. The SWISB16 team was very welcoming, cooperative and made us feel at home. The mentors were no less than a magic spell who gave our ideas a touch of perfection and reality. They were an immense source of help and inspiration who made us see the flaws of our project and pushed us to break the confining walls of our minds to think out of the box. These three days gave a new shape and broadened the vision and aim of our project. Being at Startup Weekend Islamabad doubled the level of our motivation, focus, commitment and passion for I-Matter. We are now sure that we are ready to take any challenge coming our way and will leave no stone unturned for the success of I-Matter. The 54 hours spent at startup weekend Islamabad, no doubt, built a pressure on us and were tiring too but in the end it was all worth it. Startup Weekend Islamabad went all fair with the description:”No Talk. All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours.”
Team I-Matter, 2nd runner up
Startup Hub and Air University collaboratively presented Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 (Sep. 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016) partnered with Plan 9. Startup Hub is very thankful to our collaborative partner Air University for providing support to make Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 happen. Startup Hub also want to thank all of the participants, judges, mentors and partners to make this event a huge success, and as our tag line suggest “Nurturing Entrepreneurial Eco System”, we are readily available to take these ideas pitched at Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 further by facilitating them through all our resources.
Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors. The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.
Startup Weekend Islamabad was able to create a highly dependable entrepreneurial eco-system for the event where they were able to attract eminent industry professionals, business leaders, serial entrepreneurs, heads / representatives of associations of local entrepreneurs in the form of inspirational speakers, coaches, mentors, judges a well as incubators. The major event partner of startup weekend Islamabad was Plan9. Among other event partners included Team UP, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), ILM 2 Ideas, JumpStart Pakistan, Bookitnow.pk, AU ORIC, Eventual, Careem, Streamkar and Pro Pakistani. Hashim Yasin was appointed by Techstars as facilitator for the event who flew all the way from Karachi to conduct and facilitate a very lively event in the footprints of Margalla Hills.
Other than extensive one on one coaching sessions and intensive work environment, a few valuable workshops were also organized for the participants, including Plan9 workshop on Business Canvas Modeling and Lean Startup Methodologies by Rafi Imran Amjad from Teamup. During Startup Weekend, participants from various academic and professional backgrounds were supposed to transform their business ideas to minimum viable businesses or product in 54 hours. The exciting weekend started on Friday evening with Ice breaking session conducted by Qasim Mumtaz(Trainer/Consultant of Startup Hub), which broke communication barriers between participants, afterwards Helen Kamal told the participant about the prospects of ED-Tech Startup in Pakistan and about vision of Ilm 2 Ideas, followed by elevator pitching session, later on co-founder dating session happened over dinner, during which different participants teamed up to develop their business venture. During next day and a half, experienced industry professionals and serial entrepreneurs kept joining Startup Weekend as coaches and mentors in order to grill and polish the venture projects of young enthusiasts and guiding them to the right direction.
On Saturday morning Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA & CEO ICT R&D fund joined the event along with VC Air University and Director ORIC AU for a mentoring session and told participants about the opportunities available for entrepreneurs. Chairman PTA / CEO ICT R&D Fund was presented with the souvenir by VC Air University followed by a hi-tea. During the course of the day, Syed Ahmad Masood (CEO Channel 7, Change Mechanics, Co-Director The Founder Institute, Chartered Member TiE), ICT professionals & serial entrepreneurs like , Hammad Khalique, Parvez Abbasi and Rafi Imran Amjad from TeamUp, Saad Hamid from I2I, Helen Kamal, Qasim Mumtaz, Shoaib Ahmed, Asif Ejaz, Syed Rehan Afzal, Agha Hamza, Nausheen Fatima and Khurram Shehzad were few among so many of the mentors who added value to the event by providing extensive coaching and mentoring to the event participants.
On Sunday morning Mr. Mansoor Malik, Chairman Kamyab Pakistan & Member Board of Governer TiE (Islamabad Chapter), also joined in to mentor startups. Later in the evening, the venture teams were invited to present their working prototypes along with the realistic business plan (including customer validation results, business model, revenue model, unique selling point, business growth strategy etc.) in front of eminent judges, business leaders and incubators / funding agencies. Each team had to face a tough question-answer session by the experienced panel of judges. The panel of judges included Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, serial entrepreneur, Chairman Rastgar Group of Companies, Mr. Faisal Khan (CEO Ovex Technology), Meer Anwar (ICT Specialist & Consultant), Ms. Warda Altaf from Plan9 and Mr. Adeel Sheikh from National ICT R&D Fund.
Almost all of the teams exhibited quality work, which they had developed during last 48 hours of continuous effort. To name a few included, Mobile OK kro, Shop Desk, Turbo Charger, Track n Drop, Android based Home Automation, Exo-Skeleton, Garden Fresh etc. The Winners of the Startup Weekend Islamabad, 2016 were Mad Hunt (1st position), Portable Incubator (2nd position) and I-Matter (3rd position). Idea details of winning startups is mentioned in this blog post. All three were chosen by Plan9 to be given a wildcard entry in their next incubation session, for further incubation and acceleration / funding purposes.
The Event was covered live by Streamkar and event was also covered on social media on Startup Hub’s Official Facebook page, Instagram and twitter, Facebook Event and on Startup Weekend Islamabad Facebook Page as well.
At the end of event the participants were awarded certificates, partners were presented with shields and judges and mentors were presented souvenirs of Startup Weekend Islamabad. After concluding remarks by VC Air University, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir, group pictures were taken with all the Guests, Mentors and Judges, and the event was formally closed with a corporate dinner from VC of Air University.
Startup Hub highly appreciate the response and support of Local Startup Community. We hope to carry on the mission to nurture the entrepreneurial eco-system forward and be a part of such initiatives in future.
These are the frequently asked questions regarding Startup Weekend Lahore Ed-Innovation:
What is the registration deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore?
The registration deadline for Startup Weekend Ed-Innovation is 24th July 2016.
What is the timings of the event?
The event will start on Friday at 4 pm and will end on Sunday at 10 pm.
What is the mode of payment?
Mode of payment will be disclosed to the shortlisted candidates.
What is the payment deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore event?
Payment deadline will be disclosed to the shortlisted candidates. Participants will have ample time to process and submit their payments.
Is there any refund policy for the payment in case i cannot attend the event?
No, there is no refund policy. If you get shortlisted, please be sure before making the payment.
What is the schedule of the event?
You can view the schedule of the event from this link
What does Ed-Innovation mean?
Ed-Innovation mean Innovation in Education. In education, innovation often results when ideas are applied to satisfy the needs and expectations of the students.
Can I still apply if I don’t have an idea?
Yes, you can apply even if you don’t have an idea. In that case, you can extend your expertise to people who have an idea by joining their team.
I have an idea but it is not education related, can i still apply?
Unfortunately, you may not apply if you don’t have an education related idea as participants have to follow the theme. You may, however, join hands with people who have an idea by teaming up with them.
Can I pitch more than one idea?
Yes. Prioritize your ideas, pitch your best idea and the one you have most prepared for first.
Can I pitch my existing business idea?
No. You can only pitch your existing idea if MVP (minimal viable product) has not been developed yet.
Can all university students or professionals apply?
Anybody with an idea to improve and innovate the existing education system in Pakistan is more than welcome to apply.
Do we need a team before applying to Startup Weekend Lahore?
You may have a team but it is not a condition. If you have a team, each team member will have to register individually.
Have a great idea to make this world a better place through the power of education? Startup Weekend Lahore is the place for you! With Startup Weekend Lahore Ed-Innovation, entrepreneurs now have a great opportunity and a great way to pitch their ideas, find like-minded people and collaborate with venture capitalists with a mission to empower the education system in Pakistan.
With Startup Weekend Lahore Ed-Innovation, the main aim is to help people learn about entrepreneurship and to create solutions for the problems in the world of education. Startup Weekend Lahore ED-Innovation brings together people of all skill sets and experience levels to collaboratively launch tools, schools and learning spaces that re-imagine the future of school and education more broadly. The event presents a chance for participants to rub elbows with people of excellence in their fields, in the form of coaches, mentors and guest speakers as well as forge partnerships with other participants whose skills can propel their idea to greatness.
Over the last 5 years the education industry has had a huge wake up call. We realized that the way we educate ourselves and our next generation need to rapidly change. We want to bring together new innovators with new ideas, technologies and business models to bring our education a step further. Whether you want to found a company, find a co founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside your usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!
So mark your calendars for the 5th, 6th and 7th of August 2016 and start the brainstorming for a weekend that is destined to be unlike any other.
In today’s world, to survive in the competition thriving in the global market surrounded by millions of intelligent and talented people, has become very difficult. It is very hard to come up with an idea so unique that no one has ever heard of it before. However, it is even harder to actually start working on the very idea and protect it from being stolen. One might have the talent to generate such an idea but in order to overcome the difficulties that arise during a start-up, one needs to adopt a certain set of skills and develop some habits. These will eventually enable a person to out-perform those with greater resources and talent in the market. Few of the numerous examples of such practices are mentioned below:
- Do your Homework:
Always be prepared. In order to deliver the best, first you need to become the best. You need to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself that whether or not you would be impressed by your own performance.
- Always be eager to learn:
You need to realize that you don’t already know everything and that there is always some room for more improvement. Look up to you peer for the very purpose as well as respect the opinion of your sub-ordinates.
- Redefine your goals:
When you achieve something don’t let that stop you from aiming even higher. With the passage of time as you learn from experience, there’s a need to redefine your goals as well as your strategies aiming at achieving those goals. Each time aim for something even bigger and better.
- Develop strong work ethics:
Success does not come from talent alone. There is a dire need to have strong work ethics and high moral standards. This means full commitment towards your job and being competent enough to fulfill every requirement. Moreover, along with respecting whom you work for, you should respect those who work for you. Your integrity should show through your work and people should not only be drawn to your work but should also trust you.
- Be optimistic:
You should have a positive mental attitude. One tends to face several problems after embarking on the journey of starting a business venture. Thus, it is very necessary that one should not lose temper in case of any hardship or problem. In order to be successful there is a need to stay positive and motivate others to work hard even in the case of a failure. It is only a person with a positive mindset who can see opportunity even in a challenging situation.
The registration fee per participant is PKR 1500.
Bank Draft or Pay Order,
to be made in favor of “Lahore University of Management Sciences”. Please email us the scanned copy of the bank draft/pay order at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name, names of team members (if any), and name of company/institution.
NTN Number (if required) is as follows: 0453627-4
You can deposit the registration fee (i-e PKR 1500 per person) at any MCB branch all over Pakistan to the following account: 1388-03-01-00133-8.
Please email us the bank deposit slip at email@example.com along with your name, names of team members (if any), and name of company/institution.
Please do not use the ATM transfer service. If you are unable to transfer the amount via bank transfer, then kindly use the method of bank draft/pay order.
Unique IDs will be assigned and emailed to each delegate after a proof of payment is received.
- Allowing belief to overwhelm your startup idea
Owning a business is not for the weak-hearted. The day-in and day-out workload of starting up can be monstrous as compared to any kind of laborious hard work you have done before. So do not bow out and try desperately to get over the enamored and extravagant idea of your startup that you had in your mind and try to grind out a practical business model.
- Giving in to what customers propose instead of the spreadsheets
Your idea might pull substantial demand and render you into relying solely on what the customer has to say. This might work most of the time, for some specific startup ideas. But if your idea does not belong to this specific list, the only thing you should trust are the spreadsheets. Make sure your plan is feasible.Do the math, guarantee that the demand is tantamount to the sale and then move on. Customers are capricious, they might change any time.
- Risking a family’s property or retirement fund
Your family would always want the best for you. Do not get carried away if you ask them to fund you by selling a property or something and they nod without a seconds hesitation. They might be irrational while doing this because they would trust you and your idea blindly but you should make sure that you yourself are rational as you are the one who knows the startup inside out. If you think the property/funding is worth more than your startup, look for alternative sources.
- Miscalculating the time needed to launch
You might be too excited to get it all started. You might just want to launch the idea and be all curious about what the people have to say about your idea. But do not get overwhelmed by this excitement. Do keep a buffer zone of about 10 to 15 days before you finally present the idea to the masses. You would lose nothing and gain 10 extras days which would not hurt. You will definitely open up on time and have ample time to go thoroughly through everything again.
- Equating personal experience with business expertise
Being a good cook would not guarantee a successful restaurant. Being a good mechanic would not guarantee an up and running workshop. Running a startup or business and being expert in what your business has to offer are totally different things. Committing this logical fallacy can hurt so be cautious.