Best food & ag tech accelerators, VC funds, and consultancies for your startup

Originally published on Medium, by Philip Seifi of Pona.

Not a day goes by without another headline about this or that food tech startup raising millions in venture capital funding.

It’s tempting to see that as a mark of success. But remember:

Funding is a means, not the goal.

Most of the well-funded startups you read about in the news will fail, and taking outside investment may not just accelerate, but lead to their fall.

By raising money, you not only risk optimizing the business for your investors, over your customers, but impose on yourself growth expectations that could be unrealistic given your product or market.

Before you seek investment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long and by how much can you grow without outside funding?
  • Can outside investment speed up that growth?
  • Do you know exactly how you would spend the funds?
  • Can you achieve the growth VCs expect? Will it interfere with your goals and values?

Support can come from many places

“But I’m in it for support, not the money!”, I hear you saying.

If the primary benefit you’re looking for is mentorship and connections, stop binging on accelerator promo videos and alumni interviews, and think about other ways you could get access to the same benefits without giving up equity.

Join an incubator/accelerator

Accelerators can be a great way for someone with no startup experience to quickly learn basic business skills, adopt the right lingo, and build their initial network.

But think of them as a business school:

  • Their landing pages will overpromise, and namedrop experts who are only indirectly involved.
  • You’ll likely overpay for the privilege, especially with lesser known programmes (different accelerators tend to take similar amounts of equity, yet provide completely different value).
  • If you are an , you can master the curriculum faster, and in your own time.

Before you apply to an accelerator, or accept their offer, make sure to call up companies from their portfolio that were in a similar position to yours when they started. They’ll usually be happy to share their experience with a fellow entrepreneur, and explain how the accelerator did or did not help during and after the programme.

Find a co-founder

If you’re missing skills core to your business, and don’t mind giving up equity, consider finding a co-founder first.

It is much easier to grow a business if you have a trusted partner by your side, ready to supplement your skills, challenge mistakes in your reasoning, and keep the company running if you get sick.

Sure, you’ll have to give up a large chunk of the business, but unlike an investor, your co-founder will be there with you 24/7, throughout the life of your startup (if you haven’t worked together before, you can agree on a  — stagger the equity over time).

As a two-person team, you’ll also find it much easier to raise outside investment when you need it, and at a better valuation! Many funds expressly avoid investing in solo founders.

Form an advisory board

You’ll be surprised how many genuinely busy, important people are happy to help you for free if you approach them politely, with an interesting question or project.

The key here is to be concise, and keep in mind what your mentor will get out of the interaction (this can be financial benefit, insight into a new industry, prestige of being associated with an impactful project, or even just enjoyment of helping an aspiring entrepreneur).

If you don’t have a mutual contact who could introduce you to relevant experts, consider joining local interest groups and meetups, or pay by the minute for expert advice on  (prices tend to range between $2–10/min, so asking a clear, concise question is critical).

If you target a market with multiple stakeholders, you may need regular expert help on your project.

For example, a startup working on a marketplace for home cooked food (such as mine — ), would benefit from advice from a local government policy expert, a serial marketplace entrepreneur, and a food safety advisor.

Consider creating a formal board of advisors, with a set time commitment, meeting schedule, and a small amount of equity for each mentor (usually 0.2–1%), vested over the course of 1–2 years.

Pay a startup consultancy

The word ‘consulting’ may conjure up an image of overpaid, underslept suit-and-ties, milking their corporate clients for every penny. In reality, there are many small, specialist consultancy firms working with startups and entrepreneurs at all stages.

A good consultancy will:

  • Provide many of the same benefits as an accelerator, but tailored to your needs, and on your own schedule.
  • Give you access to a range of specialist mentors, and introduce you to relevant third-party contacts and potential clients.

You can expect to pay a daily rate of ~$500–2,000, or a monthly retainer. This may sound like a lot, but if you are clear and upfront about the advice you need, the focused help and highly relevant contacts can be an excellent value for the money.

Not only do you avoid dilution that comes with joining a startup accelerator, the help you get will also be more adapted to your particular situation. And compared to individual advisors, consultancies tend to be both more flexible in the assistance they can provide, and substantially cheaper — $500 is the price you’d pay for a two-hour call on Clarity.

Accelerators for early-stage food tech companies

If you decide to go the accelerator route, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to join one that targets your particular field, or a more general programme.

If you have a more established project with traction in some specific field, and you know it’s unlikely your product could make more impact in a different industry, a food tech accelerator can open doors to institutional clients, and connect you with mentors with years of industry experience.

Other projects straddle two or more categories (ag and finance, food and logistics…), or could potentially find application in a way you haven’t even imagined when you first started.

If your startup falls into this category, you should consider going with a generalist fund which can support you across different industries, and follow you through every pivot.

If food tech is where it’s at for your project, here’s a list of some of the leading incubators and accelerators that specialize in early stage food & ag startups:

New York, NY

A leading food tech accelerator, backed by SOSV, and based in one of the food capitals of the world. It invests $65k in cash for 7–10% equity.

Notable alumni: Ingest.AI, FoodCloud, EatTiamo, Cultovo

Sunnyvale, CA

One of the most prestigious accelerators in the world. Their food track offers three month accelerator programmes twice a year, boosting startups through corporate business development, networking and pitch events, mentorship, and follow-on investment. It offers $25–500k, equity-free.

Notable alumni: Impact Vision, Clear Labs, Finless Foods, Wasteless, Koniku

Rome, IT

Startupbootcamp’s FoodTech track is one of the leading global agtech and foodtech accelerators, conveniently located in Rome — home of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and numerous industry giants. It provides €15k + €35k of investment, for 6% equity.

Notable alumni: BiteBack, EcoPack, Evja, Farm-r

San Mateo, CA

A Silicon Valley incubator and maker space that provides a commercial kitchen, lab equipment, in-house food scientists and everything else you need to scale up production, test new recipes, and bring new foods to market.

Notable alumni: Farmstead, Good Eggs, Siren, Planetarians

Chicago, IL

A startup accelerator rethinking the way food moves and moves us. This includes 3rd party delivery, block chain, IoT, AI, sensors, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, robotics, food as medicine, food safety, food science, food waste, hydroponics/vertical farming, labor solutions, loyalty programmes, meal kits, transparency, and anything else that has the potential to reshape foodservice in North America. It offers $100k of investment for 3% equity.

Notable alumni: 86 Repairs, Big Wheelbarrow, Pod Foods

Los Gatos, CA

The four-month accelerator supports seed stage startups from all areas of the value chain whose technologies drive us towards a more efficient, sustainable, and secure agriculture future. It invests $50k for 5% equity.

Notable alumni: Farmwise, 3Bar Biologics, Arable, Farm Dog

San Francisco, CA

TERRA is an equity free accelerator backed backed by Rabobank and RocketSpace. The programme pairs emerging growth companies with established multinationals in a pilot-driven engagement that leads to tangible results.

Notable alumni: ImpactVision, Clear Labs, JuiceInnov8, Miyoko’s

Washington, DC

Union Kitchen is a food business accelerator that will help you launch locally, grow regionally, and scale nationally.

Notable alumni: Compass Coffee, Swapples, Eat Pizza, Bright Greens

Munich, DE

This accelerator supports innovative companies that have the potential to enable the United Nations World Food Programme to deliver on its mandate to reach Zero Hunger. It invests up to $100k, equity free.

Notable alumni: H2GROW, Dalili, Maano, ColdHubs

Zurich, CH

Kickstart is a Swiss accelerator that brings together later-stage startups with corporations, foundations, universities and cities in order to accelerate deep tech innovation. The 2-month programme has a separate food & retail track backed by Coop and other major food industry companies. It provides $10,000 of investment, equity free.

Notable alumni: CareerVillage, Quill, Earshot

Kuwait City, KW

The Middle East’s first food vertical accelerator, backed by partners such as Careem, and offering generous startup capital, office space, and regional investment opportunities. It provides $50k of investment for 10%-20% equity.

Notable alumni: Ngwah, Reserveout, BulkWhiz

London, UK

A unique programme that provides funding, business training and mentorship for organisations working to solve food poverty, wherever it’s found. It provides €75k of investment in the form of low-interest debt.

Notable alumni: Mimica Touch, Cultivando Futuro, Entocycle

London, UK

A 3-month food tech focused seed accelerator based in London, and backed by Just Eat. The programme only accepts 3–5 startups per cohort to ensure you get tailored support and mentorship, hands-on 1-on-1s with startup experts, and a great office space. It provides £20k of investment in the form of a SAFE convertible note.

Notable alumni: ShareDining, myBaker, Sure

Paris, FR

A six-month accelerator and network catalyst, based in the world’s biggest startup campus, Station F, adding value in growth and transformation for breakthrough projects from farm to fork. It invests

Notable alumni: Alkemics, Ÿnsect, Goot, Fora

Copenhagen, DK

Rockstart supports and empowers the greatest AgriFood tech startups to drive positive change in the food supply system. Provides follow-on investments in participating startups up until Series B.

Notable alumni: Saillog, InspiraFarms, Fresh.Land

Global

A global accelerator with a mission to enable entrepreneurs to sustainably revolutionize agrifood systems. Up to $100k equity investment, with separate funds for North America, Europe, LATAM and Asia Pacific.

Notable alumni: Planetarians, Agree, Hexafly, RootWave

Venice, IT

A Cisco-backed accelerator dedicated to early-stage startups that are developing innovative solutions for disrupting the food and agriculture industry. It provides $20k in investment for 5–10% equity.

Notable alumni: EatTiamo, Faberest

Kyiv, UA

A Ukrainian accelerator focused on finding, accelerating and integrating innovative technologies in agribusiness. Equity free.

Notable alumni: Mobimill, Meteotrek, AgroLactBio

Corporate funds and incubators

Something unique about the food and agriculture vertical is the abundance of startup grants, incubators and accelerators by corporate venture capital (CVC) funds.

Below is a small selection of such programmes, but almost every major company in this sector has a startup initiative of some sort.

The Chobani Incubator is a programme for companies taking on broken food systems to bring better food to more people. In addition to a $25k equity-free investment, they give startups access to their network and expertise in order to scale up their operations and achieve significant growth.

Notable alumni: Seal the Seasons, Partake Foods, Supernatural, Misfit Foods

Newport Beach, CA

A seven-month equity-free accelerator by Uncharted, in partnership with the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, that gives growth-stage ventures a spotlight and mentoring from established leaders.

Notable alumni: AgVoice, Asarasi, Impact Vision, GrubTubs, Novolyze, Rex

Älmhult, SE

A pilot-focused programme to explore a better everyday life for the many people, organized in partnership with Rainmaking, and offering a dedicated Sustainable Food Innovation track.

Notable alumni: Kaffeeform, Flying Spark, Matter, Niwa, Læsk

A programme that provides support and mentorship to product pioneers that want to drive innovation in the dairy products space. Invests $25k, equity free.

Notable alumni: Petit Pot, Numa Foods, Norr Skyr

Food tech competitions & challenges

There are numerous global competitions in the food and agricultural space, organized by governments, corporates and non-profit foundations.

Prizes range from $5k to $150k, and entry tends to be free, so it’s an excellent, low-risk way to secure equity-free funding, not to mention valuable contacts, promotion, and your 15 minutes of fame.

TFF is dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators to build new solutions that transform our food system. The TFF Challenge is open to global submissions, and besides cash prizes of up to $100k, you’ll be in for a chance to attend the unforgettable  and .

A global non-profit on a mission to unlock the potential of deep technologies to solve the world’s toughest challenges. Their Global Challenge offers a dedicated Food, Agriculture & Environment track, and besides cash prizes of up to $100k, you’ll be in for a chance to attend the  in Paris, and network with deep tech startups from around the world.

Part mentorship programme and part startup competition, entrepreneurs participate for a chance to win valuable prize packages, access to industry mentors and experts, significant exposure to investor networks at the Food+City Startup Showcase during South by Southwest (SXSW). Early bird entry is $35, after which it increases to $50.

Venture capital firms that invest in food & ag

There is only a handful of VC firms that specialize in food and agricultural technology, and most Series A and later stage funding comes from generalist firms.

A venture capital firm that invests exclusively in companies leveraging information and communications technology to transform the food & agriculture sectors.

Notable investments: Analytical Flavor Systems, FarmOp, LoveWithFood

China’s pioneer food tech VC, with a mission to empower early-stage startups to shape the future of good food. They invest in software, hardware, biotech, and CPG startups across the supply chain.

Notable investments: Future Meat, Alchemy Foodtech, Analytics Flavor Systems

One of the most active funds investing in food & beverage, AccelFoods partners with high-growth companies and their driven founders to bring unique products and go-to-market strategies to consumers.

Notable investments: Harmless Harvest, RETHINK Water, RightRice, Tractor Beverages

One of the most active agrifood VCs globally, backed by 500 Startups, and built on an ecosystem of over 65,000 members.

Notable investments: The Yield, Sentera, Stem, Phylagen, Trace Genomics

A venture capital firm investing in companies creating systemic change in the food system to address the growing problems of human and environmental health.

Notable investments: Pilotworks, Inari, ImpactVision, Spoiler Alert

A venture capital firm that invests in companies that increase food production, reduce inputs and increase sustainability.

Notable investments: Phylagen, Full Harvest, HarvestPort

VVNP is a Singapore-based global venture capital fund that aims to achieve outsize returns from focused investments on disruptive technologies for the food and feed system.

Notable investments: Aleph Farms, Ÿnsect, Nutrition Innovation

Big Idea Ventures is a Singapore-based VC started by ex-VP of Food-X. Their New Protein Fund is investing, accelerating, and scaling global food companies focused on plant-based products and new protein alternatives.

Notable investments: Shiok Meats

Food & agriculture is one of the key focus-fields for Khosla Ventures, an investment fund with over five billion dollars under management.

Notable investments: Instacart, Hampton Creek, Unreal Brands

First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs. They invest across the board, but their portfolio includes numerous food tech startups, including some of the best known names in the industry.

Notable investments: Blue Apron, Reserve, The Climate Corporation, Snackpass, Bowery

One of the most prestigious VC seed funds from Silicon Valley, 500 Startups boasts a multinational team supporting investments in over 60 countries. The fund includes several prominent food & ag companies in their portfolio.

Notable investments: Platejoy, Chewse, Farmeron, LoveWithFood, Sprig

Food tech, ag tech and startup consultants

Just as accelerators, consultancies can be either generalist, or specialized in a particular field.

Unlike when you join an accelerator, or accept VC investment, you are not wedded to a consulting firm, and can switch away or break up any time. This means them not being able to help you after a radical pivot, or as your needs change over time, is not a pressing concern.

This is why we recommend working with specialized consultancy firms, or independent consultants best suited for your current needs. A good firm will be happy to refer you to a different consultant if you need help outside their field of expertise down the line.

Below is a list of just some consultancies that work with food & ag startups, or specialize in fields that can be relevant to your needs as you expand:

Jared is a serial ag tech entrepreneur, former Program Director of , and current Entrepreneurship Director at the .

He has coached 50+ early-stage food tech startups that went on to raise $20+ million in venture capital funding, and were featured on the BBC, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Forbes.

Price Intelligently, the company behind the popular financial analytics and customer retention tool , specialize at what might be the most important aspect of your business: Pricing.

Their team has worked with startups including Wistia, Zapier, and New Relic, and can guide you from initial customer research, through implementation of an effective pricing page, to ongoing analysis and optimization. Expect to spend very good money, but you get what you pay for.

Recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under 35 by the United Nations, Neil Patel is one of the best known experts on online marketing.

His team has worked with startups including Airbnb and Facebook, and can help you with every aspect of digital marketing including paid advertising, search engine optimization, and social media. Like with Price Intelligently, Neil’s services aren’t cheap, but easily best in class.

Asia is one of the world’s largest food and agricultural markets, so most startups will seek to expand into the region as they grow.

Rochelle Kopp and her team are some of the most respected experts on Japanese business culture. They have helped countless startups expand into Japan, and authored  to help beginner entrepreneurs understand startup jargon.








Startup Weekend is now in Miri

We are here Miri!

How long have you been a student of entrepreneurship?

Tired of watching motivational videos without any actions to back up so many knowledge you have learnt?

If you are waiting for the “If Only” moment to come by to help you, this is the chance!

The Founders Club was a product of startup weekend and has seen many startups grown out of startup weekend in Sarawak!

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

‘Startup Weekend is a powerful way to turn tech dreams into reality over the course of just a few days.’

Get more info here 

What to expect in Startup Weekend Miri?

Throughout the event, participants are able to create working startups by collaborating with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend focuses on action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekend is the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

You get to launch successful startups!

 

Participants are given an opportunity to launch successful startups by means of pitching ideas for new startup companies and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas by popular vote and embark on a 3-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

You put your talents to work and develop a functional prototype, team, and brand for execution in the real world. Finally, the weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders where you put final touches on your presentation and state your case to the judges. They will give valuable advice and critical feedback and turn your startup idea into a success story.

 

You get to learn essential entrepreneurial skills!

 

Speaking coach

Image via The Founders Club Facebook

Startup Weekend features workshops that are based on the elements within the event hackathon itself. The topics covered in the workshop usually include the following:

Business Model Canvas (BMC) – BMC is a tool that people can use to help bring clarity to “How will we make money?” Ideas are fun to talk about, but even the best ideas will fail if they are not sustainable businesses. You will be going over how can startups best use BMC and learn what each part covers.Ideation & Market Validation – Why is validation important to you? This workshop will help you quickly tackle a startup idea from the “hope” stage through ideation and market validation. You will be using customer development approaches by Steve Blank to talk about validation.

Effective Pitching – “Investors don’t invest in business. They invest in stories about business”. The act of convincing others to do something with your ideas is called ‘pitch’. Learn how to convince others that your idea is amazing.

Design Thinking – It’s a mindset of combining creative and analytical thinking and applying it toward solving a specific problem. Therefore, design thinking will involve your team to continually challenge yourself to be creative and innovative.

Ultimately, plenty of opportunities are available to refine your skill set by learning and growing through real world experience and problem solving. You’ll be inspired by great ideas around you and learn what it takes to create a successful business from the ground up.

 

In a nutshell…

 

Startup Weekend Miri 2018 Group Photo

Image via The Founders Club Facebook

 

Startup Weekend is a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, as well as having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community.

 

Come together to do amazing things if you like to share ideas, form teams, build demos and launch your startup! All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit! Let’s learn, network, and join us for an unforgettable weekend in Startup Weekend Miri 2019! See you there!








STUDENTS, ENTREPRENEURS COME TOGETHER FOR FIRST EVER STARTUP WEEKEND AT SMA-TEGAS Digital innovation hub bintulu

BINTULU – July 21, 2019 –  It was a gathering of young minds and entrepreneurs when forty participants consist of programmers, working professionals and students from Universiti Putra Malaysia Kampus Bintulu (UPMKB) took part in the first ever Techstars Startup Weekend in Bintulu. The programme was jointly organized by The Founders Club, Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS) and Page Productions.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour programme designed to provide experiential entrepreneurship education for students, professionals and entrepreneurs. Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, participants bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of judges.

“I am excited to be part of this programme as a mentor. It’s a good start for the Bintulu startup ecosystem. I believe Bintulu has the talent to produce high-growth startups that will contribute to the Sarawak digital economy,” said Lee Zhi Eng, Founder of Kloena Digital, a Bintulu-based startup and strategic partner of TEGAS.

On July 21, the teams pitched their final presentation and minimal viable product (MVP) before a panel of expert judges including Khairool Adzelan from SMA, Fakhzan Buang from UPMKB and Tan Yee Siang from Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

“It’s exciting to see the potential of our youths given the right platform and opportunity to express themselves. The Startup Weekend Bintulu is one such platform and provides the learning opportunity to structure their ideas into a potential entrepreneurship. We look forward to having more such programs and participations in the future. Big shoutout to The Founders Club for organizing the event.” said Khairool Adzelan, Ecosystem Strategist (Talents).

It was a team of students from UPMKB who won over the panel of judges with their innovative ideas and business solutions. They won 3-months access to SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) and MaGIC Co-working Space @ Borneo 744 as well as opportunity to participate in their Pre-Accelerator programmes.

“This Startup Weekend Bintulu is a good platform to select qualified participants for our more advanced programmes run at our SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hubs in Kuching, Bintulu and Miri, such as TEGAS Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp, TEGAS Startup Lab and Sarawak Shell Livewire” said YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, Chairman of TEGAS

“The Sarawak government has put in place many facilities aimed at helping Sarawak entrepreneurs in its pursuit towards the digital economy goal. One of the reasons why we want Sarawakian entrepreneurs to find out the facilities made available for them is to enable them to explore the opportunities and have access to programmes slated for enhancing their skills and capabilities”, added Datu Len.

Techstars Started Weekend Bintulu was held at SMA-TEGAS Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) which is located at second floor, Naim Street Mall, Bintulu Paragon. Launched by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak in February 2019, it serves as an inclusive platform to provide growth opportunities for early-stage startups and to build a strong startup community across Sarawak.

“On its own, it will be the focal point of entrepreneurial activity in Bintulu and as a prime component of the state’s ecosystem, DIH Bintulu managed by the capable hands of TEGAS team, will be supplying high-potential early-state startups that will graduate to the Digital Village in Samajaya and be the pride of Sarawak and the nation,” said Dr. Zaidi Razak, General Manager of SMA

Under Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2025 (Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Action 37), the Sarawak government through SMA would establish one innovation centre in each division and facilitate others (private sector, universities and communities).

 

 

ABOUT TABUNG EKONOMI GAGASAN ANAK BUMIPUTERA SARAWAK (TEGAS)

TEGAS was established in 2012 as a Charitable Trust dedicated to promoting STEM, TVET and Entrepreneurship amongst Sarawakian youth. For more information about TEGAS, please visit www.tegas.org.my

 

ABOUT SARAWAK MULTIMEDIA AUTHORITY (SMA)

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is a regulatory body established pursuant to Section 3 of Sarawak Multimedia Authority Ordinance 2017 with the primary objective to spearhead, oversee and facilitate the development and implementation of Sarawak’s Digital Economy Initiatives. For more information about SMA, please visit www.sma.gov.my

 

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS CLUB

The Founders Club (TFC) is a community-driven startup based in Miri, Sarawak which aims to empower the 21st century youth and local communities at large with the entrepreneurship spirit by providing the right environment for them to develop as entrepreneurs. More than just a social business, they are a family with the will to bring change, to bridge the gap between ideas and reality while giving all the support a startup or an entrepreneur need.  For more information about TFC, please visit www.founders.my








Companies That Started Because of Startup Weekend in Sarawak

Startup Weekend is a platform for people who have great interests in wanting to create their own company from ground-up. In Startup Weekend’s website, it claims in just 54 hours, you will experience the “highs and lows” and “fun and pressure that make up life at a startup”. At Startup Weekends, you will get to learn how to create a real company and meet some of the best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are willing to help you start your business.

startup-weekend-main-page

Image via Startup Wekend

To put it simply, once you signed up with Startup Weekend, you will attend its event over the course of a weekend. In Startup Weekend’s words – learning how to put your business ideas to formality. On top of having your company ideas formed and what not, you will also meet mentors, investors, co-founders, etc. All over the course of a weekend startup event.

 

Here are 10 successful companies that started from Startup Weekends.

1) The Founders Club 

 

 

The Founders Club is an entrepreneurship club that was founded in early 2018 by a couple of passionate students. Our main goal is to empower the Malaysia community with entrepreneurial skill sets.

 

 

2) Sike.co

Started by a group of students, this brand wants to spread the awareness of gender inequality through arts and design.

They created a clothing brand that symbolize unity of human kind,  clothes that are genderless and is only seperated by cutting of the shirt.

3) FunnelBear

They are a digital marketing agency that aims to help your business connect, strengthen, and solidify your relationship with your customers. Funnelbear differ from your traditional marketing agencies as we are driven on results based marketing in the digital realm.

” Marketing and ROI (Return On Investment) measurability is how we aim to alleviate your problems and elevate your business and brand. We strive to achieve this by taking care of your marketing strategy, web experience, lead generation tactics, and even your brand’s perception.”

4) Uncle Green

Image may contain: text

Uncle Green is a start-up that specializes in growing vegetables via hydroponics without the use of pesticides.

“We want to change the world by growing healthier vegetables. The vegetables that we normally eat are grown with the usage of pesticides and we cannot determine the residue levels. This is especially serious these days with the development of stronger chemicals to counter pests which has grown resistant to old pesticides. By taking in these vegetables in the long-term, it will be too late when we start feeling the side-effects.

Therefore, Uncle Green is a brand which grows non-pesticide vegetables such as lettuces, sawi, pakchoy and many more. We want to promote a healthier lifestyle for everybody. Support and tag along our journey by following our Facebook page for constant updates.”

5) HoriznMedia

HoriznMedia is a digital marketing agency that focuses on growing startups digitally. they are building a digital community of digital talent across Sarawak.

 

When isit your turn?

To those who wants to start up,

Your business is like your baby👶 it keeps growing and with the growth comes yet another investment and the changes, some you would appreciate and others you won’t!

Register now at: https://founders.my/startup-weekend/

 








Startup Weekend Bintulu | All You Need To Know

Ever heard of Startup Weekend? If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, chances are you’ll have come across this term before.

And if you haven’t heard of it but are keen on starting your entrepreneurship journey in sarawak, we’ve got the answer for you.

What IS Startup Weekend?

 

startup weekend logo

Image via startupweekend.org


Startup Weekend is an event that focuses on the ideation and execution of an early startup. This event is typically held within a 54-hour window over the weekend, hence the name. Startup Weekend encourages groups of individuals with differing backgrounds to brainstorm ideas. These ideas are then discussed and worked on in the hopes of coming up with prototypes by the end of the weekend. Moreover, the event is a huge hit among working professionals such as developersbusiness managersstartup enthusiasts, etc. 

Now that we’ve got our textbook definition out of the way, we can move on to the “meat” of our article.

Let’s say you’re interested in joining a Startup Weekend event. You’ve scouted the closest venues and you’ve made your choice on which to attend. What now? Well, there are a number of important things to remember before the big weekend arrives.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on about our walkthrough of a typical Startup Weekend.

 

Startup Weekend Meet Up/Team Up

 

startup weekend meetup

Image via businesskitchen.fi

 

The first day of Startup Weekend happens on Friday evenings. This is where you’ll first meet your potential teammates and fellow startup connoisseurs.

 

startup weekend dinner

Image via techstars.com

 

The event starts with dinner (every great event starts with good food!) to get the participants settled down. The facilitator will kick things off and give a bit of an idea of what to expect for the weekend. But this is only the appetizer, the real fun starts now!

 

startup weekend idea pitch

Image via techstars.com

 

Got an idea? You’ll be given one minute to pitch your idea in front of the group. Our advice is to not get flustered or shy when it comes to pitching your ideas. After all, this is just an informal idea pitch, no presentations or props required. If you don’t have an idea, not to worry! You can still contribute your skills to worthy ideas!

After all the pitches are concluded, voting begins. Participants vote to determine which business ideas will be developed over the weekend. And those who were not apart of the idea pitching phase may join other teams.

Worried that you won’t fit in? Fret not, you’ll be given the choice to work on ideas you deem worthy. That way, the entire team will come together organically under a common goal. We’d say that this will make the process go a lot smoother!

 

Working @ Startup Weekend

 

startup weekend team

Image via telfer.uottawa.ca

 

On Saturday, participants will work around their ideas to come up with viable business models. Some may even go out into the community to interact with potential customers, sort of conducting a preliminary market research. This allows them to find out if their ideas are useful to the community. And if not, they’ll get a chance to figure out what can they do to change that.

 

startup weekend mentor

Image via thenextweb.com

 

The best thing is, you’ll get advice straight from experienced coaches. The advice imparted by the coaches is indeed a valuable experience in itself. The coaches and local mentors are normally entrepreneursinvestorsdesignersdevelopers, digital marketers and so on. Basically, people who have already gone through these processes many times.

Once you’re done for the day, sit back and relax. You’ll need all the creative juices you can muster for the final day of your Startup Weekend!

 

The Final Day of Startup Weekend

 

startup weekend final day

Image via communities.techstars.com

 

Practice, refine, and pitch. Teams will continue their quest to work on their ideas on Sunday. Meetings with coaches are expected. And refining business models and incorporating final insights will be necessary. Teams will also develop their revenue models and cost structures on the final day. On top of this, teams will also need to prepare their final presentations with the pitch coaches before night comes.

 

startup weekend presentation

Image via techstars.com

 

What happens on Sunday night? The culmination of all your efforts throughout the weekend. The final stretch before the finishing line so to speak.

 

startup weekend judging

Image via abc.net.au

 

Each team will deliver a four to five-minute presentation to a panel of judges in the style of an investor pitch. Also, do expect a short Q&A session after each presentation. So don’t be afraid to ask/answer questions!

 

startup weekend prize

 

After all the teams are done, the judges will make their final decision. The winners of Startup Weekend will receive various prizes for their efforts.

 

startup weekend sarawak

Image via icubeinnovation.com.my

 

What’s next after this? Celebrate! Your hard work has finally come to fruition. Oh, and remember to also take advantage of the opportunity to mingle around with your peers and mentorsNetworking is a very important part of startup culture!

 

And there you have it, the end of Startup Weekend.

Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, we’d highly recommend that you take part in Startup Weekend if you can. And don’t worry about awkward social interactions. You’ll definitely fit right in if you’re motivated to build a startup or are open to new ideas.

More information on Startup Weekend can be found here.

 








Bringing a Focus to the Bintulu Startup Community

We are here Bintulu!

How long have you been a student of entrepreneurship?

Tired of watching motivational videos without any actions to back up so many knowledge you have learnt?

If you are waiting for the “If Only” moment to come by to help you, this is the chance!

The Founders Club was a product of startup weekend and has seen many startups grown out of startup weekend in Sarawak!

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

‘Startup Weekend is a powerful way to turn tech dreams into reality over the course of just a few days.’

Get more info here 

What to expect in Startup weekend Bintulu?

Throughout the event, participants are able to create working startups by collaborating with like-minded individualsoutside of their daily networks.

All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend focuses on action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekend is the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

You get to launch successful startups!

 

Participants are given an opportunity to launch successful startups by means of pitching ideas for new startup companies and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas by popular vote and embark on a 3-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

You put your talents to work and develop a functional prototype, team, and brand for execution in the real world. Finally, the weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders where you put final touches on your presentation and state your case to the judges. They will give valuable advice and critical feedback and turn your startup idea into a success story.

 

You get to learn essential entrepreneurial skills!

 

Speaking coach

Image via The Founders Club Facebook

Startup Weekend features workshops that are based on the elements within the event hackathon itself. The topics covered in the workshop usually include the following:

Business Model Canvas (BMC) – BMC is a tool that people can use to help bring clarity to “How will we make money?” Ideas are fun to talk about, but even the best ideas will fail if they are not sustainable businesses. You will be going over how can startups best use BMC and learn what each part covers.

Ideation & Market Validation – Why is validation important to you? This workshop will help you quickly tackle a startup idea from the “hope” stage through ideation and market validation. You will be using customer development approaches by Steve Blank to talk about validation.

Effective Pitching – “Investors don’t invest in business. They invest in stories about business”. The act of convincing others to do something with your ideas is called ‘pitch’. Learn how to convince others that your idea is amazing.

Design Thinking – It’s a mindset of combining creative and analytical thinking and applying it toward solving a specific problem. Therefore, design thinking will involve your team to continually challenge yourself to be creative and innovative.

Ultimately, plenty of opportunities are available to refine your skill set by learning and growing through real world experience and problem solving. You’ll be inspired by great ideas around you and learn what it takes to create a successful business from the ground up.

 

In a nutshell…

 

Startup Weekend Miri 2018 Group Photo

Image via The Founders Club Facebook

 

Startup Weekend is a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, as well as having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community.

 

Come together to do amazing things if you like to share ideas, form teams, build demos and launch your startup! All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit! Let’s learn, network, and join us for an unforgettable weekend in Startup Weekend Miri 2019! See you there!








Startup Weekend KL – Women 2017!

That’s a wrap on Startup Weekend Kuala Lumpur Women! What a weekend it was — full of networking, teamwork, learning, new challenges, tons of coffee consumption, innovative approaches, secret dance parties and awesome pitches. Most importantly though, it was a weekend full of empowerment, support and the familiar Startup Weekend magic that turned fresh new ideas into incredible realities. 💡💪🏼💯

The main goal of having a women’s edition weekend is to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams, and to connect more women to the vast number of resources and mentors available in our startup community. Male participants are welcomed — but with a smaller quota of available spots so as to encourage a larger participation rate of women in the roles of participants, mentors, organizers and judges. SWKL Women aims to help elevate entrepreneurship and inclusion around the world, one Startup Weekend Women at a time.

The format of Startup Weekend Women does not differ at all from general Startup Weekends. It still is focused on enabling participants to test their ideas and meet awesome people they probably would never have met otherwise! It is about learning how a startup works, what problems a startup might have, how to co-work with others (both men and women), how to deal with VC, how to lead a team, how to create a narrative about your startup, how to talk to your customers, why you need to understand your customer — and being amazed by people’s creativity, by people’s strength, and by people’s ability to learn and awe! We wanted to give participants all the right elements of a crazy, intense, fun weekend that showed them how much they can learn, create and grow in just 54 hours! Throughout the weekend, they were also introduced not only to a bunch of ambitious dreamers, but also to a network of experienced mentors, startups founders, enthusiast, community builders & investors. 

 

THE WEEKEND COUNTDOWN.

On Friday there was a room full of ideas 65 bright-eyed participants, and19 ideas pitched — one presented as spoken word poetry. That night, 11 teams were formed, ready to kick-start their crazy weekend together. Over the next two days, the teams worked tirelessly to bring their 60 second pitch into something tangible and sustainable. We had the pleasure of having 24 remarkable mentors join us over the weekend to challenge, guide and support our 11 burgeoning teams.

As a few of our mentors noted, although there were no idea restrictions or themes over the weekend, almost all — 8/11 ideas — were centered around social impact. It was incredibly inspiring and heartening to see how these amazing women-led startups came up with tangible ideas not just to make money, but to positively impact society and the people around them. #WomenYouAmazeUs

Two days later we had a room full of new and innovative business concepts and our 11 teams were ready to pitch their idea in front of our jury and the greater audience! *EXCITED VIBES IN THE AIR!!!*.

It is incredibly humbling to see so many awesome and innovative business ideas born and built at this Startup Weekend! Although the spirit of Startup Weekend isn’t the competition — but rather the education and experience — on Sunday evening everyone (teams and organisers alike) were curious to see which teams and ideas were able to convince the panel of judges on their viability and sustainability. So, there were a few prizes to help their startup grow after the weekend was over.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

After thorough deliberation, our five judges finally came to a consensus. They loved all the ideas so much, that they decided to award two honourable mentions — just because they couldn’t fit all the amazing ones into the top three. So before we share the winners, a big shoutout and thank you to our five all-star judging panel:

 

Honourable Mention | THE GREEN NETWORK – A mobile based app to advocate green initiatives through incentives by changing the mindset and behaviour changes for urban dwellers to prioritise recycling in their daily lives.

Honourable Mention | CONFIDENT STARZ – An online and offline platform to promote confidence, healthy body image and girl power amongst 9 to 18 year old girls.

2nd Runner UpMISS TRAVELLER – An online platform dedicated to connect and assist (sole and group) female travellers in search of adventure from start to finish.

1st Runner UpON TIME – A (Waze-like) mobile application to track public transport in Malaysia using peer-to-peer data.

Winner | PINK COLLAR – A socially responsible online platform that upholds the safety and rights of vetted domestic workers, and connecting them with vetted households in search of their services.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE!

YOU’RE ALL WINNERS IN OUR BOOKS! We believe that it is possible to keep moving ahead after Startup Weekend and we dare to believe that the spark that we fired on Startup Weekend is a real possibility to get your startup off the ground!

We are, always, so humbled by the brilliant women we are fortunate enough to constantly be surrounded by. Keep on kicking-ass ladies (and gentlemen). We’re always going to be cheering you on!

Lastly, and most importantly, we at SWKL Women would like to thank all the members of our amazing organising & supporting team, weekend Googlers, mentors, participants, partner, supporters and friends who helped make this weekend one for the books! A very special thank you to Google Malaysia for hosting us; MaGIC for supporting us; and MissMafia for being an awesome community partner. This weekend would not have been possible without all these amazing people behind it.


Follow up at Startup Weekend Women APAC to be up-to-date on all the latest Startup Weekend Women news & events in Asia Pacific!

Upcoming cities include Singapore, Shanghai, Ulaanbaatar, AND MORE!

For more info, drop us a line at Startup Weekend Women KL. And lastly, if you’re keen to organise a Startup Weekend Women in Asia Pacific, please drop Lalitha Wemel a note at lalitha(dot)wemel(at)techstars(dot)com.








Thank You For Making This Happen!

We are sincerely appreciate to all our sponsors. Thank you for your support to make this happen!

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Mentors Maker Edition SWGT

An exclusive sneak peak profile at our mentors Maker Edition Startup Weekend Georgetown. Come and meet them personally coming this Friday. See you there!

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Mentors SWGT 2016 2

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One Week To Go!

Hurry up & get your early bird ticket for only RM60! http://bit.ly/swg2016

 

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