Congratulations your venture has been published to VC4Africa! So now what? To be honest … the process has just started :)
Given the current structure, a recent sample shows that about 5% of the ventures registered with VC4Africa receive funding and about 10% secure a joint venture partnership. We are working hard to improve these numbers and make this process more efficient for our best entrepreneurs.
Everything we can do aside, the road to funding can be a long one and many ventures never make it. They either fail early, the founder quits or in the best case the entrepreneur realizes they don’t actually need funding and builds the business on their own. So what can you do to improve your chances of finding partners and support? Here are some tips we recommend you follow.
Post Updates – It is important you come back to your profile and update it. Make sure the community knows about your progress i.e. you hired someone new, you just finished a marketing campaign, your venture was presented at a conference or picked up for an article. The more activity you show the greater the chances someone will notice your work and be curious enough to contact you. And really, if you were an investor would you put money into a venture that has been ‘standing still’ for three months?
Build a Fan Base – How many people like your idea? Promote your venture and encourage people to like it. When members vote for your venture, make sure you thank them for their support and work to keep your fan base up to date on the venture’s progress. They are your ‘social proof’ and can help promote your venture. Many times fans become valuable contacts. They can act as references for your work, potentially join your advisory and might even invest!
Engage the Community– Bottom line, if you spend time helping other members they have a reason to spend time on you. Join Groups on VC4Africa and participate in discussions. Post articles related to your business, ask questions to the forum or answer questions asked by fellow members. Look for a meetup in your area and network with fellow members. The more engaged you are the more visible you are. The more active you are the more the community can see what you are about. This is the kind of social proof you need if you expect people to notice you.
Seek Feedback – Investors want to know you are open to critical feedback and want to see that you are working hard to make your ideas better. Get their feedback on your ideas and engage them in the process of building your business. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help you. That said, nobody is going to do it for you….the process will always start and end with you!
Engage a Mentor– Do you have really difficult questions or do you have to go through an unfamiliar process? The VC4Africa Mentor Marketplace is a free service available to all members. Who knows you might score a mentor willing to coach you through the process.
Starting a business is one of the hardest things to do. We know it is not easy. Just know that VC4Africa (the team and the community) are here to support you. We want to see you succeed and we will do whatever we can to help you. At the same time, we want to celebrate your successes and encourage you to share with the community!