Be humble, be direct, be active, be practical — Tal Catran, the Accelerators Guru, on how to win the investor competition for startups in 2018.

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Markets are challenging and we don’t see much disruptions. We cannot, of course, turn our eyes away from blockchain and crypto as part of this evolving ecosystem. We see numbers growing all over the world, new ecosystems getting involved, new countries starting to push ahead with startups understanding the role of startups for every economy.
Tal Catran, the Accelerators Guru, Tech Investor, and Startup Nation & TEDx Tech Speaker
is talking best practices and guidelines for startups in 2018 in the scope of our upcoming Blockchain Leadership Summit in Bazel, ICO market trends and ingredients for the best startup blooming environment.

This interview is one of the series of live sessions with speakers before the Blockchain Leadership Summit. For more blockchain market insights by industry pros, please visit our Facebook page to stay informed about new live sessions.

In 2017, there was a bunch of ICOs and startups introducing an implementation of blockchain in their business model. Most of them started to disappear very soon after the fundraising periods or did not actually end up developing into a business. The trend we are looking at right now is that bigger corporations, like those in the pharmaceutical or food industries, are joining into the blockchain rush. They don’t have the fundraising issue, so it feels like the motion will sustain, as more and more professional participants will keep joining in.

Blockchain has gone over the borders of ICOs and crypto size wise, getting into more and more industries, while finding and getting expansion. At the conference we’ll be meeting companies and conglomerates, representing this trend, coming to look for innovation and investment opportunities. Although, they have ability financially to develop whatever they want — we talk companies with a roundabout of hundreds of millions of dollars a year, — those huge corporations will always, first of all, be on the lookout to scout, open their doors to innovation and, therefore, opening their own acceleration programs aimed for the outside startups to come in to show their technology, to find the match and take it onwards. We see that ourselves in our accelerators in Israel and worldwide.

When startups decide to participate in accelerating competitive events, they need to come in the particular mindset. Although it’s very important to fight for space and get the prize, not less important is to actually present yourself and be present during the competition. Don’t think twice: take this opportunity with both hands, find it, admit it and get yourself on the stage with it. The major takeaway here is that you need to end up presenting, simply to become being recognized and open doors.

Failure is the major step toward success, you need to fail, you ought to appreciate success. The actual courage, motivation, push that you give yourself need to result into something and that something better be on stage. This is also applicable to the investor competition for startups on the Summit: it’s mostly about being exposed, about people knowing who you are, what you do, in order to approach you.

But be practical and thorough: in your offer people want to see some cash flow, market value proposition. Over time, as we see investors becoming spoiled, they need a tangible and mature idea, NVP at least. Since I am about to open my 12th accelerator, we gained some strategy to win those: a minimum of an NVP to deploy the project, all to come back to an investor with users matrix after 3 months of actual functioning.

Raising money is a bitch. It’s difficult every day of the week, every second of a day. You’re standing with something close to technology and pitching it to a person that you’ve met 5 minutes ago to give you a million dollars. How easy can that be? I’m talking to startups now: find a real need, develop your NVP, launch it quickly and don’t hope you’re God of Tech. Be humble, be direct, be active, be practical.

Present to investors, like you would to ordinary people, but smart and having tons of experience; simply remember: money is always there for good ideas. Be sure to deliver the technology and realization itself properly, not just a powerful presentation.

So, take an opportunity and apply to the investment competition at the Blockchain Leadership Summit!

I see the ecosystems worldwide evolving. Right now, Israel is flourishing much more then Europe: Austria or Italy and, hopefully soon, Switzerland, the Baltics, some of the Nordics and the Balkans are only halfway there. The actual difference here in Israel is more to do with “ecosystem”: academies, universities, colleges, all institutions, having the role of teaching. Then comes the tech industry itself, as a customer for the innovation, and lastly, municipalities, the government. They all have major roles.

The progress and involvement of the ecosystem, that we can now report, is that Israel’s GBP is 3 hundred billion dollars and our government invests 4.7% of it into the development of high-tech startups in an initial investment. In the era when startups don’t care to promise their investor to come back with a cash flow but guarantee the number of users only, this kind of money demonstrates high hopes government puts in the young minds.

The more emerging countries as in Europe or Africa are different, they still work on it as we speak. But in funding at the European Union, money is sometimes coming into the country with a direct purpose of investing into the ecosystem. Little by little it builds up. Government representatives coming to our event get us and them familiarise in a way so that they know they can all together contribute, gather in an effort to develop something further.

No one expects easy, easy is for the weak. We wanna tough because we are entrepreneurs and startups, we like it tough. Nevertheless, I know that in 2017 ICOs were like 4–5 billion and I can say that Israel contributed 5 hundred million to that number. So ICO is growing, but we all still hear Warren Buffett’s: “Forget about it”!

ICO takes people that believe in it and now it is a huge market. Just now in Switzerland the legislation to let crypto into an everyday roundabout failed, though 25% of the population voted “for” it. It is coming, alongside approaches the regulation. Generally speaking, India is full “against”, whereas Japan is mostly “for”, Gibraltar and Malta are now leading the world with regulations. The legal side of the situation will balance out somewhere in the middle, though we’re far from it: numbers are rising, hundreds of millions of dollars being invested, satiation is far away.

My excitement from the conference in November is mostly about meeting not just the technologies but people developing it, building a business, investing, using what other people do. I will clear my schedule for meetings, at least for mentoring. Do come over, do meet us, we are reachable. This is an ongoing process to get in touch with hundreds of people worldwide, as passionate and talented as you are.

Looking forward to seeing you all in November in Switzerland at the Summit, developing a broader, grander community of people working towards our future.

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