Early Stage Entrepreneurship

Apr 12, 2023

1. Building a Solid Foundation: Key Considerations for Early Stage Entrepreneurs

2. Finding Success in the Early Stages of Entrepreneurship: Insights and Best Practices

3. How To Be an Investible Startup: Insights from Angel Investors and VCs

4. Grit and Growth: Persisting in The Early Stages of Entrepreneurship



As early-stage entrepreneurship goes, saying there’s so much to think about is an understatement. The whirlwind of rush and excitement can get you focused on so many different things. There’s the marketing research, product and business development, and even the often overlooked basic financial concepts in favour of the more heart-stopping funding discussions.

And while the recently ended pandemic might have stirred up new hopes, it certainly has taught us to cover all of our bases and set ourselves up, not just for success, but also for longevity, one that could sustain today’s ardent enthusiasm and translate it into something that could help us press on and persist when the going suddenly gets tough.

To help you on your journey, I’ve gathered my top LinkedIn posts on early-stage entrepreneurship. As usual, I’ve highlighted the key takeaways or a quick TL;DR to save you time:


Another global lockdown could ruin more businesses


Recession-proof your business when you keep these factors in mind as you gear up for uncertainties:

  1. Change in Competition - who is our competition? Who could be our competitor? How are they competing and how could we do it better, faster?
  2. Change in Technology - what new technology that is coming out that could compete with us or that we can use?
  3. Change in Culture - what cultural things are we seeing change? Quiet quitting. Tik Tok.
  4. Change in Economy
  5. Change in Government Regulations
  6. Changes in Employees Lives (Stages)
  7. Changes in Customers Lives (Stages)
  8. Changes in Your Own Life (Stages)

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post



If you're not solving REAL problems, you’re not building an investible startup. 


Zoom started in 2011, but back then, Skype was the defacto conferencing tool.

Over time, as Skype fell prey to stagnation and failure to innovate, Zoom managed to come for their lunch money.

This healthy competition also encouraged other smaller players to take themselves seriously, and offer far more sophisticated alternatives.

But none of it would have been possible if Zoom didn’t stick it out.

If you keep altering your product oe service, pretty soon it’ll be hard to ignore you.

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post



Stop being so hard on yourself about your “fault-finding” personality.


Once you let go of the need to hold back in order to please people, amazing things happen:

  1. You give your team more options 
  2. You have more leverage
  3. You ideate creative solutions which are desirable - feasible and viable (the sweetspot)
  4. You become valuable in your organization

There are a lot of upsides to being a “fault-finder”.

Problems are gold!

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post


“What makes a business investible?”


Here’s what investors are looking for:

  1. The People: A business is the sum of all its parts, and those parts are people. The products, business model and all else can be changed (pivoted) with mentorship and if needed, but can they fly the plane through the storm? Are they coachable, truly market and customer oriented or too much in love with their ideas? What will keep them going (on) once things get really challenging, which they will. What level of trust does the team have between each other and are they aware of their individual and collective blindspots? How are they planning to mitigate these blindspots….
  2. Unique Idea: Does your idea have a level of novelty for it to catch an investor’s eye?
  3. Invisibility test: What is the market size (scalability) and opportunity…is there a real problem to solve for many people? A high pain point? I’m sure you’ve heard of the vitamin versus aspirin example, or think of it like must-have versus nice-to haves. Specially now that we’re entering a challenging economic time, as an investor you definitely want to mitigate risks (or maximize opportunity) by finding and investing in those must-haves that everyone will want.
  4. Invisibility test: Business model, is it scalable? Subscription based and SaaS (Software as a Service) models are the interesting ones that will get an investor good Return on Investment….

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post


The VC or investor that your business needs is like a romantic partner…


For over 20 years, I’ve seen would-be unicorns turn into failures to launch, and it’s often because of these common “dating” missteps:

  1. They want to make the best impression but end up appearing rigid
  2. Aren’t prepared to have the conversation
  3. Lack the understanding (or empathy) of what the other person truly wants
  4. Forget that investors see many startups each day (think speed dating) so there’s a need to be memorable 
  5. Overestimate their market value
  6. Believe that they have no competition…perhaps my talk around Building a Winning Pitch Deck here can come in useful too… 

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post


Market uncertainty is every founder’s goliath


You’ll probably notice that a lot of the VALUE that you demonstrate comes from your personality; your humanness, so to speak.

  1. When you find yourself unable to answer questions, be gracious...
  2.  Think about how well you’ve future-proofed your business model and demonstrate this to your prospective investors…
  3.  Focus on the opportunities that are available to your startup, no matter how “out of the box” they may appear…
  4.  Retool and upskill your team so that they can handle any disruptions that come as your competitors react to your offer…
  5.  Invest in SOPs that remove as much human error from the process as possible - processes that you can automate are the best…
  6. Remain transparent with your investors and be willing to receive hard criticism and feedback…

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post


Startup Talk: How to prepare a rockstar Y Combinator Application?


After sending your application and getting it selected, you'll be called for a 10-min interview with a few partners (yes, only 10-mins, so make sure to use this time wisely)Here are some key points to help you prepare:

  1. Explain the problem you are solving, who you are solving it for and WHY you're gonna make a big impact
  2.  Have a vision of how big your target market is
  3. Articulate a clear idea and articulate it simply

Watch the full video of Kat Mañalac, a partner at YC, as she discusses what they are looking for in an application

👉 Read My LinkedIn Post



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