Q&A Sessions (Virtual 2020)
Summary OF Answers to Questions Posed, Sorted by Theme
Hello and thanks for participating in our first iBridges conference online. We were delighted to have people engaging from Australia to California and throughout Europe & the Middle East. Thank you!
During the lively conversations at the conference our panelists did their best to respond to as many questions as possible. For those that were missed, we’ve compiled answers by theme below:
Given the uncertainty around funding in these difficult times, our panelists broadly advised that start-ups looking to raise funds should:
1. Broaden your spectrum: Plan to raise capital from multiple funding sources based on a combination of government funding, grants, angel investors and venture capital firms.
2. Know Your Audience: Learn about the VCs you’re targeting:
● Their LPs: whether they are institutions, family offices, high net worth individuals.
● LPs commitments: whether or not these LPs are able to meet the VC’s call on capital commitments to fund a start-up. How have the LPs have been impacted by the volatile markets?
● Their Reserve strategy: how much they set aside for follow-on rounds?
3. Acknowledge the present, forecast the future:
● Forecast based on COVID-adjusted demand and be as thoughtful and realistic as possible about your forecasts,
● Best of both worlds: show how you’re taking the current situation into account. Describe best- and worst-case scenarios and how you would navigate them.
● Positivity & Precision: There is funding out there, and the process is everything you’d expect in a normal fundraising process. But everything needs to be even more precise, your data room and all your data points.
For a list of funding sources in the EU, UK, Canada and the US, click here: https://ibridges.org/2020-useful-links-for-funding/
We received helpful feedback from participants that sought wider interaction with each other. This a very important issue for us at iBridges and we certainly plan to maximize connections and interactions among the Iranian tech/start-up diaspora. We see it as one of our key future activities.
Immediate actions include adding chat-room functionality to our next virtual gatherings. Going forward, we will work to better connect the iBridges community. Stay tuned for more on this issue in future newsletters. In the meantime, connect with the community via iBridges’ 8,100+ strong network at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6683034/
Several participants sought more information on intellectual property and how best to protect their ideas and their work. Our first answer to the question is that you should not worry about ideas being stolen. Many people have ideas, it’s the implementation that matters in the innovation economy. Google was not the first company with the idea of a search engine. Infoseek, Altavista, Askjeeves, Xcite, Yahoo and several others had the same idea before. But Google made it happen!
However, once your idea is realized, it is important to protect it. Although the question of intellectual property protection was not specifically featured in our conference, we will plan to cover this in a future session in the near future.
Can You Talk the Talk?
Presentation and pitch advice is a critical element to any start-up and we will organize virtual pitch sessions to help the iBridges community improve their pitching/presentation skills and introduce their work to potential VCs. We will announce a “Call for Proposals” to this end in an upcoming newsletter. More soon!
Several wrote specifically to Niklas Bergman on his ideas on strategy/tactics and on the future start-up trends (including on AI, robotics, blockchain, etc.). He responded to many of the questions right after the session. On strategy/tactics, he said the “tactical” is more about what to do right now (today, the coming week, the coming month) and “strategic” has more to do with the direction you’re heading in the longer term. If you want to read more about his recommendations, please contact him through LinkedIn. He has posted a lot of his material and guidance in his web page.
On the future of Education (Education 3.0), Kamran Elahian told us about experiential learning and referred to the website of Global Innovation Catalysts and his videos (https://globalinnovationcatalyst.com/index.html). Kamran also told you about the online course he has put together with Stanford University. Take a look: https://globalinnovationcatalyst.com/program_ixonline.html.
There are lots of requests for contacts of our speakers. We suggest you contact them via links as follows:
Kamran Elahian: https://www.instagram.com/kamranelahian/
Fereydoun Taslimi: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fereydoun-taslimi/
Niclas Carlsson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niclascarlsson/
Sheherazade Semsar-de Boisseson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/Sheherazade-Semsar-de-Boisseson
Nicklas Bergman: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicklasbergman/
Johann Romefort: https://www.linkedin.com/in/romefort/
Michael Kretz: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikaelkretz/
Anoushe Ansari: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anousheh-ansari/
Firouz Naderi: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fmnaderi/
Katerina Borunska: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katerina-borunska-kokesova/
Anjel Noorbakhsh: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anjel-noorbakhsh/
Mahboob Bolandi: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahboobbolandi/
Arman Pahlavan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arman-pahlavan/
Nadereh Chamlou: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadereh-chamlou/
Videos of the Sessions
Some asked for a link to the video of the conference. Please don’t forget to subscribe to iBridges YouTube channel:
Thank you again to all who participated. We hope we have been able to answer most of your questions. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at info@iBridges.org!
iBridges Board 2019-2020
What we do
iBRIDGES is an open, inclusive and collaborative initiative which aims to empower a worldwide high-tech entrepreneurial community, focused on those of Iranian descent, to exchange knowledge, best practices, and innovative thinking. The iBRIDGES community is committed to nurturing individuals who build and accelerate the growth of an “Innovation Economy” everywhere.
iBRIDGE brings all entrepreneurs of Iranian descent together to explore the role that a high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem can play in economic development and diversification.
Our mission is to create a community of high-tech entrepreneurs of Iranian descent, energized to exchange knowledge, best practices, and innovative thinking.
We connect entrepreneurs and startup founders with experienced investors and successful entrepreneurs. iBRIDGES provides a dynamic platform for mentoring relationship.