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The Zimbabwean economic scenario is well known for its challenges and opportunities. Building a successful startup is clearly not a walk in the park! Which is why we have very few success stories. The challenges range from financing, finding a good mentor, finding a good technical partner to develop your app/website/tech solution e.t.c Which is why it’s good that there are opportunities like FasterCapital’s incubation programme that can offer a ready-made solution for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs challenges. There were a number of startups that applied for the first funding round of the year by FasterCapital and unfortunately from Zimbabwe none of the startups was selected. Here are a couple of reasons why startups were not selected:
- Failure to follow instructions on the website! Our application page at FasterCapital has specific instructions such as filling in an offline and online form, supplying a pitchdeck, supplying a business plan with financials and swot analysis, photos of the startup team including their LinkedIn profile. FasterCapital does not consider any application that lacks the above.
- Realistic valuation of your startup idea or business: at times as entrepreneurs, we tend to exaggerate the value of our business which also leads to an exaggeration of the investment required this has a tendency of putting off investors and the team at FasterCapital it’s always good to place a realistic valuation and as much possible consult an experienced financial expert to help you have a realistic value of your business.
- Scalability model: FasterCapital like most international VCs are looking for a business model that has the potential to grow beyond Zimbabwe into several markets regionally and internationally some of the ideas submitted didn’t have a model that showed the entrepreneurs had put thought into scaling beyond Zimbabwe or better yet even beyond Harare.
- Go to market strategy: especially for startups that are still at idea stage without an MVP; a compelling well thought out ‘go to market strategy makes a large difference as it shows you understand the market and its dynamics. For startups or entrepreneurs wondering what ‘go to
market’ means please click this link.
- Credible Financials: This point probably goes along with the second point highlighted on valuation the financial forecasts for your startup. They may not necessarily reflect what will happen once you acquire funding but they at least have to be credible i.e you can’t claim you will make a $1 billion in 5 years from a $20 000 investment in the Zimbabwe market place, it’s simply not realistic.
- Being a one-man gang: FasterCapital, as well as most international VCs, don’t support the idea of solo entrepreneurs. They prefer co-founders! If you don’t have a co-founder it will be tougher to raise $. And more importantly, it will be tougher to build your company.
A few other reasons, especially for startups that have been around for a while, is not showing traction or growth in the marketplace which is very important. FasterCapital does offer a unique model that has world-class technical development, funding and mentorship in the mix. Zimbabwean startups, by all means, should try as much as possible to take advantage of this mix to enhance their chances of success. These are just some of the reasons why applications were turned down by FasterCapital. We still encourage startups to apply as we have new funding round opening up next month.
For more information about FasterCapital feel free to contact one of the regional representatives: Tawanda Mutukwa at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/Whatsapp:+263772446619