From Nov 14 to Dec 8, the founders team of the World Innovations Forum is back in Vietnam. Let us share their schedule so you can join one or the other event or arrange for a meeting in between events.

It’s our purpose to help innovative entrepreneurs to grow, get successful and create large amount of jobs in the country, driving a self propelled economy. It is our objective to help 17 countries, including Vietnam, become a “Developed Nation” before 2038.

Ho Chi Minh City

LOCATION
All below events take place at
Saigon Innovation HUB
273 Điện Biên Phủ, Phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Fri Nov 15, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Inner circle meeting
For all WIForum supporter and those who are helping organize everything we do- now and in the future,

  • Introducing and discussing the plan for 2020 “Seeding Innovation 2020
  • Introducing and discussing our 18 year plan until 2038 “Go2038
    “Prosperity for all nations” and how we can jointly do it with the help of the world!
    Please let us know if you can come: https://wiforum.org/wif-team-saigon-nov-15-2019/
  • Saigon Innovation HUB

Fri Nov 15, 14:00 am …
Talent Interviews
We are interviewing candidates for our local ‘Program Manager’ position.
If you know any candidats, please send them our way.
See details here: https://wiforum.org/jobs/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Investor training
How we envision Investors can co-invest with international investors to close bigger rounds
Investment best practices from all over the world
Finding, reviewing and investing in innovative businesses
For Angel investors, PE investors and VCs
The ICN (Innovation Capital Network) a global investors initiative
Please register here:  https://wiforum.org/wif-investor-meeting/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Wed  Nov 20, 03:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Entrepreneurs event
Introducing the “Seeding Innovation 2020” initiative and how can help in the next 8 years to get to IPO level.
Up to 6 companies can present, maybe joining the Seeding Innovation engagement.
Event URL:  https://www.meetup.com/wiforum-HCMC/events/265795315/
Presenter Application: https://wiforum.org/wif-pitch-application/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21 09:00 am
Media Breakfast, (Journalists an blogger only)
World Innovations Forum introduction
Informing media representatives about our goals and activities, Seeding Innovation 2020
How a million people can help ALL nations get out of poverty
Introducing the “Innovation Paradigm” a radical new way for innovative thinking
Q+A
Register: https://wiforum.org/wif-media-meeting/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Thu  Nov 21, 01:30 pm – 04:30 pm
Innovation Paradigm Seminar
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
A methodical approach to innovation creation
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: https://wiforum.org/programs/innovations-paradigm-workshops/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Fri  Nov 22, 09:00 am – 11:00 am
Ecosystem meeting (Incubators, co-working space, mentors universities…)
Introducing our initiatives for 2020 and beyond, all the way til 2030
How we all could work together making a major impact going forward
Moderating an ecosystem development process
Register: https://wiforum.org/wif-investor-meeting/
Saigon Innovation HUB

 

Mon Nov 25 – Fri Nov 29
Innovation Accelerator (Flight 8)
Full week Innovation Accelerator program for founders and SME owners
Getting from good to great – from local to global – from one of many to an economic driver
So far we have stellar teams from Cambodia, Nepal, South Korea and Vietnam
Details & Apply here:  https://wiforum.org/programs/sfaccel/program-application/
Saigon Innovation HUB

Hanoi

LOCATION
TBD

Mon Dec 2, 09:00 am – 11:30 am
Innovation Paradigm Seminar
For SMEs, Corporate Managers and startup founders
Learning more about innovative thinking and disruptive business model design
Why in the next 5 to 50 years every industry will get disrupted
Register: https://wiforum.org/programs/innovations-paradigm-workshops/

Wed  Dec 4 – Dec 6 
Techfest Vietnam Ha Long Bay
Vietnam’s biggest tech and innovation event
Axel Schultze will present a keynote at the opening ceremony and speak on a panel about the future of entrepreneurship in Vietnam.

As an organization, who has INNOVATION in its name, obviously we are diving very deep into the topic and getting a large variety of perspectives and insights. Innovation tightly connected to entrepreneurship. As a consequence, we asked ourselves, what can we do to bring economic development in developing countries to an all new level. A level where we can see progress in a much shorter time period. Obviously education is one of the initial needs.

Phenomenal Education Development

Africa, most of South East Asia and Latin America has showed phenomenal progress in education already; having 1,000 times more academic graduates than 50 years ago. There are now thousands of Universities across those continents, which created millions of well trained people – but with no equivalent job. What would a math degree do if you can’t work with it? Today there are more than a million graduates in in each of the three continents. The best they can do would be try to get to Europe or the US. Yet – that would be a devastating brain drain and remove all hopes, those nations have today. Before the inception of development aid, education was a function of having better employees to handle the jobs – but here we have better education but no jobs. We realized we needed to find out how exactly did developed countries develop.

The Rise of Developed Countries

In the early and mid 1800’s, Switzerland was the poorest country in Europe. Germany was a poor country, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in Asia, California was a desert and the most western farmland in the US. If not for the Gold, California would hardly be on the map. Yet the natural resources died out quickly. A similar risk the Arabian peninsula is facing. However something changed above and beyond natural resources and tourism: Innovation and entrepreneurship. When Carl Benz, Robert Bosch, Werner v. Siemens and Friedrich Krupp, crazy entrepreneurs with useless ideas, started to engineer, develop, produce, market, sell and scale their businesses, Germany became a wealthy nation. There is nothing else that propelled the German economy as much as these crazy entrepreneurs. At the same time period, Alfred Escher wanted to build a railroad in Switzerland. But since this was a low priority for the very poor Swiss population, he could not raise any capital. So he asked for foreign investment, the sheer amount he raised, required him to create a more international bank, Credit Suisse. Since he needed more talent, he created the Zürich based University, ETH, today one of the most renowned Tech Universities in the world. Did you know the jet engine was invented in France? Now you know why France is still one of the world’s leading aerospace nations. Did you know that Silicon Valley was essentially based on five entrepreneurs? Almost all developed countries started poor, had an environment where crazy entrepreneurs just could do their thing, no matter how useless and money could flow in from foreign investors. The US, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and all others have been based on that very principle. Thousands of years before that it was war, theft and the financing of their armies to do the very same: invent, grow, sell and come to prosperity. Since thousands of years, the nations that carried their goods in foreign countries and received investment from foreign countries rose. And there is no reason to continue that path with an ever larger number of nations. We never tried to answer the question, how can we get 3.5 Billion people out of poverty with the help from the West? We wanted to know what made the developed countries so prosperous and if we could apply that learning to eradicate poverty.

Economic Development 4.0

We realized that nearly all developed countries, on three different continents rose to prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, in understanding that entrepreneurship is not a western ‘invention’ but a universally applicable concept, for thousands of years across all cultures. We began to look for such entrepreneurs in developing and emerging countries. And we found jar dropping entrepreneurs and their startups in Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Peru, Vietnam and many other countries. With those results, we decided to turn economic development towards a direction that was probably not very well understood before: innovation and entrepreneurship.

We envisioned entrepreneurial journeys from local to global enterprises in most nations. We developed unique tools like the Innovative Thinking Model, Digital Engagement Methods, and explored Next Generation Digital Stock exchanges that could make a huge difference to those entrepreneurs embarking on a catch up race with developed nations. These measures have a good chance to play a defining role in enabling fast growing innovative companies. They will develop far more environmentally friendly products, find new ways of packaging, new ways to turn deserted land back to green land, turn abundant energy like wind or solar heat into usable energy or even mechanisms to leverage those energies directly. We see entrepreneurs working on biological material and AI solutions, like in Nepal, in a way nobody ever thought about. We will not come with technology and ideas that they can execute but with ways to stimulate their ingenuity to do the impossible – and radical different things. Those new businesses can create hundreds of thousands of jobs quickly absorbing the already waiting academics. This is not an idea or concept. Again, this is exactly how developed countries emerged. And since today’s startups no longer take 30 years to rise but already after 3 years have somewhere around 50+ employees and rise to the top within 7 to 10 years, we have a good chance to turn 20 to 50 nations into prosperous developed countries by 2030. The only key task to perform is the work with governments to enable three things: Foreign Direct Investments, Infrastructure development, and Investor/Entrepreneurship friendly policies.

Economic development 4.0 is all about inspiration, education, stimulation – and letting the local entrepreneurs do what they think, what they want and what they believe is the right thing to do. If nobody wants to develop tools to structure their overwhelming city traffic, well, than there maybe no need and we may learn from the way that flow is going – very much like the flow of our blood does not need signs and stop lights ;) Economic Development 4.0 was created to prevent our developed experiences from influencing their development. You may also notice that none of the fastest growing economies these days such as China, Vietnam, Rwanda… are democracies. And we have no right at all and under no circumstances to change that. The only ones who may want to do that are the respective countries themselves – no matter what.

We are starting end of this year with “Seeding Innovation 2020” in 17 countries in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. This is an open invitation to join us. Https://wiforum.org/join

I’ve been asked so many times that I felt it would be good to write a blog post.
Obviously there are many consulting services, software developer and others who could built your MVP in a rather short period of time. Then you get what you asked for and can enter the market. If customers report bugs, you go back to your developer. And you hire them again and again – or you ignore the requests for now until you get more funding. It sounds totally logical. However reality tells a very different story:

Your MVP is a barebone minimum solution. It is supposed to be up rather quickly and your customers tell you what they experience, what they like and what they don’t like. If you have a CTO, it is not just taking the bug reports but carefully listening to each request. Each discussion with a customer contains a wealth of insights about how they use the product, what key benefits they have or want to have, how it is or should be integrated in other technologies and so forth. From that moment on you get probably daily requests for changes and more important lots of tiny little cool ideas that your developer or developer team can implement. I remember we received 1,400 feature requests, update requests and bugs within the first three month. You can’t pay your outsourcing organization to handle that.

Moreover our CTO saw what directions this will take and prepared the platform a bit differently. In the first six months, he was involved in almost any customer discussion. He needed to know and feel where this is going. More importantly he sensed functionalities based on the customer stories that led to functionalities they didn’t dear to ask but made a lot of sense and was no problem to do. The CTO is the one person who shapes the product, the future technology decisions and the technological direction of the company like nobody else. This cannot be outsourced – not at reasonable cost.

On top of all, the CTO does not try to build an MVP that meets the specification you gave them. The CTO is building the foundation of a solution that will change the world in the future and crafts an MVP that acts like the first cell of an organism.

Early Adopter Customer

If you have a sensational new application, you won’t get typical customers. Those ask you who else is using it, how many customers you have, are you funded and so forth. And so you have to look for early adopters. Thos premium customers are willing to check out new things because also they want to lead their market. BUt if you tell them that the technology was done by a freelancer, outsources, service organization or a like they get less motivated. They are taking a risk, dealing with a ne technology – but far less so when there is no CTO.

With all that said, there should be no reason to hire a consultant, rather than involving a top notch technologist.

Hire or Co-Founder?

first: as a startup you just cannot hire a top performing developer. No matter what you offer to pay. Therefore attract them as co-founder. Yes, they are hard to find and you want to start. But there is no shortcut what so ever. If that technology is a core element and differentiator of your business, than the person that builds it and develops it further over the next 10 years should have a seat on the founders bench.

As an investor

I would never invest in a company that outsources their development. It’s too clear that there is no technological focus or the technology doesn’t play any important role. It also shows that the founder could not attract any co-founder and I must ask: can they attract customers?

All in all the number of reasons for a co-founder CTO outweigh the short term benefit of getting a MVP slapped together for a demo.

As a precursor let me try to define success, as I see it, to put all this in context:
Success is when I achieve or exceed my very own dreams – not what others tell me I should do to be ‘successful’. No dream no success. Yet, to achieve or exceed an entrepreneurial dream is a successful entrepreneur.

What traits make truly successful entrepreneurs?

Founders are often seen as magicians. And maybe they are to a certain degree. The more we see and interview, the more we understand about their key traits. Here are the 10 most relevant founders traits, I observed by working with some of the top CEOs and over 1,000 startups.  Each of the traits are not ‘sort of having a little bit of that too’ – instead are especially standing out as extremely developed trait. If any one is missing or weak – it seriously weakens the entrepreneurial profile. You may also notice an important interconnection between these traits – again missing one cripples the complete concept.

1) fearless / risk taking
Absolutely does not fear anybody or anything. There is no higher up person for an entrepreneur. There is no rule that is respected and no definition that is taken just as that. They fear no failure, they fear no total loss, they fear not to be laughed at.  They do not fear to risk everything they have for their vision – and they do risk everything they have.
[Related with: (2) creative, (3) determined, (4) curious, (5) independent, (6) confident, (7) connected, (8) communicative] Corresponding habits: making fast and determined decisions

2) creative / compositive
The ability to be creativity means finding a gazillion bits and pieces in your brain and composing it in no time to a new picture. Creativity requires maximum inputs, from travel, discussions, reading… Being compositive is the ability to very quickly identify opportunities and turning them into business cases or even innovation. Experiment fearlessly, no matter what the outcome maybe.
[Related with: (1) fearless] Corresponding habits: Seem to change course over and over again. But never lose sight of the ultimate goal. Knowing there is never a straight line to get to the top.

3) determined
Determination is a mindset. Doing anything, whatever it takes to make something happen. No irritation from others, no distraction, no uncertainty. Determined entrepreneurs never give up – ever. If you are bankrupt, you still have 3 to 6 month to repair and get up again.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (2) creative / compositive] Corresponding habits: Consistency – Pushing the direction in everybody’s mind – every day. There is only one vision, one ultimate goal and they let everybody know. They plan their days towards their goals – not towards responses to others.

4) curious/open
Wide open mind. Wanting to really know in detail how things work, how people do things, how we live, what the barriers are, where the limits maybe if any. Listening to others very carefully, without constructing an argument half way through.
[Related with: (1) fearless] Corresponding habits: Playful – They look very quickly at all kinds of things, want to know everything without ever going really deep. 20% of the knowledge is all they need to know 80% of what there is to know.

5) independent
There is nothing and nobody that prevents the entrepreneur do their things. No friend, no family, no lack of money, no rules, no legislation can get into their way. Societal rules, conformism and alike fences are respected but do not apply to entrepreneurs. [Related with: (1) fearless, (3) determined] Corresponding habits: Super-Focus – There seem to have no family, not even seeing other people with certain personal needs. It’s important to understand that independence often feels like ruthless – but it is the vision that is much larger than live that drives these people to almost impossible results and that means independent behavior. Most people only begin to understand when such a vision was fulfilled.

6) confident
Once an idea is manifested, true entrepreneurs have no doubt that it will work. They just know it will. The extraordinary confidence comes from a ‘brain defect’ that spills emotional knowledge from the right brain half into the brain without consulting the rational part of the brain.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (3) determined, (5) independent] Corresponding habits: Decision Maker – fast decision making, often others feel to be run over, turns sometimes into arrogance. They don’t deal with devils advocates and uncertainty of others. They simply have that trait to know.

7) connected
True entrepreneurs are always highly connected. Connected with their market, connected with the player, connected with customers or targeted customer, connected with investors, influencers, industry associations and so forth. Entrepreneurs have no issues to connect to anybody.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (4) curious, (6) confident] Corresponding habits: Networking – They connect with almost everybody, then maintain only those that are relevant. May sometimes feel a bit superficial, yet they make almost everybody feel important. They know that connections are more precious than gold and they know how to deal with it.

8) communicative
Communication is the most important skill humans developed. We can communicate with words, text, pictures and even preserve past events. That helps us learn beyond any animal. Top entrepreneurs are masters in communication with others, drawing an imaginary world that they are seeing in the future and attract others. At the same time they can sit and truly listen for an hour and construct the situation they hear into a solution and opportunity. Learning and sharing – in this order – are the keys to entrepreneurial communication.
[Related with:  (1) fearless, (2) compositive, (4) curious, (7) connected] Corresponding habits: Extroverted – They ask anything they need to know right at the moment they want to know. They listen and learn very intensely. They also tell everybody and their dog what they are up to, why it’s important. They spread the word about how they will change the world and expect everybody to do so too.

9) involving
Entrepreneurs are very involving. Involving their team, their customers, their market, their investors and their business partners to actively participate in their undertaking. Entrepreneurial involvement of others go way past the concept of delegation but truly inspire others and fearlessly pulling others into their gravitational powers.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (2) creative, (3) determined, (6) confident, (8) communicative] Corresponding habits: Engagement – They don’t worry too much if people have time for them. They simply ask and get people’s involvement. Sometimes it feels like they think they are the only important people on earth. And what they really think is they are one of the most important people on earth – often they actually are.

10) intelligent
While we may debate what intelligence is, here is our definition: “Intelligence is the ability to comprehend a never before experienced situation, abstract the essence and developing a solution by simply thinking through as many as reasonable options without trial and error”. In that sense, true entrepreneurs are intelligent and involve others to solve the problem.
[Related with: (4) curious, (8) communicative, (9) involving] Corresponding habits: Simplification – Breaking the most complex things down into a few or only one simple aspect. Pretty hard for some people to follow and ignore that everything else is just work to be finished.

Fearlessness is the most important glue in between all the key traits. And it is not just generally fearless – it means unconditional fearlessness. Top entrepreneurs have a lot of respect for others and other things, they do experience uncertainty but quickly and clearly decide where to go. Decision making is not a ‘trait’ but a skill – one can learn to make decision. However traits like being fearless, creative, determined, open, independent, confident, connected, communicative, involving and intelligent are key traits for making good decisions and getting them executed.
It sounds like a very demanding profile – it is. As it turns out, only 0.007% of humans are actually successful entrepreneurs.

Few interesting things about this list:
a) None of it can be really ‘trained’ people my change towards, it but not necessarily trained.
b) They are all interconnected, not one goes without some of the others
c) If one or even more are missing the ability to be a successful entrepreneur is decaying very quickly
d) This is uniquely dedicated to entrepreneurs. Any other career or engagement has some of them but never all – and may have others, but they maybe not relevant for entrepreneurs. At least our finding when we compared it with Scientists, Artists, Politicians, Actors, Musicians, Architects, Athletes and so forth.

All in all, fearless, creative, determined, curious, independent, confident, connected, communicative, involving and intelligent are the top 10 traits for entrepreneurs.

Meeting with the ITP leadership team of the University of Ho Chi Minh City. An impressive presentation where Vietnam is planning to go what innovative businesses concerns.  We also had some great meetings with students, who are very ambitious and eager to learn everything possible about innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Workshop with roughly 20 top startups and scaleups from Ho Chi Minh City. It was great fun to work with these super engaged and highly competitive teams. One of the things that all of them have in common with any top startup in the world: determination to win.

Investors meetings at the Kova facility. We discussed investor strategies, ways to select startups, due diligence processes and post investment mentoring. We also talked about the necessity to keep top companies in the country to not loose the innovative edge to somebody else.

A wonderful and very personal dinner at the Kova house. We enjoyed traditional Vietnamese food cooked by the lady of the house herself. This was an unforgettable evening.

Great discussions about innovative thinking, investment opportunities, ways to stimulate more innovation and getting startups better supported to be able to compete on a global scale. It was an amazing evening with amazing people.


HANOI

The future of innovation in Vietnam, Conference. Great and an amazing diverse speakers, high energy and very ambitious. We talked about the innovation paradigm and the value of going global for the national prosperity and wealth development.

We were invited by the University of Hanoi to speak about the Innovation Paradigm, the value creation for the national economy and what Vietnam can do to create an innovation economy within the country.

Interesting discussions about how to stimulate innovation and making innovation an even stronger point within an economy. Also we spoke about the value of speaking English as a prerequisite to participate in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Marita ran a workshop for female entrepreneurs. The interest to participate was so overwhelming that the initial 12 people roundtable had to be turned into a 70 attendee  presentation and podiums discussion.

Full house at the female entrepreneurs meeting in Hanoi

A very interesting meeting at one of the largest mobile phone providers. The organization is determined to innovate and bring all new ideas to their customers. It is absolutely amazing to see how Vietnam turned from a rather poor country, dependent on donations, just three decades ago, into a vibrant emerging country.


An equally great meeting at one of the top business banks of Vietnam. Also here, business transformation, innovation and moving from an industry follower to an industry leader is an amazing transition. We talked about how innovative thinking is not just improving the status quo but how to get to an idealistic model and back to reality.

One week with great teams, jar dropping innovation spaces and top notch universities.

Our work in South Korea, with our ambassador and team was very exciting. South Korea is certainly no longer an “emerging country”. It bypassed many of the developed countries.

Startup ecosystem of the superlative. South Korea’s brand new Innovation hub is certainly the most mondain, most modern and best equipped incubation campus in the world. Startups, scaleUps and SME’s on hypergrowth don’t miss anything here. Whether its a photo and video studio, conference rooms of any size, offices of any shape, restaurants and countless other amenities. This is very hard to top.

Introduction to the Seoul Innovation Ecosystem, it’s focus to take business global and its quest to build more Samsung, LG or Hyundai type companies.

Entrepreneurs Workshop at the University of Seoul. A variety of students, even from foreign countries participated to learn all about innovative thinking, the innovation paradigm and how most innovative companies became the core of a country’s economy.

Investor Workshop for South Korean Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and institutional investors.

A great view onto Seoul by night from one of the largest towers in the South Korean metropoly

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with industry leaders from both Asia and Europe. We were discussing how Innovation is not just a way to build new technologies but innovation being the economic foundation of any leading nation.

And a final Entrepreneurs Event with pitching contest in the Seoul Startup Hub. This incubator just complete the expansion and is now good for almost 1,000 startups. Five selected startups pitched in front of an audience from the SSH and showed their ability to innovate.

A week with very promising teams, brilliant people from the local universities and amazing supporter – less amazing government actions.

Our work In Nepal was a great finish for our five week Asia Tour on one side and a disappointment at the very last day, at the investor summit.

After an impressive pitch event, the winner teams and organizers, judges and investors all together. The creativity of entrepreneurs is universal. And so is their spirit to find solutions for their local markets first.

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with representatives from the private and public sector, entrepreneurs, investors and enablers. It’s also a thank you to the amazing work the team has performed in Nepal.

With the introduction of Private Direct Investments, private investors should now able to invest in private businesses, explained Minister for foreign affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. This would make a huge difference to Nepal’s startup ecosystem.

Nepal’s government representatives explain the new investment strategy, in which industries investments are welcome and up to 7 years tax exemptions to attract as many investors as possible. It was made very clear that with the new investment policies and regulations, the government is introducing major changes, trying to turn to economy around. For the past decades, Nepal was depending on donations. Now that shall change and Nepal will want to stand on their own feed.

However, weeks later the website to register and get approved as an investor did not work. Trying to get support was hopeless. It was difficult enough to figure out which site a prospective investor is supposed to register. Attendees of the event never heard back from the event organizer. Neither how to register nore any next steps. Even our local connections could not figure out whether the new rules are even in effect. So far no progress at all.

 

It’s one of the very often asked questions at startup events. One of the unique skills of an entrepreneur is to create something with nothing. If you would have capital you would probably become an investor, not an entrepreneur.

One day a young entrepreneur asked me: “But I have to live and eat and I have no savings”. I asked him if he has a car. After answering, yes, an old BMW. I asked him to sell it. He looked at me like I’m from a different planet…. I told him that I sold my drums – which is much harder. He just walked away shaking his head. Recently somebody was much more appreciative. So here is my response:

  1. Create a sound plan about your product or service
  2. Look for customers who would want to buy it if you already had it
  3. Verify your idea based on their feedback
  4. Create a website with your plans and describe what you are going to offer
  5. Invite people to review and make sure any ordinary customer would
    a) understand, b) get excited and c) wants to buy it when you have it
  6. Start a crowdfunding campaign to ‘pre-sell’ your solution
  7. You got your first revenue so you can now build what you promised to provide.
  8. Do more of what worked well

Obviously there are quite some things to do during the process. I.e. to start with, find a co-founder, register the business and so forth. But I guess you get the idea.

It sounds not easy – but becoming a millionaire is simply speaking not easy. That’s why we have a growing gap between rich and poor. The number of people going for easy and enjoying a 360 degree social and live ensurance just have a hard time to get the extra mile hundred times a day.

 

One of the most often asked question from young entrepreneurs who don’t really live in one of the startup epicenters: “We don’t have enough investors in our region. How can I get funded?”

LIVING OFF THE GRID
Well, if you want what’s not available in your village, you need to do one of two things: get to the next bigger city or order online. In case of an investor you need to look for investors online and most likely then go meet them. If you are living in a rural area, you may indeed not get any investment. This is not because investors don’t want to travel to your location, but you are so isolated that your success is much less like than from your current or future competitors. Go where the action is :)

INVESTMENT
If not really in a rural area, it actually doesn’t matter where you are when it comes to finding investors. Investments are like water and always find the best way to an opportunity. This is why diamond mines in Africa, tech companies in Vietnam, car accessory vendors in Oshu, wholesale distributors in Munich and so forth got funded.

WHAT IS AN OPPORTUNITY
Sorry to say that, the problem isn’t the lack of venture capital, but the lack of fundable opportunities. Here is what investors are looking for:

  • Attractive business idea that makes sense
  • Businesses that are serving large markets
  • Stellar founders team that already invested everything they have in the startup
  • Rock solid market validation – more than 50 people already expressed interest
  • Minimum viable product that shows your idea is somewhat working
  • Well thought out business model (ideally a disruptive business model)
  • Great feedback from alpha testers of your MVP
  • Very good plan how to go to market

Here are a few tips
1) A day of a startup ceo – World Innovations Forum

2) Most common mistakes – World Innovations Forum

3) https://wiforum.org/2015/12/many-startups-fail

4) What is actually a great founders team – World Innovations Forum

There is a lot we can learn from Nepal. The very beautiful and sometimes considered mystic country could not have more orthogonal dimensions. Nepal is at the very low end of the GDP list, is unfortunately high up on the list of “perceived corruption”, is a nation with the one of the most kindest people on earth, has exceptional talents, a still under developed infrastructure, is still dependant on donations from foreign countries, yet some extraordinarily ambitious people to turn the nation from a “receiver” nation into a fast emerging nation on the way to become a “giver” nation. When such a country, with a new generation of sheer infinite determination can organise to breed talents working on globally latest technology such as Artificial Intelligence, with goal to turn the nation to prosperity – we must ask shouldn’t that be possible in other countries too. We also must wonder if the combination of a new agile government, highly engaged academia, highly motivated entrepreneurs, all working together – is a superior model of the future? Or will the model of a public being permanently on confrontation course with their government, ego driven groups with nothing but steering up the nation with horror scenarios for their own good and media loving to confuse information consumer for the sake of popularity be the winner of the future?

Khem Lakai – Nepal

While we, the World Innovations Forum, has pretty much all ducks in the row here in Switzerland, a very active community in San Francisco, where it all started, and a very good start recently in Bosnia, great energy in South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Macedonia, Nigeria, and other countries, our current Role Model is Nepal. Khem Lakai our Ambassador, had by far overachieved our wildest dreams. After our first Meetup in 2018, and a good exchange during the year, Khem understood, it was important to get top technology created in Nepal. Since natural resources are limited and industrial production is not too well developed yet, competition in other countries is fierce, he decided to help stimulate tech development. Together with Ranjan Mishran, a Nepali who is studying at ETH in Zurich they inspired a team of PhDs from Zürich and other Universities to come to Nepal. The Swiss Embassy in Nepal immediately recognized the importance and supported his actions.

Kathmandu, Nepal

In nearly no time, students in Nepal are being trained and built an AI systems and have been stimulated for Entrepreneurship. With yet another group of Nepali tech enthusiast in diaspora, lead by Prof. Bishesh Khanal who decided to quit his dream job in London to move back to Kathmandu and help Nepal move forward with other very successfully tech professionals and experts in the field of AI. Khem worked closely with various entrepreneurial enthusiasts in the nation, co-sponsored national events with Nepal Tourism Board and mentored youth in politics from all different political parties to raise awareness for a “visionary leadership”:  Nepal is to change the narrative of poor and sorry nation to a successful strong nation.

 

Premier Minister Khadga Prasad Oli of Nepal with World Innovations Forum Chairman Axel Schultze.

A few months later they invited Axel to speak with the Prime Minister Oli about the World Innovations Forum’s overall plans and also having talks with their Finance Minister Dr. Khatiwada. The power play continues this year with a first International Investors Summit in Nepal. Now Axel is preparing to attract international startup investors from the US, Germany, UK, Switzerland and maybe a few other countries to Nepal. While the country is still perceived as a rather corrupt nation, we see already Nepali Finance Minister starting to bring the legal framework in alignment with International expectations. The extraordinary journey is just in the beginning.

Khem Lakai, the World Innovations Forum Ambassador, together with his connections and a very ambitious country is making the sheer impossible a reality. It’s the concerted effort with an exceptional leadership that made this work. It was only a spark of inspiration from the World Innovations Forum,  yet the highly focused, ambitious and self determined Khem Lakai did what he felt is right for Nepal, connected with likeminded people and relentlessly executed. It’s that mindset and the understanding what really makes sense for the larger part of a country that moves mountains. In the meantime a new innovation lab is in the making. Also a collaboration between another Swiss university with a Nepali University is considered to create an exchange between some top Nepali talents and Swiss talents to also shorten the distance between cultures.

Its the right time for the right action with the right people that makes a change possible. This is the spirit the World Innovations Forum is trying to embrace. Our most sincere THANK YOU to Khem and his team of equally ambitious team of exceptional people like Ranjan Mishran, Prof. Bishesh Khanal and many others to build this World Innovations Forum poster child.

Even though Khem is the prototype of a self starter, let us inspire all of you to do what is best for your country as every country is in a different situation. But we are all one world – together.

@MaritaR