Decks are startup founder’s ultimate weapon to get what they want. If you have heard this word for the very first time then let me break it down to you.
“Decks are presentations. The ones which we make in powerpoint”
But what’s so special about them? Well, these decks follow a particular format which helps a startup founder explain their idea within few minutes concisely.
Uses of Decks
The major parties with who a startup founder has to deal are ‘investors, customers, judges’. In Pakistan, we see a tremendous boom of entrepreneurship going around. There is a high level activity all over the country where we are witnessing numerous incubators and accelerators spring up. Apart from the Hackathons and Startup Weekends, we are now seeing lot of startup competitions too.
If you are a startup founder who wants to make use of these opportunities then you must know how to build your deck and how to mold it as per situation. Today, we will only talk about Decks for Incubation and Acceleration.
Major difference between decks for incubation and acceleration
Decks for incubation will focus a lot on;
- Identification of problem statement and proper market segmentation
- Unique Value Proposition and implementation of solution (A working and live prototype is ideally expected from you)
- Team composition, competence and synergy
- Business Model and Scalability of solution
Decks for acceleration, however talk about standard features mentioned above briefly but strictly focus on these factors;
- Past data which validates the proposed solution. (Data includes signups, traffic, revenue generated, user engagement and growth rate)
- Resources needed to scale the solution exponentially
- Proposed marketing plan with weekly or monthly breakdown
The reason for this is that in incubation, your idea is raw, has zero or little traction and a lot of experimentation is needed to refine and make the idea profitable. However, when a startup completes an incubation period then it has few paying customers and is generally generating revenue. This is where acceleration comes into play where Startup Accelerators induct these ideas and equip them with resources and right people which enable a startup to grow exponentially.
Incubators/Accelerators in Pakistan
There are plenty out there but we will talk about few big names and focus on what they expect from startup founders.
Pakistan’s biggest ‘Plan9 technology incubator‘ located in Arfa Software Technology Park, Lahore. They have two six-month incubation cycles per year where they hunt for the best startups all over Pakistan. Previously, they were a bit open but we also saw them stressing on Ed-Tech startups in Launchpad 8.
They have some basic eligibility requirements which can be seen here.
The Nest I/O
The Nest I/O is a tech incubator and co-working space set up with the support of Google for Entrepreneurs and Samsung in city of Karachi, Pakistan which has a population of 25 million. The Nest i/o provides startups with programming, resources, space, access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and an amazing array of mentors. Launched on January 14, 2015 it is already a hub of activity and a source of inspiration and excitement to the young people in Karachi and beyond.
LUMS Center of Entrepreneurship is an incubator located inside LUMS Lahore and has produced good success stories. If we analyze their past batches, we see that lot of automobile related startups graduated, however, there is a good diversity.
A relatively new player from a Telecom company, Telenor Velocity is an accelerator where they expect startup founders to closely build their solutions using the resources Telenor is offering.