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Mentor Insights: Founders, do not fall in love with your technology

January 13, 2021

Mentor Insights: Founders, do not fall in love with your technology

Suzanne, you have been mentoring one of the high-potential startups in our Incubation Program in Singapore. Can you provide examples of how your skills, experience and network support the team?

My domain of mentorship was focusing on branding, marketing, communication, sales, and customer onboarding. Having set up my own business and developed these activities in house, as well as my expertise in mentoring startups in various accelerators and my networks in both Switzerland and Singapore helped me to advise Notarum on how to best create awareness and boost acquisition in the digital world we are presently living in.

What should every tech entrepreneur know? Do you have any personal advice for pre-seed startups? 

Do not fall in love with your technology. Always take it from the client point of view: is your product needed? Does it alleviate a pain? How indispensable is it?

Get a solid training in management or surround yourself with people who are good at it and listen to them.

What do you consider to be the most important characteristics of successful teams? 

The teams that I have seen succeed have fun at work, a sense of belonging, a common purpose, and a strong company culture. They also work hard and are persistent.

In your opinion, what are the biggest stumbling stones for tech entrepreneurs in Asia? How do you recommend overcoming them?

The market is more fragmented than in other continents which makes it harder to identify key players for collaboration. Another hurdle might be red tape; As soon as you look beyond Singapore, some countries in the region might be quite bureaucratic.

You were a one-on-one mentor for Notarum. Why had you selected this startup and how has working with the team been?

Notarum is a RegTech startup. As my expertise is in high-tech in general and not in FinTech as such, I figured that working with a RegTech startup would be a better match for me. I also liked the idea of supporting a team with female founders. Women should support each other! Last but not least, the value proposition is sound, and Angela's pitches were always highly professional and convincing.

What have been the three main take-aways from your time as a startup mentor for F10?

Joining a new network, having a sense of contributing to the early-stage development of a promising accelerator and developing a friendly connection with startups, mentors and organisers alike contribute to my personal and professional growth.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Reach out to us!