In the fourth panel at our June event CoE E-Commerce, Show Me The Money, Part 2: Investing in E-Commerce, moderator Chris Schroeder, who previously served as the CEO at HealthCentral and Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, interviews Pamir Gelenbe of Hummingbird Ventures, James Chan of Neoteny Labs and Elie Habib of Riyada Enterprise Development and Aureos Capital.
After crowd member Nabil Alyousuf of AlJal Capital reflects on what attracts investors to entrepreneurs, Schroeder fields questions from Wamda's satellite events in Beirut, Cairo, and Dubai. An entrepreneur in Beirut asks, "Is it critical that entrepreneurs build their own websites to promote their products?"
"If it's a niche product that you have value control over, yes, it's a no brainer to start with your own site. You should also not stop there, and consider other distribution channels," says Chan. "But if your product doesn't have any significant distribution, then it doesn't make sense, because you core business is not designing and maintaining a website."
In Cairo, Abdelrahman asks Elie Habib about how startups can easily find funding. "Start talking to investors, says Habib. "Don't wait." Develop a relationship now, before even worrying about when you will get money," he advises.
"Think big. Talk big," he says. Investors are interested in big companies.
Gelenbe agrees. "We're trying to figure out if we're comfortable with you as an entrepreneur… At the end of the day, that relationship is valuable in many ways because what we always try to do is whether we invest in a business or not, we always try to help. There's no harm in trying to build that relationship as early as possible."
James Chan discusses what creates an inflection point in a market.