The 5th season of VietChallenge started accepting applications from startups on March 21, 2020. Since then, in addition to numerous questions about the competition’s regulations, we have received some concerns from startups’ founders about the current pandemic and its impacts on their business.
In light of many startups’ concerns, VietChallenge decided to organize a series of virtual webinars and events with an aim to helping startups navigate the current economic turbulence to survive and thrive during and beyond this unprecedented global situation.
Last Saturday, our second webinar took place on Youtube Live, where we had the chance to talk with Mr. Kendrick Nguyen, the CEO & Founder of Republic.co to discuss the current startup ecosystem and the future of equity crowdfunding.
In the live conversation, Mr. Kendrick Nguyen first explained the concept of equity crowdfunding. It essentially means raising capital from the crowd and happens when friends, family, or just random strangers put in the investment for you after having learned about and aligned with your business idea. This funding source has only been around for more than a decade, but it has been credited with the launching and leveraging of multiple projects and startups in various fields around the world.
Mr. Nguyen also pointed out the essential step to score a meeting with investors. That crucial step is developing a pitch deck, which spells out your visions and your business models in a quick but concise way. He emphasized the importance of having a pitch deck in place and doing it in the right direction, no matter what type of startups you are. The pitch deck will usually determine your chance of getting a response from investors to schedule a meeting so that you can take it from there and make your sales presentation.
Republic is a U.S-based company that owns and operates a securities crowdfunding platform with a mission to democratize startup fundraising and investing. Republic’s crowdfunding platform works to connect curated startups with both accredited and non-accredited investors around the world. In the past six months, companies on Republic have raised about half a million on average.
Republic officially became VietChallenge’s partner in the competition this year after the signing of our collaboration agreement in December 2019. This partnership guarantees to not only provide participating startups with access to U.S. investors’ capital resources but also facilitate the development of relations among Vietnamese and American startups and investors.
Mr. Kendrick Nguyen also gave his evaluations of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic would have on startups. Despite the continued crashing of the market and the high unemployment rate that happened within just four weeks, he firmly believed our living in the technology age also meant that recovery would be equally quick. Mr. Nguyen predicted that the global economy would be able to pick up significantly by quarter 3 of the year. In the next 12 months, it will be much more challenging for startups to receive funding from venture capitals and private equity funds. Still, Mr. Nguyen is optimistic that the crowds will become a more dominant source of capital when the market rebounds. His two pieces of advice for startup founders are to cut back as much expense as possible to “stretch the dollar” as now it will take much longer to raise, and to use this opportunity to engage your customers with thoughtful content.
VietChallenge 2020 has opened its application gate since March 21, 2020. Startups can submit their business projects on jong.ventures/register_as_a_startup
Visit www.vietchallenge.org/ for more information and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.