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Entrepreneurship workshops

Idea to Investment Entrepreneurship Workshops

Singapore’s longest running and most successful entrepreneurship workshop

Creating a new scalable venture is a challenging and complex task. The road to entrepreneurial success is long, winding and strewn with pitfalls, obstacles and blind turns. The risks of starting a new business are high, as illustrated by the high failure rates for new ventures. However, as is always the case, the rewards, both financial and personal, are commensurate with the risk.

The purpose of this workshop is to:

  • Help participants understand the process, challenges, risks and rewards of starting up a new scalable venture
  • Equip them with the tools required to start their own business
  • Improve their chances of successfully starting their own business

Participants will learn how to:

  • Generate and assess scalable business ideas
  • Develop creative problem-solving skills required in entrepreneurial businesses
  • Create a business model canvas and business plan
  • Analyze market opportunities
  • Develop a business model and competitive strategy
  • Form and work successfully in a team
  • Raise money from venture investors
  • Make a professional investor presentation

Topics covered will include:

Understanding the big picture

  1. Go big or go home
    1. Introduction to scalable entrepreneurship
    2. Understanding risk and return
    3. Dealing with fear and the importance of failure
  2. Investment: why and how
    1. Why entrepreneurs raise money
    2. Why investors invest in startups
    3. How to raise venture funding
  3. Business model canvas and plan
    1. Key elements for success
    2. Creating a business model canvas
    3. Generating innovative business ideas

Key elements for success

  1. Value proposition and innovation
    1. Sources and types of innovation
    2. Value proposition – degrees of recognition
    3. Disruptive business models
  2. Market opportunity
    1. Choosing a favorable market for a start-up
    2. Entering the market at an inflection point
    3. Analyzing markets – market types
    4. Top-down and bottom-up market sizing
  3. Competitive analysis and strategy
    1. Differentiation and positioning
    2. Value innovation
    3. Elements of a start-up marketing strategy
    4. Customer segments and archetypes
    5. Sales and distribution strategies for start-ups
    6. Creating sustainable competitive advantage
  4. Fundraising and financial plan
    1. Revenue models and cost structures
    2. Forecasting revenue, expenses and cash flow
    3. Valuation for start-ups
    4. Fund raising and financing
    5. Exit strategies and ROI
    6. Cap tables
    7. Key elements of a term sheet


Workshop structure

The course can be taught over one, two or three days.  During the workshop sessions, the facilitator will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant elements of the participants’ business plans and provide detailed feedback on how to improve the plan, with a focus on developing a business plan that can be presented to investors. Workshop sessions will include multiple mini-presentations, exercises, discussions and idea sharing to enable participants to transform their business ideas into an actionable business plan.

The workshop will focus on the key elements of a business plan, which are value proposition and innovation; market identification and competitive strategy; and financial value creation.

Key topic - Value proposition and innovation

The value proposition is the core of a successful business and should be the starting point for any entrepreneur.  Participants will learn to identify their value proposition, and develop the ability to clearly and concisely communicate it to customers, investors, team members, etc. The value proposition we will develop in this session will address several key questions:

  • What painful problem are we solving for customers?
  • What is innovative about our product or service?
  • How much better is our solution better than existing solutions?

Key topic - Market identification, analysis and competitive strategy

It is widely understood that marketing is one of the key success factors in starting a successful business.  Yet many entrepreneurs have quite a vague understanding of exactly what marketing is and how to approach it.  In this session, participants will learn to:

  • Answer the question:  who is our customer?
  • Select target markets and customers;
  • Analyze the market, including customers and competitors;
  • Position and differentiate products and services from the competition;
  • Develop and implement sales, marketing and distribution strategies;
  • Create sustainable competitive advantage for their business;

Key topic - Fundraising and financing

Money is the life-blood of any company and is especially important for startup companies.  Startup companies face many financial challenges: they often require substantial funds in the early stages of the business to develop the product, build market share, attract and retain a high-quality team, etc.  At the same time, they often have limited cash flow in these same early stages.  Many startups which might have otherwise been successful fail as a result of inadequate financial management and understanding.  In this session, participants will learn to:

  • Raise investment funds to support the growth of their business;
  • Forecast the financial performance of their business and calculate the valuation; and,
  • How to estimate return on investment (ROI) and social impact.

Presentation and communication

It is difficult to over-emphasize the importance of good presentation and communication skills in entrepreneurship (and in business in general).  Excellent presentation and communication skills can take you very far; whereas poor presentation and communication skills can doom your project from the beginning.

Entrepreneurs are continually presenting and communicating:  to potential customers, partners, suppliers, and investors.  Presentations and communication to investors are especially critical for start-up companies as these are where companies’ futures are decided.

Each day of the workshop will include participatory communication where participants have the opportunity to challenge each idea and are encouraged to contribute their opinions.  Participants will learn what makes a successful presentation and communication, and will deliver multiple practice presentations.  Participants will learn to create and deliver effective presentations, both written and verbal, to investors, customers, partners and others.

Learning tools

The following learning tools will be provided to participants:-

  • Expara Business Model Canvas and Business Plan Outline
  • Expara Pro-forma Financial Model for Start-Ups