On the 4th of April, 2019, the EchoVC team had its first ‘Out of Office Hours’ where we met with founders of tech and tech-enabled businesses. This was done at Art Café (Victoria Island, Lagos) which was very cozy and seemed perfect for an out of office meeting.
During the three-hour window, the EchoVC team spoke to over 15 different tech businesses pursuing opportunities in diverse sectors such as PropTech, FinTech, Logistics, E-Commerce, etc. Honestly, we had hoped we would meet at least 1 good company, but we actually found a few really interesting companies.
We spoke with 2 categories of people:
The Entrepreneurs: Those who run businesses with some significant traction and were looking to raise, structure, expand or learn.
The Professionals: The bank guys, the lawyers and some curious cats who just wanted to know what this was all about.
As a reminder, EchoVC is a seed and early stage venture capital fund focused on tech and tech enabled businesses. We are sector agnostic and we love businesses solving major problems that are both realizable and scalable.
We have been incredibly busy investing in secrets, and because we know that to find secrets we have to go treasure hunting, we thought what better way to meet great founders, share knowledge AND give back to the ecosystem than to pop our heads out for out-of-office hours.
Think about it!!!
But, Don’t Overthink it
It was just a conversation, we just wanted to have a chat to get to know you and your business. We had never done this before, so we were as nervous as our founders (though our founders were not aware). We wanted a relaxed environment so we could be free to have an honest conversation. It’s like that first blind date.
We also got some funny and serious questions too – below are a few:
1. Q: Are you with the EchoVC team?
A: Depends on who is asking. And please ignore the t-shirt.
2. Q: What inspired the team to hold office hours?
A: We realized that a number of founders and tech teams sometimes require an environment that is chilled to discuss business ideas on the surface and gauge if they are investment-material. This was the major inspiration to do this.
3. Q: What are the major characteristics you look out for in a Tech business?
A: 5 T’s and they are:
· Strong TEAM;
· Great TECH (Product);
· Large TARGET ADDRESSABLE MARKET;
· Wide TRENCHES (MOAT); and
· Decent TRACTION (Existing Users, Paying customers).
Also remember that personal details are not exchanged and it’s important to adhere to this so as not to come off as obnoxious (if you know what I mean)
4. Q: can I have your contact details?
Q: I need your personal details, I need to have that personal touch
Please refrain from bringing that dry toasting line to an Investor meeting. While you think about this, notice the submission plug above? that’s where you send your pitch decks to. Come with your business cards and a crisp narrative about your business!
Back to the point I was making earlier - we had a fantastic time meeting with the entrepreneurs who came in for the office hours. We ended up interested in 3 founders we met, and in our usual style we deliberated on these companies, bouncing ideas off each other, akin to a typically perfect day at the office. We like such meetings where we (investors) and the entrepreneurs are ending our conversations with a huge grin.
This is the start of something new, and we would encourage you all to look forward to our next Office hours, and plan to drop in.
We are always excited to see what industries the founders are playing in and how they are thinking about solving big problems.
There is much more coming from the EchoVC team so sit tight..
From the team at EchoVC, we want to say thank you for coming out and spending the day with us.