Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, founder and Chief Executive Officer of KBW Ventures, and Hasan Haider, partner at 500 Startups, participated in a meet and greet with Gulf students at Draper University in Silicon Valley.
The students asked the duo questions about how to attract venture capital, the best ways to build a business, and sought advice on matters that ranged from choosing suitable team members to how best to structure a startup.
Prince Khaled outlined the importance of knowing your space including having supporting market research and knowledge on competitor edge, and not getting distracted by public relations hype around acquisitions in the MENA region.
Prince Khaled elaborated on these ideas stressing the importance of building a strong business and curating a team that shares founder vision and values; adding that these elements would be followed by investor interest. He also explained the importance of resilience, and that founders should not be afraid of venture capitalist rejection.
Hasan emphasized the importance of founder execution, highlighting that potential investors always look for ability to execute as a worthwhile metric, and pointed out that entrepreneurs tend to be overprotective of ideas hence delaying product release. In closing, Hasan noted that a strong founding team requires multiple skillsets: technical, marketing and communications, and business development, adding that single-founder startups have potential in-built weaknesses.