F irst, you ask what is DBS Hotspot? The DBS Hotspot Pre-Accelerator is a programme designed to help startups in Singapore through experimentation, mentorship and training.  Out of >250 applications, 29 teams are selected for a 2-months bootcamp. From there, 9 teams are selected into the pre-accelerator which will lead up to Demo Day in November where we will pitch for VC funding. (And yes! We got into the pre-accelerator)

This 2 months has definitely been a great learning experience, where we learnt everything about running a startup, from Human-Centered Design, 7Vs approach to delivering a great pitch via Eric Tachibana, UI/UX via Minitheory, content marketing via Hubspot, navigating legal via Dragon Law, and understood the startup scene better. We met a lot of people and forged new friendships along the way.

It has been stressful and I’m sure I can say for all that we struggled. One thing for sure is that it motivated (or forced) us to work really hard. Without Hotspot, we would have progressed at a much slower pace. Hotspot changed our lives.

The most important thing we learnt from DBS Hotspot is that there must be product-market fit to stand a chance in the competitive startup world.

Your solution must be at least 10x better than existing solutions and directly solve the users’ pain points so much that they are willing to advocate your product to others. Now that we got in, the journey is going to get tougher and we are going to need all the advice we can get, from product development to marketing to business model and more.

By the way, here’s our mini pitch: If you spend a lot of time designing slides, worry no more, Flide helps you create professional slides in minutes that leaves an impression (saving you hours of work), allowing you to focus on the content. Check it out at www.flide.it.

To those who didn’t get in (to similar accelerators), it’s not the end. In fact, it’s just the beginning. There’s so many other programmes and help out there. And many startups who did not get funded initially still succeeded. As long as you keep the passion and drive, success will come one day. (Just look at Pokemon Go, 20 years!)

dbs hotspot
dbs hotspot flide

Finally, thanks to everyone (and DBS Hotspot) for all the help and advice. We will definitely give everyone who supported us a free Flide account when we launch (planning in October). Special thanks to Max, Benjamin, Vee, Bernard, Weibin, Lester for all the advice. And Darren for suggesting us to write this article.

Author Sam Ho

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