I reject a VC for the first time in my life! How does that felt?
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Thank you to my friends for the advice that you have given to me! I am blessed to have a great circle of friends that is able to answer my questions when I needed the most. Some people who are experts in this field wouldn't want to share their thoughts because there is a price tag. Whatever it is, I am great that I have a good support system that can add value to me so that Green Hero can continue to grow to add more values to society by creating a better & greener tomorrow.
I still remember in 2017 when I4.0 seed funds were set up for Penang entrepreneurs to have seed funding to start or expand their biz, I was one of the applicants. In that year, I was still a final year student in my college and I have never prepared a pitch deck before in my life. I did ask for help around but many told me to just Google it. How sad is that :( Yes, we can Google for resources but where is the human touch that is able to guide you step by step to make sure you craft the right pitch deck for the investors to hear your idea?
A few weeks later when the results were announced, I was not chosen to pitch but my friends who applied, they had the chance to do so! I was sad and I felt frustrated. I wished I could have done better to have that chance to secure some funding so I can expand faster and build the dream I wished to see for Green Hero. I didn't give up after hearing that news but I told myself to just go slow and grow the community one step at a time. After all, going slow allow me to realize what I have not seen before in my market, and also it gives me time to form a close relationship with our stakeholders. We were able to control our supply & demand so close that our customers and stakeholders were happy with the results we produced. All of us in the Green Hero community know that we are here to save good food from wastage and channel it to those who can consume it. Food waste has been said to be the number 1 waste in the world and yet we dare to waste food even though we know that, every year, 7 million people die from starvation.
In 2018, one of my dreams came true. It was my dream to speak at TED but I have my first experience to have a stage at TEDX in KL. It is still something :D . This shows me that with passion and love, anything is possible! I know that one day, I will have my chance in the US to speak at TED for millions of people to listen to my entrepreneurship journey and the people who helped me along the way! I will never forget those tough times that my good friends stood beside me, my family, my mentors, and her as well. They are my foundation and I will never quit easily because when the world laughed at me, the people who believed in me gave me the strength to go on.
Moreover, in 2019! Is the best year that I have ever lived! Again, another good friend of mine invited me to speak at TEDx in Penang and I was so happy to do so! This is crazy! Yes, that is what passion can do to a person! There is also another friend of mine who invited me to join a student entrepreneurship competition that was organized by Entrepreneurship Organization. I didn't think I could actually represent Malaysia one day with the idea of Green Hero. I doubt that I could win the competition. Luckily, on the day of the competition, I told myself that if I don't win this, that's the end for me and the people who believed in me. If I want to win more trust of the people around me, then I need this for my portfolio. So there I went on stage, presented my idea with all my might, energy and persuasion to let them know I will conquer today and I did! It was from there, I was given a learning experience and exposure to represent Malaysia in Singapore and Macau. We bonded with over 50 student entrepreneurs around the world! Is a mind-blowing experience and that is why I told myself that I need to join EO because I want to meet my friends again from over 50 countries! That is my motivation and as well to be part of an organization that makes positive changes in the world!
Today, in 2020. I checked back on those who have been granted funding by I4 seed funds, 60% of them has gone silent. I asked them what were the reason that they decided to shut off? They told me 3 reason as below
1) The lack of cash flow
2) There is no market need for my product or service but we managed to convince the investors by showing our results we gotten from a survey. ( LOL!!)
3) Conflict among the founding teams.
I am thankful even though there are sometimes we do quarrel in the team, at the end we forgive and continue to work together. My team has been through many hardships and they were at times they wanted to quick but I told them to just hold on a little longer and put their trust on me! We will win this.
They did and we slowly managed to find our way to generate daily cash flow for the biz to sustain the operation and expand step by step. Sometimes, we just need time to overcome our struggle and just be patient a little longer for time to show us what our effort leads to. That's why it is important that as long everyone in the team players their role and helps each other achieve the company objectives, nothing is impossible to be achieved because teamwork makes the dreamwork.
Furthermore, when I told my team that we had 3 VCs that were interested in us, I was on cloud nine on our achievements. However, we have to turn down one that gives us too little time to sit down and discuss but the other 2 VC, we do see a potential as they were patience enough to wait for us. They too wanted to break the ice with us and understand what is our strategy and what is our plan to conquer the market. This is good and I am very new to this so as the team. It is a good experience we are getting ourselves into but I believe we will get through this and whether we get funding or not, that's not the end for Green Hero. We have the market for our biz and the green community in Malaysia is growing year by year because all of us can feel the effects of climate change.
Together let's do our part to support Green Biz whenever you can because they are the ones that are helping us to shape for a better greener tomorrow.
( The GH-Team)
Cheers and we will keep on hustling for you!