While venture capitalists (VC) inject funds to help startups grow at various stages, venture builders (VB) join entrepreneurs through their process and provide infrastructure, training, and resources along the way.
Most of the time, aspiring entrepreneurs don’t even need to have a minimum viable product (MVP) ready yet to get started with a VB—they just need to come with a business idea.
That’s why these types of investors, like Entrepreneur First and Y Combinator, give significant help to startups, especially by letting them tap on expertise to develop a product and company together.
Currently, they’re holding a thematic Build 80 Challenge to call for entrepreneurs who have ideas to tackle specific burgeoning industries.
Applicants can receive up to S$100,000 if they’re selected to join B80P.
Building Future Businesses In Luxury Travel, E-Waste And More
Reapra’s in-house research team has carefully identified promising business fields, and will release a total of six industry themes throughout the year.
Its first two, ‘Luxury Travel’ and ‘E-Waste’, are now open for submissions until 3 May 2019.
Ordinary folks like you and I may just see these as ‘hot topics’, but Reapra’s research team, led by Chief Research Officer Gabriyel Wong, has gathered the knowledge that enables them to predict these industries will have “high business sustainability” over a long run.
They identify this “through analysing macroeconomic trends, market entry complexities, business models and value propositions” and more factors, so entrepreneurs looking into these fields can be assured they’re heading out on a concrete path.
With its first theme chosen, Reapra says luxury travel is “seeing a tidal shift towards bespoke experiences and exotic locales, with self-actualisation as the ultimate luxury”.
“We are seeking forward-thinking entrepreneurs who can transform the luxury tourism value chain in Asia. While there are few global dominant players, we still see a gap in the luxury travel segment in Southeast Asia, and we are excited to see what bright ideas can revolutionise this industry,” says Reapra Head of Venture Investments and Joint Ventures, Priscilla Han.
How It Works
“All it takes to apply to the Build 80 Challenge is an idea and of course, the grit—to take on the challenge of entrepreneurship,” says Han.
Interested parties start by submitting a 50-word pitch, from which Reapra evaluates their business ideas and may call them back for additional rounds of pitching.
Next, applicants that go through are invited to join a ‘sprint’ in Reapra’s office space, where they get to work with the team to solve business questions, build prototypes, and test ideas with customers.
During this step, Reapra’s Investment Committee assesses the business’ potential before kickstarting capital injection and incorporating the company.
They will then work towards building the MVP together, while engaging their own team of specialists to mentor startup founders in areas such as operational planning, HR, marketing, and finance.
No ‘Fire-And-Forget’ In Reapra’s Method
Reapra was founded by Japanese entrepreneur Shuhei Morofuji, who founded the healthcare information platform SMS Co, and took it from startup to IPO in just 5 years.
Under his leadership, the VB has 60 companies in their investment portfolio, across 13 countries.
Some of those based in Singapore include career platform Glints, performance management app HeyBenny, startup hostel Tribe Theory, and helicopter-sharing company Ascent Urban Air Mobility.
Morofuji’s method is an approach designed to be long-term and founder-focused.
Han explains this as “an educational process, to help [Reapra’s] founders in achieving mastery in their trade”.
“As opposed to taking on a ‘fire-and-forget’ investment approach, we are driven, and passionately so, to help founders succeed. [We work to] drive their mindset towards sustainable business models from the earliest stages of their entrepreneurship journey,” she adds.
Leaving us with a piece of advice, Han says hopeful entrepreneurs should make use of the 50 words in their pitch to showcase their “business models and monetisation strategy”, as these are “critical components that could make or break the idea”.
If you’re looking to explore a business idea in the luxury travel or e-waste industries, visit the Build 80 Challenge here to apply by 3 May 2019.You can also keep a lookout for new industry themes to be posted soon on the Build 80 Challenge page throughout 2019.