A wise man once said "Every winner is just a loser who tried one more time."
If you have ever attended a pitch competition, you realize that the judges and jury are clueless. They are there because the real disrupters do not have the time to come. So when I attend a pitch, I could care less who won the competition. Infact, entrepreneurs are losers by nature. They either dropped out of college or barely got their degree. The main reason is that institutionlized education promotes conformity and pragmatism. Rarely would a professor advise a student to drop out and build the worlds biggest company.
For this reason, it is important for us as an ecosystem to incentivise those that did not win, or did not get funded, to carry on and reach for the stars.
Alot of app founders come up with crazy ideas that work. Often they are less "academic" and more street-smart. The reasoning is there is a correlation between being ADD, bipolar and schizophrenic with creativity.
I recently attended a competition at a Lebanese university and out of 15 teams, only 3 are to win. I shared some of my personal insight with the judges, specifically that they should push the "losers" to keep going with their dream. I added that, afterall if seasoned investors knew which startups would succeed, then they would not have a failure rate of 95%. Needless to say they were not impressed, they felt that they would accurately predict that the 3 winners would infact be the best.
So I did not argue with a hard wall, I would took the contacts of all the teams and left. Strikingly there was one student with an abnormal collasal idea that left me knowing I will bring him into the Hadzup fold. We would help him build his minimum viable product, get traction, and get funded. He has a global business, and was ill-advised that he should start in Lebanon. The idea that "Lebanon is a lab" to test your business feasibility is the biggest detrement to the ecosystem and likely the reason for the high failure rate. But that is a conversation for another blog post...coming soon.
Do follow me/us on social media and join our newsletter to keep updated on what these awesome cool kids (and very old people) are doing.