Helping Startups with Tactical Capacity and Public Pitching at Sasin Bangkok Venture Club

06 Oct 2022
Startups can avoid pitfalls by turning founders into operators, according to Jennifer Villalobos, a Digital Business Builder and Investor who was the keynote speaker on the topic, “From Mentoring to Following Through: An Individual’s Journey to Helping Startups with Tactical Capacity.” The talk was part of a meeting of the Sasin Bangkok Venture Club held at Sasin School of Management on September 22. Having worked for Google for eleven years as Head of Airlines, Hotels, and Tourism Boards Travel in the Asia Pacific and as Regional Business Leader in Strategic Partners Development in Southeast Asia, Villalobos always asked herself what helps companies make the magic. “If you don’t have that tactical capability, you will fail,” she said. According to Forbes, tactical capacity is a term coined by Jorge Pedraza meaning, “the essential bridge between strategy and execution. Tactical capacity is a team’s ability to translate strategies into tactical actions decisively, rapidly, and effectively, with high-quality responsiveness under difficult, changing conditions.” Villalobos highlighted three common mistakes startups make when trying to build tactical capacity:
  1. Undervaluing the impact of digital economies in the organization
  2. Prioritizing individual capabilities over team tactical capacity
  3. Not knowing how to build impact through collaboration
Due to the impact of digital economies, Villalobos explained that clear and precise communication has become even more crucial. She said that communication needs to be specific and teams should avoid unclear messages such as using general acronyms. “Confusion and assumptions lead to mess-ups,” she said. Another crucial point she mentioned is to set up a burning imperative, that “one thing or goal that is attainable and actionable.” Since startup leaders often suffer from a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), they should have well-defined goals. “Founders suffer from a massive FOMO- keeping options open; [often] pivoting, moving away from the original purpose,” said Villalobos. Startup leaders should also celebrate early wins by patting their staff on the back for small wins made throughout the process. This celebration of small victories is also one way of tracking milestones and addressing failures along the way. Milestones, another crucial point in running a startup, should be treated like a devoted religion. Villalobos explained that since founders often don’t track milestones, they can face failure and not know it. The second point is prioritizing the team’s tactical capacity by hiring people with similar skills that can straddle across different functions. Finally, Villalobos said that collaboration is necessary between departments as some startups still work in silos and hierarchical systems, staying within their channel of communication. “We can help solidify foundations of growth by helping founders shift from their individual capabilities to their team’s tactical capacity,” she said. After listening to the keynote speaker, three new startups: Spiro Carbon, Yindii, and Eazy, gave their pitches. Dr. Ammarin Daranpob, Head of Strategy and Operations at Spiro Carbon, explained how Spiro Carbon helps individuals buy carbon credits from farmers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Louis- Alban Batard-Dupré, Chief Executive Officer of Yindii, gave the pitch for his startup, an application that prevents 40 percent of food waste every day. The final pitch was from an energetic Harprem Doowa, founder of Eazy Digital and a Sasin alumnus (MBA 2011), who presented his platform for financial visibility control and referral. The meeting concluded with a lively Q&A session with club members and a networking session. Founded in 2014, the Bangkok Venture Club is a group of successful investors, executives, and entrepreneurs in Thailand and Southeast Asia. They use their expertise in different domains to identify and support early-stage startups. Sasin School of Management and the Bangkok Venture Club established a partnership in January 2022. The Sasin Bangkok Venture Club meets every other month at Sasin School of Management to hear pitches from local and regional startups. The next round of pitches will take place in November. If you are interested in pitching your startup or networking, contact:
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