Spotlight – Easy Access To​ Global​ Investors​ For Small Businesses

"It's not what you know, it's who you know."

What in the world could you do in just 10 minutes that could change the course of your entire company, catapulting it into the stratosphere of success, shifting the trajectory of your life forever?

Bianca Polizzi, editor and marketing specialist at The Farm SoHo, interviews Karim Oumran, managing partner of Papyrus Advisor about the upcoming live pitch investor events happening via The Farm SoHo for entrepreneurs, CEOs, companies, businesses and freelancers with big ideas.

Here’s the answer...

The Farm SoHo is partnering with Karim Oumran, Managing Partner of Papyrus Advisor.

Papyrus Advisor is an acquisition advisory venture which brings together a diverse range of experts to create strategic investment opportunities around the world. Our Farm members and other entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch to international investors for small business ventures as well as bigger projects through live, digital pitching events that we will be hosting via Zoom together, later this year…

Why?

Because we want to give our Farm members MORE. More connections, more possibilities, more opportunities. The sky's the limit, so branch out and take up space!

Our forever goal is to support our community of freedom-craving freelancers, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, seedling startups, brilliant businesses and concrete corporations as much as possible - and we believe this is the next step.

Simply put: We want to nurture YOUR dreams - it’s just what we do, here at The Farm.

And this is one hell of a fast-track way to do it.

So here’s all the information you need, in our 1-1 interview with Karim, to help you get started. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Papyrus Advisor is based in Dubai, but we work globally, handling tickets between 1 million to 3 billion. We connect capital to targets where they can invest. Previous deals vary from commodities and crypto, to banking and technology - logistics across all sectors are made. Basically, I'm an instructional broker. So I have a network of diverse investors who are interested in making more money, and they have different ticket sizes. I then connect them to extraordinary startups, companies and special projects.

How did you get into this line of work?

I have learned at a very young age that "It's who you know, not what you know".

Having had the privilege to attend some of the best schools and being a happy spirit, connecting with new people came naturally.

That's what we do at Papyrus Advisor. We provide a platform to connect these promising businesses, startups and ideas with interested investors.

Can you tell me about the pitch nights that you will be hosting with The Farm SoHo?

Of course. So first of all, thanks to Lucas (The Farm SoHo’s CEO) for this opportunity. We are setting up a platform where we can actually connect smart investors with startups who are ready to expand to other regions, who are more agile than others, faster than their competitors and more aggressive in their own market.

These startups could be smart kids who have come up with a new idea - or proven, established businesses who need investment for their growth. I want to meet these business owners, assess them, do some due diligence, and then bring in some investors who are interested in talking to them, then we’ll host the live pitch events.

And how will these digital investor pitch nights work?

Well, we have a similar setup in different regions across the globe. For example, in Berlin, the biggest co-sharing office or in Frankfurt, Germany, there’s Pitch Club and so we benefit from this being the strongest financial city since Brexit. As it's a very small city, investors are really lucrative there. And the same goes for London and Paris - with these bigger cities, either there's a lot of money or a lot of creativity. It just varies from country to country and from city to city.

With the Farm SoHo, the difference between these pitch nights will be that they are held online. So we will marry my investor connections at Papyrus Advisor from anywhere in the world, with your startup connections at The Farm SoHo, with the goal being to see who these interesting startups are, who is ready to expand and who needs help with business strategies. 

Also, the investor funds don’t have to solely be from individual people. It can also be private equity or even institutional. It can be strategic in so many different ways for those that are ready to take that next step - and those are the bridges that I'm building.

Do you know the show Dragon's Den, is it similar to that?

Yeah, of course. I first encountered Dragon’s Den when I was in fifth grade. I was living in Egypt and my parents wanted to send me to this family in London. We did an exchange. They wanted to learn Arabic and I wanted to learn English, so I went to them. I would wake up really early, because I was like, “Wow, I'm in London, I have to get up!”, and then I would turn on the TV and Dragon's Den would be on, so this concept has fascinated me since a very young age.

So it depends actually how ready the startup is. Most of the deals that happen on that TV show aren’t as sudden as it seems. When they say “Yes, deal”, what they really mean is, “Yes, we're going to sit down and run the numbers”, because you can’t go through an entire deal in five, ten, twenty minutes. 

But it's “Yes, we are dedicating the resources, we’re dedicating the time, we're bringing on our team”, and they have an entire team with analysts and associates assessing and seeing whether it's the right fit or not. 

A verbal “yes” is actually the most that I think that they can aim for. Then depending on how fast they need liquidity and what makes sense, then they will take it from there. Most of the time, it will take about a month, from that time to actually get set up together.

Will people be able to watch the pitch events?

Yes, I don’t see why not. It’ll be useful for other startups to watch.

Do you have any advice for the startups and companies that will be applying?

Yes, so I think these startups can Google the basics of what they need to know, but there are 4 important elements that investors look for - and you probably won't find this online. Character, personality, experience, and intelligence, but everyone defines these four things very differently.

I think character is how they see the person because they're investing in that person to the founder, to the C level, to the executive team. The personal character forms from birth until the age of seven, because it’s those first seven years that you don't know what's right and wrong - you’re just absorbing everything.

The second one is personality. Personality is formed between the age of seven until today. This is how you develop to be the person that you want to be. 

Then experience isn't just about work. Of course, they look at work experience, asking, “Have you started companies in the past? Have you successfully done an exit? Or did you fail? Did you stand up from that failure and continue?”. But also, life experience... “Have you gone through hard times? Did you live across different continents? Did you merge different cultures in your house?”.

And the last point is intelligence. What I've learned from how they define intelligence is that there are three pillars. The first one is street smarts, the second is book smarts, and the third is emotional intelligence. So it comes back to these four things: character, personality, experience, and intelligence. That’s what I've realised investors try to assess outside of the normal questions.

Does Papyrus Advisor offer help with startup businesses to understand how they can move into these pitch events?

Yes, if they need the guidance, Papyrus Advisor can connect those who want to apply to companies that can help them get them ready for these pitch events.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way pitch events work?

To be honest, it helps a lot with unnecessary meetings and unnecessary travel. It's also great for the environment. There are less people travelling in terms of business, where you can just jump on a Zoom call. I think it's getting business done at a different rate of speed, but then there are natural moments that are being missed - where you talk more casually, about sports or the weather. I think these casual moments in between are missing, but in terms of business speed and velocity, Zoom helps a lot.

When is the first pitch night?

We will be sending a newsletter out with all of these details in the coming weeks, so be sure to join our newsletter on The Farm SoHo's website here to stay updated.

How do people apply to pitch their business, idea or startup?
It’s simple. Hit the APPLY NOW button here or below and complete our short questionnaire.

We carefully vet all of our applicants, so if you’re one of them and you can deliver your idea with as much conviction as you believe in it yourself to convince the panel of global investors, you have the power to change your life.

There will be global investors for small businesses represented as well as investors interested in more established ventures, so there's plenty of scope!

So, now we direct the questions over to you - just how much self belief do you have?

APPLY NOW

Author:

@Bianca Polizzi

Date:

09-13-2021

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