Post-Demo Day Strategies for Startup Success

SDS 034: Post-Demo Day Strategies for Startup Success

Hey! thank you for reading issue 034 of Startup Definition Sunday (SDS).

SDS is the newsletter for new & aspiring founders, bringing you clarity one actionable tip at a time.

SDS arrives every two weeks (you guessed it) on Sundays.

In every issue you can expect:

  • 1 actionable tip you can implement right away

  • 1 article you should read

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Thanks to the folks at Venture for Africa for sponsoring today’s issue:

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Welcome to today's issue of SDS.

Writing to you every two weeks brings me great joy.

In case you missed the most recent issue, you can find it here.

If you’d like to sponsor future issues of SDS, here’s a simple way to do it.

In the last issue, I had just returned from Lagos after participating in the Techstars Lagos Demo Day.

Last week, I attended Baobab Network’s Demo Day, and next month is YC’s demo day.

I love demo days because they provide a front-row seat to founder energy and enthusiasm.

Weeks of work preparing you for a short pitch to potential funders, customers, and partners can feel like the peak of effort.

But the real work starts after demo day.

So, what should you be doing after a successful demo day?

Refining your product: With the excitement of demo day behind you, it's time to roll up your sleeves and focus on refining your product or service. Take the feedback you received during the accelerator program and use it to fine-tune your offering. But, more importantly, listen to your early customers and gather their insights to identify areas for improvement. This is also an excellent opportunity to reassess your market fit and adjust your business strategy accordingly. Remember, a successful product is one that solves a real problem and continuously evolves to meet market demands.

Strengthening your network: The excitement of demo day can bring a lot of attention to founders. After demo day, the momentum might start to fade, but that doesn't mean you should lose sight of the valuable connections you made during the accelerator program. Networking is crucial for any founder, and now is the time to nurture those relationships. Reach out to mentors, investors, and fellow founders you met during the program. Most critically, start sharing updates on your progress with potential investors and partners. Regular updates can help you seek advice and explore potential collaborations. Remember, your network is a powerful resource, so don't underestimate the value of maintaining and expanding it. If you have no idea how to craft the right investor update, here are 2 templates you can use.

Build a solid foundation: Demo day is just the start of the years-long journey of building a business. As an early-stage founder, it's essential to build a strong foundation for your startup to thrive. This means addressing the less glamorous but equally critical aspects of your business. Take the time to establish robust operational processes, refine your financial management, and ensure legal compliance. Surround yourself with a competent team who shares your vision and can help execute your plans. Additionally, focus on building a positive company culture that will attract and retain top talent. Remember, a well-structured foundation will provide stability and set you up for long-term success.

Now, allow me to offer my two pesewas:

The real value of any accelerator is to move you forward in your journey to build a successful business. While demo day is an achievement, it is just the starting point. There is still work to be done.

If you do these three things well, the excitement of demo day will pale in comparison to the success you will achieve. I can guarantee that.

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If you only read one thing this week, read this...

Why is it worth your time? If your goal in 2024 is to get into a relevant accelerator, this article breaks down the different accelerators and incubators you should target.

Founder's Corner

As an investor, I know how challenging it can be for founders to get noticed by angel investors, especially without the right connections.

That's why I created an inbound form to allow founders to share their decks directly with me. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete. By breaking the mold and providing an alternative way for founders to connect with investors, I hope to help level the playing field.

That's all for today! As always, thank you for being an engaged reader.

Until we meet again in two weeks, here's how we can stay in touch:

I’ll see you in two weeks,



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