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1) Get traction.

2) Pitch your startup to investors which have previously invested in companies based in Singapore. 500Startups springs to mind. Talk to the local hometown heroes in Singapore who have achieved funding for recommendations on other investors.

Traction excuses virtually everything else. Not technically impressive? Doesn't matter, had traction. Not based in Silicon Valley? Doesn't matter, had traction. No business model? Doesn't matter, had traction... asterix. Market not obviously a billion dollar opportunity? Doesn't matter, had traction.

"Traction" can be sort of vague. You want to have a user adoption graph. You want that graph to be growing, ideally with growth accelerating. Ideally you want "use" to be less a measure of "signed up once" and more an ongoing thing, preferably, an ongoing thing that your users would be severely discomfited if they lost. You want to have some acquisition channel, ideally proved in microscale, such that adding money explodes it. Ideally, you have a business model, also proved in microscale.

If you have a (channel proved in microscale and revenue) or (a whole lot of users) or, ideally, both of those, at least some investors won't care if you're on the dark side of the moon. If you don't have these, you could probably slice and dice your numbers such that you could appear to have them, but honestly just going out and getting the numbers is probably a better idea.

DM;HT - I like this.

One thing to note, all of those things will matter when it comes time to determining valuation and risk-level of you/your team, and potentially if you'll be a fit for the investment firm. I do agree if you have a product and traction that it will be easier to find money, and you'll likely find money from somewhere - though the terms offered will be based on the overall package.

To add:

Get traction + Get attention.

Shout from the rooftops whatever it is you are doing. Reached a small goal (like the 100th member)? Write 25 blog posts about it, tweet it, post to HN, and just put it out there. In fact, make a video out of it.

> 1) Get traction.

aka "Nothing succeeds like success".

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