Interviewed by Tina Amper. Founder, TechTalks.ph. @am_tins.
Out of 36 startup regional winners, then down to *10 finalists, Manila, Philippine-based startup Salarium Payroll won the Seedstars World (SSW) competition held on February 5, 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. SSW is a global startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes.
TechTalks.ph had a quick meaty chat with Salarium CEO, Judah Hirsch, about their win.
A little backgrounder of Judah Hirsch taken: In 2007, he, together with other Filipino businessmen, founded Triple i Consulting Inc. It's a consultancy firm whose core competencies lay in Regulatory Compliance and Consulting for the following sectors; Food and Drug, Environmental, Accounting and Finance, and Corporate Compliance. Naturally, his experience from their consultancy firm led him to building Salarium. (Sources: Linkedin Profile, Triple i Consulting website)
TechTalks.ph (TT): Why do you think you won? Was it because of you + team + great product + luck?
Judah: No luck involved. It was based on team, myself, product, market, scalability, and if the judges would invest their own money. In a pitching competition it really boils down to who can convey this the best to the judges in 5 minutes. A good analogy would be not to focus on explaining the A to Z of your startup as this would take too long and confuse the judges. Just make sure you explain A to B to C in a clear and concise manner.
My mentors at the bootcamp were absolutely instrumental in helping me accomplish this. They really helped me to slice and dice my deck down to its essence.
In the end, I had the fewest number of slides, the only presentation without a title slide or end slide, and the only presentation that utilized almost 0 graphics, just some shapes I drew in powerpoint.
TT: What can you say to others who want to succeed in their entrepreneurship dreams? Or, what is your secret to your success?
Judah: I've not yet succeeded. As you mentioned in your subject, it's just the beginning.
A reporter asked me this week if this is the height, and I tried to explain that it's like going to a roller coaster in Disneyland. The past 18 months have been the time I've been in queue, now I am about to board the ride.
I would tell others who want to build businesses or a startup to just GSD (Get Sh*t Done) every day of the week.
TT: Again, congratulations! And, thank you for being an inspiration to young entrepreneurs everywhere. See you this GOAB 2015.
Judah: It's not even the beginning yet.
*Ten finalists were selected at the Seedstars World Semi-finals at the EPFL on February 3rd. The finalists were Singapore’s 6Degrees, a self updating phone book, Peruvian travel platform Busportal, crowdsourcing concert organizer Krowdpop from Seoul, Nairobi’s OkHi, a geolocalized address book, the Brazilian hardware device Ploog, for your desktop on the go, India’s Scandid app for geolocalized savings and discounts, Salarium, the Philippine payroll service, Yerevan learning management system Sololearn, casual gaming studio The Other Guys from Argentina, and Bangkok’s Washbox24, an automatized laundry service thanks to specialized lockers. (Source: SSW Press Kit)
Catch Judah and other startup leaders at GeeksOnABeach.com conference planned for August 20-21, 2015 at a designated beach resort in the Philippines. Connect with TechTalks.ph thru: facebook.com/TechTalks.ph, twitter.com/techtalkscebu