On Nov. 13-14 IBM SmartCamp will be holding its EMEA Regional Finals in Berlin, and among the distinguished speakers we are delighted to welcome tech investor Bill Liao, recently named by CNNMoney one of the 25 most influential tech investors on Twitter.
Liao is an Australian entrepreneur, social networking pioneer, author, speaker, and philanthropist. He is currently a venture partner with SOSventures and is the founder of the WeForest Movement, a non-profit organization set up to counter global warming through reforesting the Earth.
Liao is also a regular attendee at the TED conferences and also the World Economic Forum New Champions conference and was also the Director of Operations (DOO) of telecommunications company Davnet, which achieved the fastest capital value growth in the history of the Australian Stock exchange and which aggregated Internet access in the riser space of office buildings.
In 2011 he co-founded ‘CoderDojo’ www.coderdojo.com, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches kids how to code. It aims to teach kids creative problem-solving skills and practical creative skills.
Liao, who co-founded the German-based social network Xing, joined SOS Ventures last year to focus on discovering and financing Internet and social media companies. He’s invested in companies like the Web site Silicon Republic and the online teach materials site Teachable. In a recent memorable Tweet he said: “All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.”
Perhaps this advice could prove valuable for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, along with the other advice Liao has to offer on makeitcrisp.com, which, as the name suggests, urges entrepreneurs to keep their pitches crisp and tell a riveting story. The three parts to a riveting story, he says, are crisis, struggle, and resolution.
The crisis part of the story is what is missing for the customer; what they want or need. The struggle is what you did to solve that crisis; what did you figure out, work on, or overcome? And the resolution is simply how you leave the customer feeling; do they feel good after using your product or service?
In addition to these story elements, Liao advises entrepreneurs to not start a pitch with “boring” words, like “Umm,” “we,” “I,” or most company names.
Follow him on Twitter at @liaonet, and stay tuned to this blog to hear what’s happening at the SmartCamps worldwide. Looking forward to hearing Mr. Liao speak at IBM SmartCamp EMEA Regional Final in November!