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【NY Startup Lesson】Entrepreneurship Course 4: Competitive Strategy & Marketing Funnel

This year, i2i has partnered with American accelerator EntreCamp to launch the 2024 IP2 Scale Out Program in New York. This initiative aims to help promising Taiwanese startups participate in a six-week, all-English expert course.

Instructor: Terry Hsiao

Course 4: Competitive Strategy & Marketing Funnel


In session 4 of the EntreCamp online course, the teams explored competitive and marketing strategies. The lecturer emphasized cultivating a mindset that prioritizes defining the unique value proposition (UVP) of one’s business to navigate competition effectively. By focusing on innovation and value creation, businesses can mitigate concerns regarding competition.

Additionally, this session covered the concept of the marketing funnel, highlighting common pitfalls startups encounter when allocating budgets and over-investing in product development. The importance of establishing a robust go-to-market strategy was also thoroughly explained.

Course Outline

  • What Do VCs Seek in Startups?

    • VCs seek opportunities in startups operating within expansive markets poised for significant growth, ideally in the billions of dollars range.

    • Startups should include a page in their pitch deck to delineate their target market.


  • Competition

    • Instead of solely competing on price with your competitors, it's crucial to understand your business's Unique Value Proposition (UVP).

    • Many startups attempt to pursue every possible market opportunity, which is not a viable strategy given limited resources.

    • Understand the market moats of your business, as they shield you from being supplanted by competitors.


  • The Marketing Funnel & Customer Acquisition

    • Numerous startups allocate excessive funds to product development, but the optimal strategy is to invest a significant portion of your budget (over 40%) on marketing instead.

    • When acquiring customers, it's essential to clarify your goal and identify the pertinent data necessary for achieving it.

    • When determining budget allocation across the three stages of the marketing funnel (top, middle, and bottom), prioritize investment in the top funnel, as it lays the groundwork for bottom-funnel conversions.

    • Consider how to generate a flywheel effect post-customer acquisition.

    • Your go-to-market strategy essentially begins as a hypothesis, necessitating ongoing testing and adjustments until the most optimal one is achieved.


  • Questions Asked in Class

    • How can we effectively attract customers when our product pricing significantly exceeds that of competitors?

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