Life of a Start Up


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Its not easy! Exicon COO and Founder, Cat Purvis gave a presentation at HKUST to executives on the world number one Kellogg EMBA programme (entrepreneurship and family business module). A full house listened to Cat’s experience and insights into how to carve the way through the world of a start up.

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Life of a Start Up

  1. 1. Enterprise Cloud for Mobile & ApplicationsSupply, Logistics and Warehousing for Enterprise & Consumer AppsOctober 2012
  2. 2. We are all about the App and its ingredients Developers Distribution Updates Fonts Licenses User Interface Services Platform Code Images Languages Security Geography VersionsAPIs Marketing Documentation Appstores Specifications Analytics
  3. 3. Our Application Lifecycle Benchmarking and References Find out who is doing what in Apps and APIsManagement Platform APIs Developer Apps APIs Developer APIs Developer Developers and Project Management Matching you to three qualified Developers BYOD Member Registration ID, Authentication, Access Dashboard Development Life Cycle Specification and Promotion, Matching, Asset Life Cycle Bid Management Collaboration, Management Communications Publishing and Distribution Analysis ROI and Measurement Manage access, deployment and performance Manage and Control Enterprise App Monitoring, Alerts, Asset Repository Stores, Distribution Analytics
  4. 4. Dashboard controls and monitors assets andecosystem 1. Control Development Projects 2. Manage Developer Relationships 3. Monitor Apps and APIs
  5. 5. An established developer community 60+ Countries 4,000+ Software Houses ~12 Developers/ISV ~50K Developers AMERICAS EMEA APAC 29% 36% 35% 1,522 60 10,000 Development Houses connected with OEM’s, Countries actively serving Successful applications for your Enterprises and Brands globally Global Fortune 1,000 companies benchmarking and competitive analysis
  6. 6. Our customersOfficesHong KongSan Francisco Results speak louder than words. 80% of our work with our customers is repeat business.
  7. 7. Savings and Benefits Faster TIME to Market Huge Savings Minimum IP Leakage 50% faster from Napkin to Download in multiple Up to US$ 10M You control and learn countries
  8. 8. So how did we get here?Depends when you askedPhase 1 – Outsourced Project Management, 2001 – 2 founders(I sold out to my partner, 2003)Phase 2 – “Incubator” for our own ideas - “Catalist Group”, 2006 – 2 founders (Moneyand Operations) – Magazine, China Ad Network, Email Database, Warehouse for apps toname a few.Phase 3 – Brought Exicon back for Vendor Approvals, 2007.(Catalist team, Rolled all businesses together, sold or closed)Phase 4 – Cloud Enterprise App Warehousing and Logistics.First Tier 1 clients for our SaaS platform as of last week – HP and GMH(2 Partners, including both Founders of Catalist, 5 Board members, Advisory Board of 3)
  9. 9. So what is start up like?
  10. 10. Start ups are like Trench warfare
  11. 11. Start ups are really f%$£@*g hard. No joke.
  12. 12. Its lonely
  13. 13. Choose your partner wiselyWhattree?
  14. 14. What have we learned about resourcing? 1. You need money to pay the bills 2. You need money to attract the talent – if not what else have you got? 3. You need diversity 4. You need all the help you can get
  15. 15. Implementing vision takes time V1.0 Your BrainInception Funding
  16. 16. Life Cycle of a Start-up IPO Pre-seed Seed Early, Growth Ideation Prototype Launch Growth Exit Sell-off Merger
  17. 17. Financing options Self Financed v Funded Bootstrapping Private Equity Debt (take a loan)
  18. 18. Financing options - Bootstrapped
  19. 19. Financing options - Funded
  20. 20. Raise money when you can, not when you want to.
  21. 21. Investors are NOT your friend! 1. Look for investors who have founded and run a start up before. 2. Look for investors with some of their own money in play. 3. Look for investors who understand the problem and are excited about your solution 4. Look for investors who can help you with more than money
  22. 22. Spending the money
  23. 23. The magic of innovation
  24. 24. What are some obvious mistakes we made? 1. Hired PLUs 2. Hired when desperate, repented at leisure- stressfully 3. Didn’t make tough decisions early “ Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly” 4. Leverage others experience early 1. Hiring decisions 2. External support
  25. 25. Outsourcing is start ups friend1. Physical - Your existing network, consultants, accounting etc2. Virtual -,, Exicon 3. Leverage technology – Expenisfy, BambooHR, Basecamp,4. Interns (this building’s full of them)Challenges1. Timezones2. Communication – Languages and Meaning3. Quality4. Cost
  26. 26. In Conclusion• If you haven’t got it yet, start up is hard• Get all the money you can BEFORE you need it• Get more than you think you will need• Be smart about what you are giving up to whom and why and when• Everybody is in front of an entrepreneur for a reason.• Take all the help you can get GOOD LUCK!!
  27. 27. Thank you COO / EXICON Cat Purvis EMAIL WEBSITE FOLLOW US @exicon
  28. 28. AppendixInsights and inspiration from… (Slides 17 and 18) 12, 16, 21 and 24)