Seed Capital in Practice - A Guide for You to Start-up


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A short intro to the Openfund, next to some tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to apply, and Sportmeets as a case. Presented at the WebExpo Prague, Friday September 24.

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Seed Capital in Practice - A Guide for You to Start-up

  1. 1. Seed capital in practice a guide for you to start-up* with the help of the Openfund or other seed funding structures George Tziralis & Miro Solanka Fri Sep 24, WebExpo 2010, Prague, CZ
  2. 2. toc / in short •who we are / what we do •tips for you to apply •a case study
  3. 3. The story starts in June 07, with the first tiny Open Coffee Athens meeting June 07
  4. 4. February 08 Since then, the network has grown really strong
  5. 5. & the interest on entrepreneurship has skyrocketed November 08 5
  6. 6. January 10 ok, but what’s next? 6
  7. 7. we came a long way y-w ise unit c omm
  8. 8. still, the ecosystem is broken
  9. 9. how can we get there?
  10. 10. to start-up, you need •brainpower •community •funding •advisory
  11. 11. here’s what we had ✓ brainpower ✓ community - funding - advisory
  12. 12. funding, worldwide availability seed VC rounds public
  13. 13. funding, in cse europe availability seed VC rounds public
  14. 14. 0 high-tech, early stage investments in GR, 2007 (in €, EVCA)
  15. 15. we wanted to offer ✓ brainpower ✓ community ✓ funding ✓ advisory
  16. 16. making start-ups happen
  17. 17. who we are •7 executive members - bringing knowledge, experience & passion to the table •57technology, management, - on advisors & counting sales, marketing, everything you need to start-up
  18. 18. looking for •stellar teams •globally innovative ideas, still at seed level •disruptive biz models •in and around software and the web
  19. 19. call for proposals •open to everyone (teams of 2-4) •online submission, •in person interview & •presentation day
  20. 20. “incubate” •pick up to 7 start-ups •extensively support in all things start-up •for a 4-month period •iterate
  21. 21. offer •hands-on mentoring, day-to-day, no interfering •networking, globally •30-50k€ for 15% of shares •smooth start & grow
  22. 22. all you need to •quit everything else •focus on your skills, team & idea •don’t waste time on unproductive activities •make it happen
  23. 23. within our first year •collected 100s of apps, from 30 countries • selected 5 start-ups, based on 5 countries • just opened new CFP!
  24. 24. how to apply, let’s •share some insights •break some myths •provide some advice *some: subjective views due to limited experience
  25. 25. WYS vs WYG •WYS (What You See): What entrepreneurs write •WYG (What You Get): What investors read & understand
  26. 26. description short yet remarkable
  27. 27. WYS vs WYG - description •complex is good, lengthy is great • complex is not easily sellable, lengthy may remain unread • both by investors and clients
  28. 28. WYS vs WYG - description •fantastic idea! (yet not relevant) • find a fit structure to apply, do your homework first • eg in OF, only software/ web/ mobile ideas get accepted
  29. 29. description •simple & concise •to the extent you get clear •also provide a one- sentence pitch
  30. 30. team all things tech guy chief jack of all trades domain & marketing star your core asset, treat is as such
  31. 31. WYS vs WYG - team •“we are truly great, we can do that part time” •are you truly fully committed? •anything but a clear yes simply won't fly
  32. 32. WYS vs WYG - team •we have 'strong technical background' • share your past work - what makes you great • ideally - have tech & biz & domain knowledge on board
  33. 33. team •introduce yourselves, tell us more about you •how members bond & complement each other •trade-off between skills & commitment, pick wisely
  34. 34. product start small be laser-focused innovate globally
  35. 35. WYS vs WYG - product •“we’ll build the next Google” (or equivalently huge project) •mission impossible, or •they have no idea
  36. 36. WYS vs WYG - product •“we’ll build the local X” •shallow market, no opportunity •hard to beat a well- positioned global product
  37. 37. product •be reasonable, beyond sharing your excitement •showcase that you know what you are up to •also that you have a plan & focus on a specific idea
  38. 38. competition you are not alone, nor should you want to be so
  39. 39. WYS vs WYG - competition •“we are one of a kind” •no market research performed, or •a questionable need
  40. 40. WYS vs WYG - competition •are there competitors? “Yes” (one word) •who are they / product weaknesses? •is it reasonable to build a new product & compete?
  41. 41. competition •provide a list of your closest competitors •showcase that you differ •educate your reader, pitch your expertise
  42. 42. funding is fuel for your business, take proper advantage of it
  43. 43. WYS vs WYG - funding •“we’re superb! thus, we ask for lots of money” •study what is offered first •no homework done suggests you're not a serious partner
  44. 44. WYS vs WYG - funding •“we’re modest, we ask for less money” •the targets are set low, or •not experienced on building a business
  45. 45. funding •make a request within the range offered •provide a rough cost breakdown •next to a product, try to set up a scalable business
  46. 46. goals
  47. 47. WYS vs WYG - goals •“we’ll have millions of users, within 4 months” •unrealistic targets, or •very inexperienced team
  48. 48. WYS vs WYG - goals •“we’ll be ready to start building a product” • very slow, or the product too big to fit • focus on a feasible one within the timeframe
  49. 49. goals •pave the way to a working product, quantify •bringing you close to a next round of funding, or • organic sustainability/ growth
  50. 50. to sum up •be honest •build trust •you are looking for a partner
  51. 51. to sum up • highlight what makes you a great fit for that product/ market • show that you are aware of your weaknesses and you have a plan to address them • plans are wrong, yet needed as a compass
  52. 52. apply till Nov 30 |
  53. 53. Get Organised. Meet. Play.
  54. 54. the story starts here...
  55. 55. can’t keep up with email This REALLY bothers me!
  56. 56. can’t find other players!
  57. 57. That’s HOW I like it!
  58. 58. how to get there ✓ vision & plan ✓ committed team - $$$ - experience & advice
  59. 59. get the fuel •value proposition •team that delivers •2-way relationship •how you will deliver
  60. 60. selection process 1. online submission of the application 2. remote interview 3. in-person presentation
  61. 61. #1: initial application •define the core idea •write less & more concisely •revisions based on feedback from the Openfund
  62. 62. #2: interview •extensive feedback in preparation from the OF board •5’ presentation & 5’ demo •Q&A section •be yourself
  63. 63. #3: presentation •collaborate with the OF •20’ pitch to the executive board, investors and advisors •meet in-person
  64. 64. #4: incubation •4-month period to deliver the v1.0 •worked together with the advisors •20% preparation & 80% perspiration
  65. 65. The launch day!
  66. 66. Come play with us! |