Converge challenge day 1

For all of you in Scotland who are students or recent graduates and are thinking to start a business I suggest you to give a try to the Converge Challenge.

Alister Minty, the first person to talk to us today, asks who made a research for him or any other of the trainers before coming to the training. No-one did, and that will help us remember to do so every time we are attending a meeting with someone in relation to our company.

Alister’s background is quite interesting, so I’d suggest you look him up. He is one of the Indigo Vision founders.

30 second pitch is on!

From the pitches, I can say there are many nice and promising businesses. Hopefully people will think the same about us.

Amongst there is a company who sold out its stock initially, and Alister’s interesting question was “How painful was it when people wanted your product, but you couldn’t provide it to them?” – My suggestion, is that you think about it, and have scenarios in place to react to that.

The other one was a question about the return policy. Think about your strategy as well.

Cash

Businesses consume a lot of cash! Want to raise investment? Network, drink lots of bad coffee, and begin in a creative way.

The responsibility you have when you ask for investment, is the commitment of telling the truth. If you lie in order to get the cash, you can lose everything and more!

 

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Advice for your first Startup

The Reddit user Robinhood93 appears to be a student at a university. In a recent question he posted on Reddit he asks advice about the startup his university team is starting as part of their project. This makes me feel that you are a business student.

Robin, I feel you! I read through your whole post which can be found here – Your team has some interesting ideas, some of them could be really viable too.

What I noticed is that you have lots of assumptions going on. For example:

In the importing luxury goods from China idea, you assume that people and especially students would like to get their hands on these products, that they don’t really know about, or they know about but cannot find them somewhere, as there is no retailer who sells them in the UK. You go even further and you assume that personalising such products (e.g. the phone cases) to a brand, you can sell it to universities and private companies.

Now I will try to work out an advice for you. In my advice I will try to include some things that you may have not thought about yet. Continue reading

Financial forecasting for your start-up

My rooms state while I forecast

My rooms state while I forecast

Have you ever had to do financial forecasting for a company that hasn’t started trading yet?

I am doing a four year financial forecasting for my start-up for like the 10th time in the last 4 months. I never seem to be happy about it, I always think I am missing things, and well, I choose to do it again and again until I get it right!

Problem is that Groupmates is on a prototype stage now and its 0.2 version is due to launch on Christmas day (I consider this as our CTO’s present for the whole team), but as you may know if you’ve ever tried to create a software product, you can’t make any revenues during the first 6-8 months (realistically speaking).

So I just finished forecasting for the first 2 years (after 9 hours of work), and I decided to write about it during my small break. I feel more confident about this forecasting as I came to understand and know how to do it “right” (or at-least I hope I came to understand it), between meetings with angel investors, business advisers and books.

Many start-ups will have to make a financial forecasting at one stage of the business (most likely at many stages of the business), especially when they need to raise cash, so I hope this post gives you a starting point on the basic way of thinking at-least when you can’t be sure as you haven’t had a pilot yet or you haven’t had any customers yet. Continue reading