To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, Seedrs hosted an equity crowdfunding knowledge share event at Interchange – a vibrant co-working space in Camden. At Seedrs HQ we talk to entrepreneurs on a daily basis, providing tips on how to promote and manage a successful campaign from start to finish. However we thought that the best way to explain what it really takes to succeed would be to listen to founders who have been there and raised investment on Seedrs. We were lucky enough to be joined by the founders from Shaken, IncuBus and Brother Cycles who each shared their biggest tips.
Tell great stories
Mark Jennings from Shaken raised £118,690 in March 2015. Shaken produce cocktail boxes filled with premium ingredients and recipes. Their boxes are available via a monthly subscription and through high-end retailers such as Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Mark energetically talked about using storytelling to engage potential investors to believe in the founders and the idea. Honesty and integrity were also important take aways from his talk. Ensuring that everything in your pitch, press and website is honest and genuine is essential, or you may get caught out in the Q&A section during the campaign. Perhaps his most important piece of advice was that the money isn’t going to be invested on its own; it requires a lot of effort from founders to utilise their existing tribe as much as possible to build momentum, credibility and influencer traction. That’s when investors who don’t have a relationship with the business already start to take notice
Raise investment online and offline
Rishi Chowdhury, founder of IncuBus – the first startup incubator on a double-decker bus – shared his experience raising investment for a pre-revenue business to show them that Seedrs can work for innovative businesses at any stage. He focussed on the importance of reaching out to investors proactively instead of expecting them to come to you and that getting investment takes hard work and you need to be able to ‘hustle’. During the campaign, Rishi met a lot of investors he reached out to for face-to-face meetings to pitch them his business plan and vision. His offline efforts paid off and 80% of his meetings lead to an investment in IncuBus on Seedrs.
Preparation is key
Will Meyer, co-founder of Brother Cycles – a London-based startup that offers a selection of hand built steel bicycle frames – believes that preparation was key to his crowdfunding success. Will spoke through the detailed plan he created before the Brother Cycles campaign even begun. They had an excel spreadsheet of every potential investor – that included friends, family, customers, partners/suppliers and cycling enthusiasts – and created a plan for when they would contact these people. This helped the campaign gain and maintain momentum, and remain on the first page of Seedrs for the majority of their campaign. It’s all about consistently getting investment rather than lots one week and none the next. And they scheduled their social media marketing and emails for the whole campaign before they had gone live.
One tip we’d add, based on knowing each of these entrepreneurs really well, is to know who you want to be an investor in your business before even creating a campaign. Knowing who you want to invest in your business – specifically or more generically – makes it easier to plan out your strategies for engagement.