Promote an enterprise application - Crowdfunding or investors


0
Let me introduce my situation.

I made an intensive research about the area of my product (that is a software), I have the prototype, the business plan, the promo video, the landing page and blog ready, almost 1000 followers in twitter (experts in the area), and a relevant presence in things like slideshare.

The next step planned is the fundraising. However I am afraid that platforms like Indigogo are not indicated for this type of niche products. Also, I am not sure if generic crownfunding is the best way of fundraising in this particular case.

So, my question is, there is any crownfunding platform to enterprise products, or should I contact directly with investors. If so, what platforms do you suggest? Thank you

Venture Capital Investors Crowdfunding Startups

asked Feb 20 '14 at 22:39
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1 point

2 Answers


5

Based on your comment to Nishank's answer, If all you need is two customers to satisfy your capital needs you need to focus on getting paid customers rather than trying the VC or crowdfunding route. Even if you decide to get VC funding later, having paying engaged customers makes the process easier.

I believe that Ash Maurya's book running lean had a great answer to this question. He also addresses this in post entitled the 10x product launch.

The entire article is worth reading, but here is the core bullet points:

Stage 1: Use interviews to recruit 10 early adopter customers

  1. Use problem interviews to find a problem worth solving and identify your prototypical early adopter.
  2. Put up a “problem focused” teaser page and start collecting email addresses.
  3. Use solution interviews to define your MVP and recruit your first 10 “early adopter” customers (not users) – they pay you from day one. If you nail the right problem, this shouldn't be difficult. Make a bold promise, keep pricing simple, and back it up with a high-touch concierge MVP model and/or money-back guarantee.
  4. Build your MVP and validate that is delivers on your Unique Value Proposition.

Stage 2: Use email list to find next 100 customers

  1. Use your 10 early adopters to help find the next batch of customers (they pay you too).
  2. Supplement the rest by setting up more solution interviews using your email list.
  3. Collect customer testimonials / case-studies.
  4. Start building a marketing website.

Stage 3: Use marketing website to acquire next 1,000 customers

  1. Use your marketing website to sign-up users.
  2. Use your learning to define multiple pricing plans including a freemium option if one makes sense.
  3. Manage the full user lifecycle from visitor to sign-up to paid.

Stage 4: Build your engine of growth for next 10,000 customers

  1. Start testing other customer acquisition channels.
  2. Optimize cost structure.
  3. Optimize AARRR funnel.
answered Feb 21 '14 at 01:52
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Jim Galley
9,952 points

3

I would suggest two things:

  1. Get people to buy your product before you try to raise money.
  2. Use AngelList when you have a little traction to connect with angel investors.

The biggest risk for any investor is if people have the problem that you are trying to solve. And the best way you can put that concern to rest is by having paid customers.

And you're right that crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter won't have the audience you are looking to raise money from. For that, there's AngelList.

answered Feb 20 '14 at 22:49
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Nishank Khanna
4,253 points
  • The problem is, if one or two companies buy the product then i don't need to raise money, just time to finish the project. Another key aspect, probably only one or two customers are needed in the first year of the product to make the project viable. thanks – ------ 3 years ago
  • If your product isn't yet finished, raising money will be an uphill slope. The problem you're trying to solve -- is this a problem that smaller companies have as well? If so, you can sell to them first before tackling the enterprise market. That'll give you validation and cash flow at the same time. – Nishank Khanna 3 years ago
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