Communicating Progress

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Once you’ve established your investor relationships, it is important to communicate progress and keep your investors on board.

Showing momentum is everything

This seems pretty obvious, but it bears repeating: good news will drive engagement. This doesn’t mean hyping everything you do, but it does mean portraying yourself in a positive light. Ideally, you want to touch base with a potential investor at least once a month, with some real tangible progress. After a while, people will join the dots and assume that your business is gaining traction before you even start talking.

Things worth communicating

The golden rule for founders here is:

Value your potential investors’ time

Don’t waste it with things they won’t care about. Here are some of things we’ve learnt go down well:

  • New team members – especially if they have strong expertise

  • Product sales/partnerships – with potential to scale

  • Product features – big, relevant updates

  • Changes to the market – particularly legislative, macro-investments

That’s not to say there aren’t more, but this is the level of ‘news’ that is worth sharing – meeting up with someone to tell them you’ve hired a new junior developer is not really big enough.

On top of that business-related ‘good news’, you can then work your own network to find something hyper-relevant to their interests. For example:

  • A link to an interesting rival/market report

  • A connection with a potential partner

  • A sales lead they can immediately action

Showing you can add value to everything else they do is a demonstration that you know how business works – that you can hustle.

Making the connection

Now you have some good news to share, here’s an example of how you could plan to pitch a connection for a second time:

Intro Email

Hey Bob,

Hope you’re keeping well?

I bumped into Fred (CEO of Company X <weblink>) the other day and he mentioned they were looking at their CRM system. I mentioned your CRM, and he said he’ll take a look at it. Do you want me to do an intro email?

Nudjed is taking up most of my time at the minute, we’ve just taken on 3 new devs to handle our B2B customers.

If you have a spare slot in the next fortnight, I’d love to sit down for a coffee (hint – I’m probably going to pitch you for investment!). If that sounds like something you’re into, we’d love to have you on-board!

Let me know what you think?

All the best,

Warren

If Bob decides to message back in the positive, move to step 2. If not: apologise, re-validate him as an investor, and connect with him in a month if it’s still worthwhile.

Remember the rule, though –

Value your potential investors’ time

At the meeting

When you do sit down to talk about investment, be prepared. In fact, be over-prepared. 90% of the work you’ve done may never get shown in the meeting you make it for – but three weeks later, in another meeting, someone will ask about your projected cost of acquisition in year 1, and you’ll be able to pull up a spreadsheet and play with the figures in front of them.

There are two reasons you won’t close a deal:

  • You aren’t ready for investment

  • They aren’t ready for investment

Do everything you can to ensure it’s never you who is not prepared.

Full Disclosure: At Nudjed, it’s almost always been us who were not ready. That’s why we’re sharing this roadmap with you; so you can learn from our mistakes.

Things you should definitely have ready for every investor meeting:

  • A 2/5/10/30 minute pitch: tell your story, explain the product.

  • Rough financials –

    • Current monthly burn-rate

    • Basic P&L for user base

    • Broad idea of costs to market

    • Breakeven point

  • A reason to invest immediately. Hint: Make them feel like you can do it without them.

  • An investable plan –

    • How much do you want?

    • How much do they get?

    • What’s it for?

    • When do they get it back?

Always answer honestly; even if you’re ashamed of it. If you’re embarrassed, improve it. And always, always ask the awkward questions – the ones you’d prefer to avoid.There’s nothing more important in an investment relationship than full disclosure.

 

You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Building An Investor Network’, here.



To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


The Roadmap – Part One: Finding A Market

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The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. One of the first things you’ll need to do is identify a target market – you have to know, before you start, that there is a demand for your product.

Timescale: 1-2 weeks

Skills: Secondary Research

Success: A market that matches your aspirations, with 3 killer stats to back it up.

Failure: Repeat this step until you find one.

Sometimes, brilliant ideas are too niche. It’s one thing to find great traction in one region, but if you’re hoping to build a $1bn business, you should probably check your market exists elsewhere.

 

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We believe in missionary businesses – ones where people are motivated to serve a cause as much as make money. Solving the obesity epidemic with technology was the thing that got us excited when we started Nudjed. Plus, it’s a huge business opportunity, that exists globally, within similar market conditions. To read more about Nudjed’s target market go to www.nudjed.com/market

For Nudjed, we target Health and Wellness, particularly obesity and offices. Here’s three of our killer stats (there’s plenty more though):

  • 64% of the UK adult population are overweight or obese (Guardian, 2013)

  • We lose 111 million sick days each year, costing the UK economy £29bn (ONS, 2013)

  • Health and fitness apps are growing 87% faster than any other app market (Flurry, 2014)

 

We found good sources for information were Mintel, Neilson, Google Trends, Pew, Academia.edu, The Office of National Statistics and the usual range of news outlets. Basically, anywhere that could offer breadth or depth of secondary market knowledge.

Read the next part of the Roadmap, Defining Your Vision, [here].

 

You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Communicating Progress’, here.

The next part of the Roadmap, ‘Defining Your Vision’, is here.
To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


Seedrs Mixer – Questions from Potential Investors

As part of our ongoing crowd-funding campaign, we attended the Seedrs Mixer. Events like this are a great chance to talk directly to investors and explain in person what it is we’re planning to do.

Throughout the evening we were bombarded with interesting questions. So we thought to save a little time, it would be worth sharing the answers here – both for potential investors, and for founders looking to hone their pitch.


Q – Is the proposition now totally B2B (Business to Business)?

No. But it is our focus. Nudjed has three main barriers to ramping up in the B2C market:

  • A free version. Businesses are much more used to paying for software and as Nudjed can directly affect income, are more open to paying for it. In our research consumers are much more likely to want to trial the app, or ask for a free version, with a view to upgrading or in-app purchases later.
  • A mobile app. Nudjed is currently web based. It works on phones via SMS. But there’s a big draw for consumers to get the icon on their home-screen. For business users, desktops are still the norm. They are much more comfortable with web-first applications.
  • A huge marketing budget/killer viral factor. We’d love both. But for now businesses are a more achievable route to market. They are silos of users and have formal structures that allow us to service them without huge marketing overheads.

We will tackle B2C again in the future. Just right now, we’re nailing the B2B.


Q- What is the scale of the opportunity?

The health market is huge and growing. Health in the workplace is similarly big – 111 million sick days p/year cost the UK economy £29bn (ONS 2013).


Q- Can you only sell to SME’s

For now, yes. In the long run, we can scale to almost any organisation (that’s why we’re raising funds). The key for us is to deliver great service. Over the next six months, we’re only looking to score 3,000-5,000 paying users. That’s about 10-20 SME’s. But they’ll be the case studies that allow us to target larger and larger organisations, with a process that’s been honed down to a tee.


Q- Who are the team, what are their backgrounds?

You can read more about how we started Nudjed here, and more about the whole team here.


Q- How do you plan to affect peoples’ health? How do you deal with the different levels of fitness knowledge?

Nudjed is all about tailored advice and expert knowledge. The system (supported by our experts) is built to learn about individual users and then affect their behaviour. Our product video gives you a good idea of how this works. Watch it here.


Q- What is the structure of the team? What areas are you looking to strengthen with the investment? What roles do the Founders perform?

Our team is broken into 4 areas:

  • Sell – Covering marketing, sales, brand, PR and recruitment
  • Deliver – Covering coaching, experts, account management and CRM
  • Build – Covering Engineering, UX, Quality Assurance
  • Operations – Finance, HR, Administration, Planning

Investment will be spent on strengthening the Deliver and Build teams, whilst we’re working on hiring experts and suppliers to resource the Selling team.

Our founders lead two teams each:

  • Warren (CEO) – Heads up Sales and Build
  • Neil (COO)- Heads up Delivery and Operations

As we resource the teams, individual directors will take control of each aspect (then sub-aspect) of the business, allowing the founders to take more strategic positions at the head of the business.


Got another question? Feel free to ask!

Seedrs Mixer

On October 9th, we attended an exclusive networking event at Runway East in London, run by Seedrs. The event was a chance for promising startups to meet with investors to discuss business strategy and crowdfunding. Nudjed was given the opportunity to pitch to the guests, with Warren speaking alongside Jeff Lynn of Seedrs and Alex Hoye, CEO of Latitude Group.



We had a great time, meeting representatives from other exciting startups that are currently fundraising, including WeStore, Line Up, and Board A Boat. We were also pleased to be able to share the news that we crossed the 50% mark of our own crowdfunding campaign during the evening.

Not least, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet some awesome investors who we hope to build a close working relationship with. There was a lot of interest in Nudjed, and we’ll be creating an article in the near future to provide comprehensive answers.

Big thanks to Seedrs for having us!

What We're Doing With Your Money

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As you’re probably aware by now, we’re currently in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise £100,000 through Seedrs. At the time of writing, we’ve secured £53,400 from 41 individual investors, which is incredible. To reassure our current investors, and encourage potential new investors, we thought we’d map out for you exactly what we’re going to do with your money.

Team Expansion and Wages: With the extra funds, we’re planning to expand our development and content creation teams. That means better products and better service! The goal is to double our workforce over the next six months.

App Development: With extra developers on the team, we’ll be able to push forward with our plans to build and release native iOS and Android apps, which should make the Nudjed service more comprehensive and easier to use.

Consultancy: We’ll be using some of the money to bring in experts to help us to develop the product, to make sure it’s as accurate and effective as possible. This will include behavioural psychologists, technology development consultants, and industry specialists.

Marketing: There will be a marketing budget, to allow us to take our product to as wide an audience as possible and expand our customer base – meaning you get better returns on your investment as the business grows! This includes PR, advertising, and keeping in touch with our users via social media and blog content.

Equipment, Legals, and Overheads: Some of the money will be earmarked for boring things like office equipment, rent, stationary and so on. At Nudjed, we’re firm believers in the power of the post-it note!

So there it is! If there’s anything you’d like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: warren@nudjed.com

Seedrs Sign Up Process

To invest in Nudjed, you’ll need to sign up to Seedrs, the crowdfunding platform. This can be a little tricky, so we’ve broken the process down for you here. If you’re still having trouble, feel free to contact us and we’ll do everything we can to help.


Head to Seedrs

To start, head to seedrs.com, and click the orange ‘Join For Free’ button in the top right hand corner:

Visit Seedrs

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Create an Account

You’ll then be taken to this screen, where you’ll need to provide some basic information, or you can choose to log in with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you register via Email address, you’ll need to verify the address by clicking a link they send you.

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Before you sign up, you’ll be asked to check a box to confirm that you’ve read and agreed to the membership agreement, which you can download as a PDF.

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Get Approved as an Investor

After filling in your details, you’ll be ask to certify as an investor. Most people will self certify with the Quiz option.

You’ll need to answer a few short multiple choice questions, to demonstrate that you understand the risks involved in investing in startups. Here’s all the information you’ll need to answer the questions:

  • Most startups fail, and if you invest in a startup, it is significantly more likely that you will lose your invested capital than that you will see a return of capital or a profit.
  • If the startup fails, no one will be liable to pay you back the amount that you invest and your investment will be lost.
  • Startups rarely pay dividends and are unlikely to be able to sell your shares unless the investee company floats on a securities exchange or is bought by another company.
  • Even for a successful business, a flotation or purchase is unlikely to occur for several years.
  • If the business raises additional capital at a later date, it will issue new shares to the new investors, and the percentage of the investee company that you own will decrease.
  • Investing in startups should only be done as part of a diversified portfolio. This means that you should invest relatively small amounts in multiple businesses rather than a lot in one or two businesses.
  • You should not invest more money through the platform than you can afford to lose without altering your standard of living.

Hopefully that hasn’t scared you off!


Find Nudjed

Your Seedrs account is now active! The next stage is to find the Nudjed investment page at

www.seedrs.com/startups/nudjed-ltd

and click the orange ‘Invest’ button.

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Choose Your Investment

The next step is to decide how much you want to invest, and whether you want the investment to be public or anonymous. You’ll also need to check the box to indicate that you’ve read the investment agreement.

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Deposit Your Investment

At this point, you’ve pledged your investment, but not actually paid any money. You now need to deposit money into your Seedrs account:

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Prove who you are

Seedrs requires proof of identification before you can invest, for security purposes.

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You’ll have to enter your National Insurance number (in the format AB 12 34 56 C – with spaces and capital letters) and your driving license or passport number. While this seems like a bit of a hassle, it ensures that all investments are legitimate and also that you’re able to prove who you are when it comes to managing your investment portfolio later on.


Make the investment

Once your identity is verified – which should be instant – you will be able to deposit money, either via card payment or bank transfer. You will then be taken back to the ‘Overview’ page, where you will see Nudjed under ‘Investments To Be Paid’:

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Press the ‘Pay’ button, and you’re done!

Thanks again for believing in us and supporting us at this incredibly important stage of our journey. If any part of this guide was unclear, please feel free to contact warren@nudjed.com with any questions.

Nudjed Launch Party – September 2014

On September 24th, around 100 guests joined us at the Life Sciences Hub in Cardiff Bay to help celebrate the launch of our Seedrs crowdfunding campaign.

For us, the event was an opportunity to do three things:

  • To thank you to everybody who has helped and supported us in so many ways throughout the last 18 months.
  • To connect the people we respect and learn from, to the other people we respect and learn from.
  • To launch www.nudjed.com/invest a chance for anyone to own a slice of Nudjed.

View the campaign on Seedrs Here >

This campaign marks the start of the next stage for us at Nudjed. The health industry is changing; the technology that you carry in your pocket is already measuring your health, and soon it will be able to actively guide and improve your behaviours.

“It’s a very competitive market that the Nudjed guys are in but actually there’s nobody better; they’ve built a fantastic team…they really know what they’re doing. So if anyone can succeed, these guys will. I’ve been really impressed by their drive and their focus to make it a success.” – Neil Cocker, Cardiff Start

The health app market is growing 87% faster than any other type of app, and Nudjed fully intends to be a part of that growth. With the crowdfunding platform, we’re giving everybody the chance to be a part of the story, and to own a slice of our success.

Of course, there are risks – we’re a small company trying to crack a huge global market, but we’re confident in our abilities, and so are many big names in the South Wales technology scene.

“I think they tick all the boxes, they’ve created a product that people want to buy…I really think they’re going to succeed.” – David Walton

Check out all the photos from the launch party on Facebook below.