Andres Kull:” I remember that our presentation was crap. It was too technical and too long. These days we did not have a clear idea how to present our products. That shock that we got from Springboard was a good awakening to think more about the marketing issues”
Bruno Lill:”Springboard lead us to the right direction! In some ways we had reached a point in our development where we needed to decide which way to go on. Springboard event gave us unique opportunity to discuss alternatives and a chance for debates with leading entrepreneurs of our sector. Preparing for Springboard with mentor gave valuable input to our strategy selection.”
Peep Küngas:“Springboard gave us better understanding about business through the eyes of investor.”
Konstantn Klugman:”Softmedia participates in Springboard with its previous project Onepagefree.com. Participation was definitely useful – thanks to experts’ comments we understood, that project itself (more marketing than technology) is not compatible with our team current skills. The project was sold to another software company who develop it now further.”
Teofilius Tõnisson:”Help from the Springboard was more psychological.”
IT LOGISTIK: Allar Kahju:”Springboard gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet and get feedback to our business model from specialists of our field in Estonia. Thanks to the contacts Springboard gave us, we were able to put together the team we are working with, today.”
Hillar Aben:”One positive influence of Springboard, was the necessity to think through our activities and actions to realize these actions. Objective questions from the people who where presented at Springboard brought up problems that we had not thought about before. We consider the Springboard reasonably positive for us.”
Robin Gurney:”Springboard helped me understand what investors are “really” looking for. I realised that we were not ready (for investment) as we did not have a suitable “scalable product”. Since then we have focussed on scalability and now offer www.pay4results.eu in 10 countries (target 27 by end 2012). We will be seeking investment again in 2012 and won’t hesitate to connect with ConnectEstonia again for more valuable insights etc.”
Comments right after Springboard panel:
Springboard Feedback from altex marketing
Yesterday I presented the case for investment in altex marketing oü at Springboard event run by ConnectEstonia.
I learnt a lot and want to share.
I should have shown better how the various strands of altex’s business interconnect – basically how the agency side of altex feeds, and is fed by, the other elements of altex: investment stakes, strategic partnerships etc.
Investment would be easier to win if we focused on one product/less products. e.g. spindo or epostel. Although some opinion suggested eggytech oü as a company would attract investment. One VC went against that and said that although complex, investing in safe profitable growing company like altex (with its potential golden eggs) would be attractive to some investors.
Not knowing the size of our market(s) for various products/services was seen as sinful. Whilst we are not aware of anyone knowing such data for Baltic + CEE. E.g. for usability training, email software, etc. We must find ways to estimate market size or potential investors will not be impressed.
Various stats are actually available and it might be possible to compare with UK market where comparisons between Intern “display” advertising market size and “emarketing other stuff” are possible. If we factor in population size and the relative immaturity of the Baltic & CEE markets compared to the UK then that might save the hard slog of surveying.
So generally much more homework on figures needed.
Tough questions that we need to answer:
Why these amounts of predicted revenue ? How calculated? How will the payback come? When? Profit / revenue splits for various products/services?
One definite mistake was not clearly defining how and when CEE (as opponent to Baltic) revenues kick in.
Preparation time – I spent 20 hours preparing for the 15 minute presentation and it was not enough but I realized too late and righty the gaps were exposed.
Thank God the purpose was to get „practice and advice“ and was not a real/serious investor pitch. I now realize quite how tough the process might be.
Is it (Springboard) worth doing?
Yes absolutely. Having joined a number of associations over the years with variable results I can honestly say that the ConnectEstonia Team really put the effort in. We learned a lot and the focus helped make the decision to spin off eggytech oü.
Is it worth altex going for investment?
Depends how much money. We currently estimate we need 400 000 € but someone suggested we might only need 100 000€
Frankly I can’t see it’s worth the hassle for as little as € 100 K – 6 month of paperwork and negotiations – time would be better spent making money.
Any criticism of the process?
1. For myself. Not listening carefully enough to Tarvo Tamm’s advice. He warned me about the need for numbers but I just did not make enough time in my schedule and so I was not fully prepared.
2. I expected more concrete advice on the areas of focus I asked for e.g. How to expand into CEE, selling agency services in Latvia and Lithuania, organisational development. Instead I mostly received, mostly very valuable, criticism on the presentation itself.
My overall take outs are very positive and we now know a good chunks of things we have to do….one big one seems to be the need to rationalise our offerings and focus in more depth in key areas.
In retrospect maybe we should have gone to Springboard with eggytech and not altex marketing but who knows…
So overall score 9/10.
What would I recommend to future Springboarders?
Take a whole week to prep or prepare for a bruising :)
Rain Rannu: ” For Mobi, Springboard was held in Stockholm. Springboard helped us to focus on the right business model.”
Heikki Haldre: “ Heast ideest saab alati vormida parema idee. Startupis, kus ideed on algusjärgus, saab nutikate inimeste kaasabil heast ideesd vormida superidee. Connect Estonia on Eestis üks väheseid organisatsioone, mis aitab startupil vormida enda ideed ja minna sellega maailma vallutama. Olen Springboardil olnud kahe ideega ja soovitan seda väga.“
Alari Aho:“ Connecti poolt korraldatud springboard andis meile väärtuslikku tagasisidet nii ettevõtluspraktikute kui ka riskikapitalistide käest. Saime kinnitust et ettevõtte areng liigub õiges suunas ning mitmeid ideid kuidas edasi minna.“
Taavi Hõbejõgi: Springboard for Margn was held in the beginning of February 2012. We achieved what we were looking for: a lot of good ideas and confidence to our plans. In fact, we pivoted and introduced current strategic plans during the Springboard mentoring sessions. And we learned a lot from the program.
For me, Springboard was really cool. I liked it because it asked the right questions, not showed the way where to go. Would recommend it to every startup.
Martin Villig: For us Springboard was very useful: we got feedback from experienced entrepreneurs with international background. They did brainstorms and tested our business model . I think such a training will do no harm to any startup company.
Mark Kofman: We participated at a Springboard with international experts in Tallinn and in Helsinki. During these events we gathered a lot of useful feedback about our business model. Connect helped us to reach the right people faster, so in the end we could get our 1st round investment, to continue to develop and PR our service.
Springboard panelist Andrei Korobeinik: At Springboard You can get valuable feedback – experts on their field analyze your businesses business model, give advice, give constructive critics. Certainly springboard is not a magic bullet, but participating in it is no doubt useful.
Springboard panelist Justin Fidler: Springboards are very useful for all businesses first and foremost because they give an entrepreneur a possibility to get advice from expert from different fields in a very short time. And these people are gentle and critical at the same time.
Jaanus Tamm: Springboard, held in Sweden gave us the most. In Sweden we got good feedback to our idea, market background information for technology and comments to our focus. Also many advises that we put into practice at once. Secondly, we got some ideas about few events, to visit with Tarvo.
Vahur Rajaver: Springboard gave us a chance to formulate our businesses main elements and we learned how to present it. We got the knowledge how others in the market see us and where we as a company can position ourselves in the market. Springboard gave us useful contacts with whom we have met also later many times and having a profitable cooperation.