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LordApps LordApps is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 40
CrowdCube - anyone used it?

Anyone used CrowdCube or similar?

Im looking at it now and it does look interesting.

I have a new business about to launch, been a long time (2.5yrs) developing and researching to get it market ready.

Multiple income streams, incredibly low outgoings with very high potential income from each stream, based on services that are already being paid for elsewhere but without offering what my business will offer... Have spent the summer this year doing street level research from public and trade and had 100% positive response to the business with most trades saying they would pay the asking rate for its services (which is bigger, better and cheaper than current competition!).


Thing is, I need launch funding.
Posted on an angel investment site, had lots of interest, but after several meetings, seems that some of the investors are all talk and simply like to talk about how successful they are...

Spoke to LOTS of business people I know and all were very very impressed with the business and said if they had the money, they would invest immediately!

Frustrating!

So, anyone got experience with something like CrowdCube?
Im thinking it may be more realistic to go crowd funding than a single investor these days...
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LiveWIRE_Mark's Avatar LiveWIRE_Mark LiveWIRE_Mark is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newcastle
Posts: 102
For those interested in Crowdfunding we have some information in the Business Library - http://www.shell-livewire.org/busine.../crowdfunding/
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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Hi LordApps,

Definitely read the article Mark directed you too.

Have you applied for one of our £1,000 Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards yet? (www.shell-livewire.org/awards/grand-ideas-awards)

Although it's not a huge amount of money, many of our winners have said that winning a Shell LiveWIRE award has opened a few doors to further funding as investors/funders sit up and take notice if you've already been through the process of a long-running and prestigious programme.

As for CrowdCube, it may be a good option, but remember that just like business angels / investors, any funding you attract will still involve giving away some equity in your business. The only real difference is that it's ran online. Crowdfunding/crowdsourcing is a cool concept but all investors will want to see evidence of 'traction' (i.e. visits to your website / customers / PR / previous awards) before they will invest.

There are various business angel networks around the UK which may be worth looking into like Angels Den (who charge you a fee for introductions and opportunities to pitch to rooms full of genuine investors & be listed on their site) and AngelNews.
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LukeLang's Avatar LukeLang LukeLang is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Exeter
Posts: 5
Hi LordApps,

We have funded 6 deals so far totalling £1.4 million with deals ranging from £25k to £1 million. The 2 1/2 years that you have been developing your idea sounds promising as you'll need to have a business plan and three years financial forecasts to pass through the vetting stage. We now have over 6000 registered investors on the site but we firmly believe that Crowdcube is a platform for entrepreneurs to channel investor interest. The onus is very much on you to sign post friends, family, customers, suppliers and other people you know who might be interested in investing in your business. Of course we'll do our bit as well and promote it to our community but the entrepreneur is the catalyst behind success.

There are no upfront fees for pitching your business on Crowdcube. You only pay a 5% success fee and £1740 legal fee once you reach your target. If you don't hit your target then you don't pay anything.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at: support@crowdcube.com.

Best wishes,

Luke.
www.crowdcube.com
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dan_plan's Avatar dan_plan dan_plan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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I couldn't agree with Paul more.

It won't be easy to find investment for something that hasn't generated any revenue yet. And if you find it, they will need to take a big chunk of your company to cover their risks.

That may be not true, in the case your idea is great (not easy to prove that) or you have done a very very exhaustive market research and everything looks incredibly promising.

As you have already spent 2.5 years on that, I would suggest you try the launch with no investment and see how it goes.
Looking for investment may take up a lot of your time.

A lot of people usually say: if you don't have money be creative.
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meisage meisage is offline
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Quote:
As for CrowdCube, it may be a good option, but remember that just like business angels / investors, any funding you attract will still involve giving away some equity in your business. The only real difference is that it's ran online. Crowdfunding/crowdsourcing is a cool concept but all investors will want to see evidence of 'traction' (i.e. visits to your website / customers / PR / previous awards) before they will invest.
You really need to think on this matter. As others said 'crowdfunding/crowdsourcing is indeed promising but investors (especially those wise investors!) will definitely like to see proof before they take any actions!
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LordApps LordApps is offline
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Well, it all seems to be swings n roundabouts...!

I have extensive market research, and have had several hundred interested businesses verbally wiling to pay as soon as the site is launched. Thats 100% of those I have marketed to so far...

I have had thousands of public stating willingness to sign up to the new site (its based on user profiles).
In fact, my initial water test for the idea was a facebook like page with very basic idea of the site in the Brighton area. Over 50,000 people from Brighton 'liked' the page and said they would signup on launch.
Thats a 5th of the Brighton population!

The site works by offering its services UK wide and in every town on a localised basis so potential for onsite customer base is HUGE with real street level market research done over a long period of time while developing the site for over 2 years...

My position now, the site is 99% ready to launch, finishing the last 1% as I type working flat out while living off selling my property to fund the work so far.

I have invested a lot of money and time into he project to date!


I now have options to choose on how to launch.


I can either...

launch on a trickle basis, just working by myself with the sites many income steams offering free services at first to get the site on the go, then charge later...

or

get launch investment and launch with a bang. This way opening up the many income streams in the immediate future as it will populate the site very very quickly! (the way the site is built, there are many options and plans for free viral marketing in place).

I have taken advice from a number of established business men (sorry ladies!) all have been 100% encouraging on the site.

A number of the smaller business men have offered small amounts as launch investment.
Not been worth my while so far as its not been enough to get me past the 'slowly slowly' launch outlook..

A number of the bigger business men have offered much larger amounts in view to taking the business International in a very short space of time.
Out of the 2 in this 'group', 1 is first setting up his own investment company which seems to be dragging on forever...
the other is just an absolute nightmare to contact due to other business interests..!

In the meantime, Im still pushing forwards under my own steam. The closer I get to 'slowly slowly' roll out, the less I will need investment!

CrowdCube offer 90 days funding plans, which would suite me fine as I have staff ready to work with me for a bigger UK wide launch as of March 2012.

But, by then I may not need the investment as this thing is built to grow virally and I may have enough by then to go it alone!

Decisions decisions.... !


If
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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NESTA have just written a new blog post on 'Crowdfunding' (which mentions Crowdcube).

See http://www.nesta.org.uk/assets/blog_...ing_innovation

Also, you should read The Next Web article on Shell LiveWIRE Award winners 'Great Little Place' for some clever ways to crowdsource funding/investment from users:

http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/10/2...d-hidden-gems/

I personally think you just need to get something out there, start generating a buzz and building up users/followers. In the tech/digital world, it's all about traction. Don't wait to for it to be 100% perfect or to have all the money you need as it's highly likely that the product/service will change once real users start to play with it. You'll probably need more money than you think you need to but investors will want evidence and proof of demand before they will part with their cash. Embrace 'Beta-think'.
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paul.s paul.s is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
Hi LordApps,
Are you still looking for an investor? If so what sort of investment are you looking for?

Feel free to PM me, if you don't want to post amounts on here.
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LordApps LordApps is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 40
Hi paul.s, for some reason it wont show me the option on your profile to pm you...!

Can you pm me your email and I will send you some info.
Thanks
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Business funding Business funding is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
You could also try a new site called Enterprise Den http://www.enterpriseden.co.uk

They provide a platform to bring together entrepreneurs and start ups, with angel investors. Entrepreneurs can create a pitch including video, attachments etc. investors can use smart tools to locate actual opportunities that meet their investment criteria, and if they wish, have these emailed directly to them. If they are interested, they contact entrepreneurs directly - there are no middle men

Best thing of all is that it's completely free!

Last edited by Business funding; 17-06-2012 at 11:22 AM. Reason: correction typo
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Loudmedialtd's Avatar Loudmedialtd Loudmedialtd is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 31
Maybe instead of focusing on gaining some investment you should focus on getting some PR for your service.

Maybe try and get in some local newspapers e.t.c and try raising money through crowd funding platforms like indiegogo or kickstarter, that way your not giving away any of your business in exchange for business but for various donations you offer different packages for if somebody donated £5 they could get a personal thank you from you and so on.

In all articles make sure you get them to publish the link for your crowdfunding platform page.

Hope this is of some help.
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mTech mTech is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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The one thing i dont understand about crowdfunding is that does the company/ idea, have to be a Public Limited Company? The reason I ask is that when someone starts a pitch on Crowdcube or other crowdfunding platforms the crowfunding platform clearly started that the investors get a share of the company... Doesn't this exhibit the characteristics of a PLC? If not, how does the investor get shares?
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Rosewood Farms Rosewood Farms is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusinessYolo View Post
The one thing i dont understand about crowdfunding is that does the company/ idea, have to be a Public Limited Company? The reason I ask is that when someone starts a pitch on Crowdcube or other crowdfunding platforms the crowfunding platform clearly started that the investors get a share of the company... Doesn't this exhibit the characteristics of a PLC? If not, how does the investor get shares?
We recently used www.peoplefund.it to fund a small project that wouldn't have gone ahead otherwise, you didn't need to be a plc for that, and our own rewards structure gave money off deals for customers.

I have been considering crowdfunding on a bigger scale but as we are a small business with less lucrative returns (farming) then we don't have much to give away, the funding is more about making life easier & more productive for us - not something tangible that an investor can get in on, although it would improve our income.

I considered the £1000 Livewire competition which would certainly help, but we are a business that tries to produce oil-free food, so perhaps not the best sponsor in Shell...
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