I have been involved with five start-ups over the course of my career. One never got off the ground because of team and timing issues. One pivoted slowly and funding dried up in the 2001 dot.com crash. One has been in business for almost 12 years and survives as an opportunistic niche player in the corporate finance/structured finance business. Another over promised and under delivered and first lost the support of the debt provider and subsequently the equity investors. The most recent is an early stage, founder funded start-up focusing on the institutional asset management space. It is way too early to judge how this one will turn out. More information is provided below.
I am available to assist start-ups with the following:
Your Target Market Defining Your Addressable Market Understanding the Competitive Landscape Identifying Potential Revenue Models Identifying Funding Sources, etc
Positioning Picking a Beachhead When to Pivot Seeking Feedback Interpreting Feedback Identification of False Positives
Investor Pitch Development Client Pitch Development Client Identification Addressing a Need Explaining Benefits Website Development Email Marketing
Sales and Sales Support
Development of a Sales Plan Execution of the Sales Plan Customer On-boarding and Training On-going Customer Support
Financial Planning and Organization
Budgeting Forecasting Preparation of material needed for Funding Discussions
In addition to the team building and market timing issues that I already mentioned, I have also experienced what I call the "Failure of a Core Assumption" or alternatively a failure to do a 5 Whys analysis. I learned that prospective customers will often complain about something or site the crying need for something but when push comes to shove they won't embrace a solution. In one case the big banks controlled the loan trading market extracting a generous bid/offer spread. Those same banks also controlled the new issuance market and threatened loan investors' new issue supply if they tried to change the status quo. The loan investors would bitch and moan all day long but they wouldn't do anything to support an independent loan trading platform for fear that their new issue supply would be cut off. Similarly I was involved relatively late with sub-prime auto loan platform. The platform was specifically built to be better than the main competitor. It offered dealers the ability to make more money, it addressed growing compliance requirements and it embraced all the trends in its particular space. Where it failed was that it couldn't provide dealers with the same degree of comfort with respect to certainty of financing as the market leader.