I think I have the drive and determination (been building out this same idea for 2.5 years now), the discipline, and sometimes even the smarts. And for an old dog, I'm always open to learning new tricks. But after 47 years, I haven't built up much of an entrepreneurial resume. And zero experience building an app, let alone a business (aside from a few Startup Weekends). How can I convince investors to invest in me?
Edit 2/26/17: Greatly appreciate the answers! The more brutally honest, the better! Not sure if the best way to respond to the answers is by editing my question or answering my answer. So will edit my question until told otherwise (or I run out of characters)!
"What are you asking investors to invest in? Is your business ready for funding?"
Unfortunately, that's part of the catch-22 I'm in. I've gone as far as my skills would allow, which is designing and market testing the prototype I created. I'm not a developer and have struggled to get developers on board until there's funding. I've spent all I can afford outsourcing development of 50% of the MVP and can't afford to pay any more at this time.
The market testing has gone better than expected with the prototype design (53% of 18-21 year old testers saying that would definitely use it. And yes, I understand this data is semi-meaningless until they actually become users). But the MVP has not been fully developed yet to put it on the app stores to test in the real world. So there are no current paying customers, traction, or ROI, aside from about 30 beta testers on standby I've accumulated through market testing.
"As you have been building your idea have you built a team?"
I currently have a (seemingly) solid developer who is willing to work for equity/pay, 50/50. But it's the latter 50 that I'm struggling with, and why I need funding.
"A few easy reads like "Zero to One", "The Orange Revolution" and "The Lean Startup" offer diverse opinions."
Read 2 of those (along with "The Hard Thing About Hard Things," "The Art of Startup Fundraising," "The Launch Pad - Inside Y Combinator," "Think And Grow Rich," and a few related others). Will look into the Orange one. Thanks!
Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
Focus on demonstrating your leadership skills. Also -- execution. I would article how you executed and delivered at your former positions.
Nik, I see several things in your profile that would make for an exciting and interest-generating resume. I've been writing resumes as part of my living since 1977. I normally charge $50 to critique one, but I will give you a quick review at no charge. I've sent you my email via private message--please send as Word or PDF attachment with subject line: You Promised A Review on CoFounderLab.
And yes, obviously, I'm hoping that my review will prompt you to hire me for a proper resume--but I will put zero pressure on you. You'll either contact me to set that up or you won't, and no hard feelings either way. I charge $195 for up to two hours of consulting, $100/hour if it goes longer (I keep my resume prices very affordable so that the teachers, nurses, etc. in my community don't see price as a barrier).
Also, a resume may not be the right document to get you in front of people. I can help with others as well. Writing marketing documents is what I do.
I would do 3 things ( I've done all 3 ).
In my experience, people always over-think the MVP. This may be the #1 launch killer. I've never heard of an under-featured MVP.
Try starting as a mobile responsive website - rather than an iPhone/Android app.
( lots of very simple frameworks to leverage and get the core features )
But...your headline says, "Few words, many talents!" I used to run a technical recruiting firm. I spent a lot of time with engineers going over their resumes, pulling out examples of what they needed for a position and seeing whether or not they really had the required skills. In many cases they did but did understand it.
So, go back to your resume and look at it with a clear understanding of what makes an entrepreneur. People are looking for:
Anyone can call themselves and entrepreneur--and many do--but these are things that make up entrepreneurship. Let people know about these and you won't have to call yourself an entrepreneur; others will do it for you.
I think you are in a good company. Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many others have been founded by people coming straight from university, and investors know that. So all you need to do is convince them that you are the right person, not that you have the right experience
It's not about the resume. A resume can only tell someone what you have done (or someone else asked you to do), not what you can do. When they say invest in people, what they mean is attitude. Is the founder in it for themselves or do they put the team first? How responsible is the founder to act as custodian of an investor's money? Is there a researched plan or is the founder winging it? How does the founder spend their time and do they recognize their weaknesses? What does the founder do to address weaknesses and take criticism? This is what investing in people is about, much more than work history.
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The purpose of this message is to update you on the current state of Mealthy Inc. and how that effects you, as a Mealthy customer.
In 2020 Mealthy Inc has not only grown revenues 31% during the COVID19 Pandemic, a time when supply chains are a mess, raw material availability is hit and miss, shipping costs have gone up and consumers have less cash to spend but Mealthy Inc has also become profitable. While the acquisition by MVP Holdings Inc. brought with it a team that has decades of operational experience it also brought with it a team that understands how to create efficiencies in operations, cut unnecessary costs and negotiate better agreements on both the buying and selling ends of the business. That knowledge and know how has helped cut costs by over 20% thus in turn helping Mealthy Inc go from losing $1.9M in 2019 to becoming profitable in 2020. That is a huge and rare turn around!
In 2020 Mealthy started a relationship with Costco and has been selling the Mealthy CrispLid on Costco.com. This relationship has been very successful to date and it is leading up to putting the product in every Costco store in the Spring of 2021. When that happens the volume will more than quadruple the current volume being sold on Costco.com. Look for more updates on this coming soon.
In 2021 Mealthy has many projects on the to do list. First of all we will be launching up to 6 new product lines dependent on how COVID19 continues to effect the supply chains. The new product lines will put Mealthy in other kitchen/cooking/food industry segments that allow us to capitalize on not only our successes with the Mealthy Multipot Pressure Cookers but the Mealthy CrispLid as well. These new product lines will give us the ability to sell products to consumers on a daily or weekly basis and not just every couple years when they need to replace a Mealthy appliance. The new product lines when officially announced will enter Mealthy into an $683B annual market. We believe the new product lines will be a game changer for Mealthy.
In 2021 MVP also has plans to take Mealthy Inc public. While we cant yet go into details the plan is to take Mealthy public by the end of 2021. MVP Holdings Inc has the ability to take Mealthy public without the usual exorbitant costs and red tape that most companies would have to go thru to go public. To make that a reality Mealthy is first launching a 2nd round of CrowdSAFE funding thru a new platform WeFunder.com/Mealthy.
What is CrowdSAFE funding you ask? It's a platform that gives passionate customers like you the ability to invest in companies and brands that they believe in that they would not normally have the opportunity to do otherwise. For as little as $100 investment a passionate customer like yourself can also become an owner in the company and help build it bigger and stronger and give it the ability to create and launch new and updated products for you and your family to enjoy for years.
Why are we doing this? Mealthy wants to use the capital to launch new product lines, launch new updated products, expand international operations, launch new marketing campaigns and expand the current team in place.
You're probably asking how does this effect me as a Mealthy customer? It doesn't, but because you enjoy the Mealthy products we wanted to give you the opportunity to be a bigger part of Mealthy and to help continue to enjoy Mealthy products for years to come.
Mealthy Inc did an initial Crowdfund campaign in 2019 and raised the max allowable amount of $1.07M in just 90 days. It takes capital to grow any good company especially in the first few years. So now Mealthy has launched Round 2 of Crowdfunding. Mealthy Inc lost $3.6M in its first 2 years of operations. That is not uncommon for startups. What is uncommon for most startups is that they reach profitability by the end of year 3 like Mealthy has. Even though Mealthy has reached profitability that doesn't mean it has all the cash it needs to continue to grow and expand operations. That's where the 2nd round of crowdfunding comes in. With the new capital injection Mealthy can order more inventory to supply to the expanding sales channels both in the US and internationally. Inventory was tight in 2020 as Mealthy didn't have the capital to go out and buy the needed inventory levels such as companies like Ninja and InstantPot can. Without the inventory in the US most retailers and even Amazon wont buy from us as a vendor until we have actual product sitting in our US warehouse. So with more inventory, more marketing, new product lines and expanded operations we envision another double digit growth year and even greater profitability.
Once this round of crowdfunding is completed we will then begin the process of taking Mealthy Inc public. Once Mealthy is publicly traded every crowdfunding investor will be converted into an actual shareholder and will have publicly traded shares of Mealthy to do with as they please.
While we are not investment advisors and cannot give out investment advice, think about the publicity that would come with a profitable crowdfunded company actually going public. Very few to none ever get profitable much less go public from a crowdfunded launch. But that's where we are headed and it's happening sooner than later.
It is my firm belief that what we are building at Mealthy is more than products, it's more than recipes, it's more than a brand or a company...we are building a community of like minded people who love good food, good friends and good times spent with family around the kitchen table.
So please join us in continuing to build the Mealthy community.
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