Fundraising · Minimum Viable Product

Possible to raise Seed Fund for MVP from Interactive Prototypes?

Abhinab Mitra --

October 18th, 2016

Hello everyone,

Thank you for this wonderful forum. Before I get to my question: a little background. You can skip to para below the dotted line for the main question.

I am a visual effects artist and last year I had an idea to create a web-based service which would address my industry's current problem in recruitment, especially with VR/AR about to explode next year. I do not have a history in entrepreneurship.

So without any further thought of whats and hows, I documented the idea. Since then I have created still-prototypes (print-screen style) that visualize every feature and user flow. I also created a logo as well as a business plan.

I have been teaching myself and reading various materials to do with startups.

I have an education and work experience in VFX and am well connected with majority of recruiters that work at various studios worldwide. As a result, in the past 6 months, I have been skyping with them personally, including those who work at Oscar-winning VFX studios. Since they will be our future customers. Infact many of them who hold the posts such as global heads of resource at AAA studios have also played active role in helping me make the model better, some also revealing inside information on what ATS systems do they use internally and how integration with those could make user experience better, amongst other things.

The questions I ask them are inspired by the Mom Test book and answers are gathered before I show them the product wireframes. The information gathered is very useful and positive. There are some startups using similar model on surface, but in different industries successfully and have raised millions in VC fundings. But that is where similarities end.

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So now my next plan is to create fully functional interactive prototype. But I do not have budget for MVP which I plan to outsource to a product development studio which has quoted ?60k looking at my prototypes. The agency has great reputation in the startup ecosystem. We are not inventing new technology but using pre-existing one.

So is it possible to raise funding to build an MVP from Interactive Prototypes demos? I was reading the case of No More Filing that used such interactive prototypes to raise ?150k in seed funding to build first version of their app. But I would like to have more realistic view on this from experienced people here.

Any tips and advice will be of immense help.

Many thanks.

David Albert Founder & Principal at GreyGoo

October 18th, 2016

I think it's possible if your product tells a great story, you've validated that you solve a genuine problem people will pay for and you can effectively share that with investors. Have you thought of conducting pre-sales? See if you can get the recruiters and studios to commit to actually paying for your product before it's launched. Tell them when it will be ready and use the money to build the product. Yes, easier said than done. Google "pre-sell saas" lots of good articles out there on how to do it effectively. Bootstrap it, get customers to pay for it, and you won't have to give up a dime in equity. Sounds like you've already hustled quite a bit--keep it up!

K. Robbins Head Moose at Moose WorldWide Digital

October 18th, 2016

In my experience the only projects that get VC money are the ones that show positive cash flow with projections for growth.  So David's route is the way to go. 

60k to develop - Is that creative + dev?  60K is a LOT of dev in my world.

Jaymes Hines Founder, Global Events and Partnerships at Startup Edtech VR

October 18th, 2016

Interesting platform you are proposing. I would to learn more.  i can be reached via linkedin

Cheers,
Jaymes