Luke Lang is the co-founder of Crowdcube, a
brand new firm aiming to shake up the venture capital scene by
changing the way small companies are 'matched' to VCs and angels.
Here's the 60-second overview.
0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a
enables UK-based entrepreneurs to raise venture capital for their
business, by getting investment from ordinary people in return for
5-10 seconds: What's the business model?
Crowdcube is based on the principle of 'crowdfunding', the
web-based notion whereby a large number of people pool their money
in support of an idea, person or business.
10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?
Other traditional methods of raising business finance compete with
Crowdcube's model. These include banks, business angels, VCs and
government grants. They tend to be a difficult way of raising cash
however. Banks adopt a no-risk approach to lending and venture
capital funding can be hard to access. We aim to change this.
15-20 seconds: What's your USP?
We bridge the current funding gap by democratising business
finance, giving ordinary people in the UK the opportunity to invest
in great businesses. Crowdcube is the next generation of business
finance, by-passing existing funding institutions.
20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so
We're privately funded. Ideally we would have liked to crowdfund
our start-up but there wasn't any means of doing this, which kind
of proves our concept.
25-30 seconds: What were you doing
I ran a successful marketing consultancy specialising in
business-to-business and digital marketing.
30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come
My co-founder and I have experienced start-up funding challenges
first hand and we knew that there had to be a better way.
Dragons' Den was an inspiration. If we could find a
way for ordinary people to become armchair dragons we could give
British entrepreneurs a much needed boost. Rather than finding one
high net worth individual to invest say £50,000, we make it easier
for 1000 people to invest £50.
35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done
We knew that the biggest challenge was going to be overcoming the
regulations so we engaged expert's in regulatory and financial law
as soon as possible. Ashford LLP's Commercial Team was fantastic
and played a key role in developing the legal framework that
underpins Crowdcube's innovative and unique model for crowdfunding
and business equity.
40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?
Moving into a Castle without heating! The Castle was fantastic but
the office was freezing even in the summer and we only lasted three
months. We had to wear thermals, bobble hats and fingerless gloves
- not good for productivity.
45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what
would it be?
Jaffa Cake. Not only do they taste fantastic but it is also the
least dangerous biscuit according to a recent survey by
50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous
Kickstarter is a US-based crowdfunding website for creative
people. They were the first to take crowdfunding mainstream
and have gone from strength to strength raising $27m for US
creative projects in 2010. They are a truly inspirational example
of the power of crowdfunding.
55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12
We're getting lots of interest from people who want to partner
with us from across the world and we are looking forward to
exploring these opportunities in 2011 and taking Crowdcube
In association with
If you're interested in a start-up business bank account, contact NatWest
to realise your ambitions.