Crowdfunding for the education sector. We are building a global network of mentoring and financial support for students and universities.
We run crowdfunding platforms as a software-as-a-service (SAAS) model: we charge universities a monthly fee for their own branded platform.
There are very few: ScaleFunder in the US is just starting to gain some adoption – most competition is indirect e.g. telephone campaigns etc.
Versus indirect competitors: engagement with projects, online payments, and social media integration. Versus direct competition: we don't run platforms as silos, we run a network, and the cross-pollination across different universities and institutions is massively valuable.
We've raised money from friends, family and angels, and then joined Wayra UK, the digital accelerator in London run by Telefonica.
A string of different startups – the last of which was a major player in the table football operations and distribution market! (Yes, seriously).
The pub, like all good ideas! I'd experienced the pain of raising money for awesome projects whilst at university myself, and had been around some cool Kickstarter projects. It all seemed to fit perfectly.
35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?
Listened to customers about what the market wants – our SAAS model was developed after an early conversation with a customer, and without that advice, we'd probably not be doing it.
Not listening to customers early enough. The conversation above was in the first 6 months of the business, and it took us a further 6 months to begin work on the SAAS model.
Jammie Dodger. The complete biscuit. And the name is important: we always try to remind ourselves that luck and timing both play a major part in success.
I'm never jealous of ideas because ideas are incredibly cheap. I'm hugely respectful of some teams though. Favourite at the moment is CityMapper.
Running the world's largest online university community.
Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.