When it comes to launching your idea and competing in a marketplace, timing is everything.
Are you anticipating a change in behavior, a trend or just a natural evolution of how something is currently done or made? When entering any market, you must figure out where you are situated, said Baltimore Angels and Betamore cofounder Greg Cangialosi at TechBreakfast’s Startup Spectacular held in New York in late June.
Are you just entering a new market (such as VR or space tech) or are you in the middle (such as social networking sites), at the tail end (such as online advertising networks) or, in some extreme cases, too early (such as quantum computing)? Knowing your position helps determine how much of the market you can capture and how fast. This will naturally lead to the question of whether you can move fast enough on your own capital or need outside capital.
That was one insight that stood out to me during Cangialosi’s talk. I was at Startup Spectacular as a “Visualization Partner,” taking visual notes on the talks with my company’s collaboration software, Wrkbench.io (find all my notes here).
Here’s what else I took from Cangialosi’s talk.
- Startups with venture capital can scale faster.
It’s amazing how many entrepreneurs think they “must” raise capital from investors in order to succeed or build a viable business. In fact, many entrepreneurs will bootstrap their business or just get to a point where their business is a “lifestyle” business growing incrementally year over year. But when it comes to scaling or growing exponentially and quickly, most businesses will certainly need outside capital whether that involves angel investment, venture capital or private equity infusion. Your need will depend on the goals you have set for growth as well as the amount of capital needed with PE firms providing the most at later stages and angels at the earliest but smallest amounts.
- Bootstrapped startups are a way to build a business, too. You don’t always need venture.
Some businesses have different goals for growth and some don’t need early infusion of capital in order to launch. As a result, you get to keep more of your equity as you grow by bootstrapping and sell a smaller percentage down the road when it comes to capital raising.
I raised very early as a “pre-seed” round for what would become Wrkbench Creative Labs, followed by a proper seed round. We required the capital to build the app from simple prototypes and mockups, which then helped us gain feedback from potential clients. We then took the feedback to raise a seed round to scale the idea and fully build out the idea. In my case, I wanted expertise on board which meant bringing on people who would invest time and money to help us get to the next level. You may not need that and might figure our another way to launch.-30-
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