Incubator succeeded with a 170,000 euro fundraising
An introduction of a leading incubator in Italy
Startup Geeks is a recently born incubator which has achieved excellent results in a short time.
Let’s meet Giulia and Alessio from the incubator of Startup Geeks!
Giulia and Alessio, young founders of Startup Geeks, assist new businesses until Investor Day, but it has also successfully experienced this process.
Startup Geeks through the Startup Builder accompanies new businesses up to Investor Day, but you too have successfully experienced this process, achieving to collect 170,000 euros in June 2020. How did you get it? What were the steps you followed and how did you contact the investors? Can you tell us something behind the scenes?
Almost all our investors are private investors we met through all the activities we did in the year prior to fundraising and are part of our group of mentors and our investor network who also participate in Startup Builder activities. They have been attracted and became passionate about the project as well as the influence we every day try to exert on aspiring entrepreneurs, so we were already in contact with them.
What we did when we decided to do a fundraising was contact and inform our investors and ask if they wanted to participate. With those who declared to be interested, we just started to deal and many of them came on board.
How did your Investor Day go and how long after did you close the deal?
We never made a real pitch because we knew all our investors in person and therefore, we never had made a presentation in front of an audience. We have always talked privately with investors without presenting our pitch but just by conversing and explaining to them what we intended to do. In total, the process lasted about five months.
How has life changed for the incubator of Startup Geeks after raising capital? How did you invest those funds? How much has the team grown since then? And how have the processes within the startup, the division of tasks and activities changed?
After succeeded to fundraise and the company set up, we decided to address the new finance by expanding our team and looking for young professionals who could help us to grow. To date, the Startup Geeks team consists of 11 people who help us to pursue our mission every day, most of them under 30’s. Each member of group deals with specific activities and thanks to collaboration and teamwork Startup Geeks continues to grow day by day.
What kind of relationship do you have with your investors and how often do you hear or update them? How did you organize reporting to investors? What kind of help do you have from your investors and in what areas?
We have an excellent relationship with our investors, and they support us in various areas. The communication with them and reporting activities are carried out on monthly basis. Reports are sent via a WhatsApp message distributed to the group of all investors: we update them on the status of activities, on turnover and all key metrics. From the investors we receive help on networking which can open new commercial and business opportunities and this is the most important support. In addition, some of them also give us strategic suggestions as if they were advisors.
Startup Geeks started with a homemade website in WordPress, but a long way has come since then. From January 2021, the new website is online. Can you tell us the path you followed to move from the old to the new one? When and why did you make this decision? How did you find your technology partner and evaluate the best solution and how long did the implementation process take?
We made the decision to change our website when we set up our legal entity, so when we were working on fundraising, we thought that after raised capital we could start developing the new one. So it was: we spent four months talking to various software houses and making competitive bidding to choose the one that seemed ideal for us. We worked extremely hard on the creation of the graphic design before starting the software development because we are convinced that if you finalize and agree it first, the rest is easier to manage. We found the technological partner within our network and the relationships we had created in the previous months: it took us about four months to evaluate the best solution and we did it keeping in mind those characteristics that were most important to us.
Our CTO helped us to make the right choice, thanks to is background in this area. The implementation process for the actual launch lasted about six months but our website continues to be a work in progress, because every day we make new adds on to optimize the user experience based on our customer needs.
How do you plan to improve startup ecosystem? To design a new future, you work closely with many Partners and Mentors that you make available in your community and incubator to your startups, how do you select them and what relationship do you hold with them?
It is our intention, and we are committed to train, connect, and grow aware entrepreneurs and we do it through all our activities, thinking that education is the starting point to ensure that innovative ideas succeed to blossom and, so to speed up the digital and technological progress of our country and improve people’s lives.
Regarding our Partners and Mentors, we select them through conversations we have with them, we get in touch and talking each other we try to understand the quality of the work they previously performed and then, accordingly, we evaluate the potential of collaboration. We have different ways of collaborating that depend on partnership objectives and the targets of company in front of us and dealing with them we always look for the best ways to team up in various viable initiatives.
If you had to give advices to our aspiring startup founders to get prepared in front of investors, what would you suggest they read among your articles, interviews, guides or books?
We would certainly recommend our e-book “Da idea al startup“ to learn what are the main steps to transform a business idea into a real project. This e-book is a practical guide full of links to in-depth resources to save time in searching for more information. Additionally, our e-book “Come finanziare una startup” can be useful to understand what are the fundraising opportunities that a startup can exploit based on its stage of life.
Finally, we suggest you visit the following page to discover the books we recommend for creating a startup.
If you are interested in Startup Geeks, please read more one: Incubator online: the Startup Geeks case and Venture builder: from an idea to a rapidly growing business