Raising money is hard! Imagine someone asks you to part with €50k, or €100k. Wouldn’t you think twice?! Wouldn’t you want to be sure you get your money back? If you have lots of money it might seem an easier choice. But you don’t get lots of money by giving it away for free. If you don’t have lots of money it might seem harder. I don’t think it is. The choice is just a little bit more concrete; either a small stake in a startup or a new kitchen.
Best group of SEED investors imaginable
Considering this, we are absolutely thrilled we found a group of people believing in what we (30MHz) are doing. Our group of investors is as diverse as it can be. We have a number of entrepreneurs, relatively early in their careers but also pensioned. We have professional investors, but not necessarily early stage tech. And we have professionals with amazing track records in public works (IT). I think we have a very healthy early validation of team, vision, product and execution.
Raising can get you much more than just money
In the process of raising money we got challenged. And with our investors these exchanges generated energy, and added value for the company. Apart from the money we also gained a network of people with experience and unique views on what we are trying to do. I consider myself very lucky with the investors we have found.
From prototype to product
So, what are we going to do with €500k? We will transform our prototype implementations into a do-it-yourself product (ZENSIE). Our sensors can be used for anything, but our current focus is more and more on ‘asset optimization’. We can help facilities management get grips on office space (GGZ NHN). We can help agriculture understand their physical environment (Syngenta). We help healthcare know when care is required (Esdégé) We help industry/transportation deal with their large and costly collections of static and dynamic assets (Port of Amsterdam).
From team to company
This is a big problem. We need to tackle hardware, software, sales&marketing, user experience, building a creative technology company, growing into different (geographic) markets. This obviously requires a sizable team, of different backgrounds and with different skill-sets.
Swinging for the fences
Apart from building out sales, in the markets where we have traction, we have chosen to ‘swing for the fences’. We are going to build ZENSIE plug&know, a sensor starter kit for around €1000. We will build a kickstarter campaign around ZENSIE plug&know. With this campaign we aim to find customers, but also generate exposure that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. But, most importantly, ZENSIE plug&know is our first fully DIY product.
If you want to know more, please contact me through jurg [at] 30mhz.com.
Written by Jurg van Vliet, CEO at 30MHz