Each year a band of brave entrepreneurs sign up to take part in the Unlimited Investment Challenge, which aims to match growth companies with investors, mentors, networks and business education.
Louise Donelly-Davey’s company Scrattch was one of 10 finalists in this year’s challenge and survived a three-day ‘bootcamp for business’ Business Dominoes course and a Dragons’ Den-style pitching process.
In the first of a series of interviews with this year’s finalists, Donelly-Davey describes what the challenge has done for her business.
What is Scrattch?
Our company's mision is to create meaning and context around our customers’ favourite web findings. Our platform enables our customers to store all their favourite web findings to their own personal libraries, then choose to share their findings with the Scrattch community or keep their findings private.
Why did you enter the Unlimited Investment Challenge?
The main reason was to gain valuable feedback on our business proposition. We are strong believers in the utilisation of the lean startup model and this involves gaining feedback at every opportunity.
What effect has being in the Challenge had on your business?
Huge. We went from focusing on our product to redirecting our energy into our value proposition, our market and our delivery. This shift in focus has enabled us to ensure we are working on the right things at the right times.
The connections we made through both the workshop and the pitch process have been invaluable. We now have a company lawyer who understands our product and process thanks to a recommendation from the Business Dominoes team. We were also introduced to a VC by one of the pitch judges.
What's the biggest lesson you’ve learnt out of the process?
If ideas are worth pursuing it is important to remember that patience and perseverance will eventually pay off.
What was the most challenging part of the process?
The pitch was the most challenging part of the process — just physically for me to stand up in front of a crowd and pitch my passion. Having said that it was also the most rewarding part of the process. The questions and feedback we received were amazing. Because of my unwavering belief in what we are doing I was able to push through my fear and turn it into determination.
So what's next?
Seal a seed funding deal, take on some more developers, launch a full features product publicly — we are currently Beta testing a small set of first features. Take on the world. And win.
What is the biggest challenge your small business is facing in 2014?Related story: (See story)