A small cash injection for a small startup can make a significant difference - I know this as I've been there. I've watched our company grow from having a turnover per year in 5 figures, to having the same level of turnover per week!
You can read more about the entire thing on their site, but basically the idea was that by "crowdsourcing" small sums of investment you could cut through redtape and give a startup a helping hand.
Since the sum overall is small - €5000 and the investment per head is only €50 the entire thing should be quite painless and fun to watch (you'd easily spend more on Lottery tickets or having a flutter on the Derby .. )
Over 60 submissions were received, but there could be only one - why does that conjure up images of Highlander?
It was decided that the voting would be done via Twitter, with each investor having 50 votes to distribute as they saw fit. I initially had issues with this public voting concept, as I was worried that my choices would be judged in the light of my day job. However I decided that if people can't deal with me as an individual and "get over with it" then I'm probably better off not dealing with them at all.
The submissions are available as a spreadsheet here. Some of them are truly terrible. Terrible on more than one level. If you're looking for €5000 from someone who does not have a vested interest in your success you need to do several things:
- capture their attention
- win them over
- show them that you will make good use of the investment
- show that you understand what the investment can't do
Of course coherent English, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar would be an absolute minimum. Unfortunately some of the submissions failed on all counts and were very hard to grasp.
Others seemed to think that playing buzzword bingo would win them money ...
While others obviously either don't need the money or simply think that the amount had an extra zero or two ...
In the end I voted on three projects that I liked for a variety of reasons. Since 50 does not divide evenly by three I ended up distributing my votes as follows:
- 20 to KildareStreet. Why? It's a very cool and useful service already, so it's gone past being just some "crazy idea". They also have a number of sane and reasonable ways of making money from it, so it's not one of these "fluffy" idea with no actual business model to back it
- 15 to getdigs.ie - The idea appealed to me and I could see how it would be relatively easy to give them a push in the right direction.
- 15 to PhotoIreland - While this may not make any money directly it would indirectly as it would bring people into the country. Besides I like photos. They also had one of the best and clearest explanations of what they wanted to do and how they'd spend the money
If I'd had a few more points I'd have given one to the lot who said they'd get champagne with the money - I loved their quirky honesty!
Let's see who wins!
UPDATE - forgot to link to the spreadsheet - sorry!