How To Start A Startup Out Of A Passion, Raise Money, And Grow A Company

Ask any entrepreneur, it takes dedication, hard work, and skill to grow a company. But more than that, certain entrepreneurs have a unique passion and talent to take a start-up from zero to sixty, and see opportunities where others fail.
“I had a unique set of resources,” explains software entrepreneur and co-founder of Duetto Research, Marco Benvenuti. As the Chief Product Officer, he was in a position to understand what the market opportunity for a product like his was, and build for that niche.
Seeing a market opportunity and building a product doesn’t happen overnight. Creating a successful product is a recipe beyond just passion, it takes market opportunity, access to capital, a good network, and timing. And above everything else, the team that can execute that product.
Solve A Market Problem
Marco was in the position to see a market opportunity when he was working for the big gaming companies. While working for both Caesar’s Palace and Wynn, he was buying technology for these huge conglomerates and he was able to see a niche – “that is the niche that we are in—revenue management, revenue strategy, distribution—where none of the existing technology was really overwhelming us. That’s when you understand that there is an opportunity to do something.”
Dedicating himself to the problem and the opportunity is how Marco was able to become passionate about his idea. He was passionate about solving a market problem, and the product built itself. When you’re committed to solving a problem, the excitement and passion to create a product that will best serve customers naturally comes. The choices on how to build the product roadmap become clearer and clearer, and the product builds itself.
Have A Unique Secret
When investors are looking to give capital to new opportunities, one of the key components of their investment formula is finding teams that have a “unique secret”. In Marco’s case, they had several. The team at Duetto had all worked at large resorts including Wynn, Caesar’s, and Four Seasons, who would naturally be their client base, and they could create a software solution particularly for those resorts. In addition, Marco had built proprietary algorithms, so he had a something of value to offer his product against his competitors. Having both of these in place, gave the team leverage to raise enough capital.
Having a unique secret can be a number of things for an entrepreneur. Whether it’s a proprietary formula or algorithm developed as a PhD student, access to distribution, or understanding of a complex problem due to working on a large project with a competitor and gaining insight to how it can be solved, these are huge advantages when it comes to both entering the marketplace and fundraising.
Grow A Network
Simply having a great idea and seeing a market opportunity isn’t enough. Having a few paying customers also shows traction, but investors want to see scale. Duetto was able to grow an extensive network through their own personal relationships in their industry and business school, to reach out to both future customers and investor relationships.
Duetto also was careful in board selection. When glancing at their Board of Directors, a casual glimpse will reveal a who’s who of the hospitality industry. The team chose specific people who could help leverage their product and are thought leaders in the travel industry.
Raising Capital
Capital raising is no easy feat as any entrepreneur knows. But the Duetto had done everything an investor is looking for when it comes to putting money in: they found a niche market, put together a great team to tackle it, built an outstanding product, had a network of clients that they’d already worked for, and built a Rolodex of potential investors. The key was finding investors who were interested in the niche that Duetto servered, venture firms like Battery, who make it clear on their portfolio page that they interested in “application software” like Duetto.
One of the keys to raising capital when in an early stage is knowing who is interested in companies like yours, and focusing on getting connections to those investors. Those investors will also have wisdom and advice to help grow the company.
The right amount of capital, the right network of people, and the right messaging can lead to hyper growth. In the case of Marco, his unique understanding of his customer and market opportunity allowed him to continually improve the product for his audience to continually improve his product for hyper-growth. He also put the team in place to deliver the core message about the great product, and move it to the right targets.
Building a company is difficult, but solving a problem with passion, and creating a network and infusing those colleagues with a passion to deliver the message will help raise money and lead to growth.

You may also like ...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com