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Old 02.06.2016, 12:06
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investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

I am looking for investment or partnership for a startup which I owe.
It is web & mobile application (currently not revelaed, therefore I do not have any link or public materials) which is already developed. What the application needs is promotion and marketing investment (advertising etc).
The application is fashion related (clothes (outfit) exposing). Unfortunately I am not able to reveal more details about the business idea at this moment.

I have approached couple of investment funds already here in Switzerland, but it was not even evaluated or considered, as most of them are focused on life science, biotechnogloy eventually payment technologies.
Do you have any ideas or recommendations of entertainment & lifestyle focused investors/funds here in Switzerland?
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Old 02.06.2016, 13:02
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

There are several micro-credit organizations in Switzerland that could possibly be of assistance, providing credit up to a maximum of CHF 20'000 to 40'000, depending on the organization. See this Beobachter article for more information:

http://www.beobachter.ch/kmu/kmu-art...rosse-wirkung/

Also, there are several cooperative bank loan guaranty organizations that provide guaranties up to CHF 500'000. The same Beobachter article lists them at the bottom.

Good luck!
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Old 03.06.2016, 04:22
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

Sorry but there is nothing to do with micro-credit.

What you need is to find an angel investor and/or enroll in an accelerator program. Another alternative, if you already have a good pitch for your idea, is to participate in a startup pitch competition.
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Old 03.06.2016, 12:54
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

Exactly as Capo mentioned, google events such as "StartUp Weekend" or similar and attend to pitch your idea. Last one was held about a month ago in Zürich - amazing experience and networking opportunity. Even if your idea doesn't win it doesn't mean that you don't have a chance for financing or support.

Last time a team received a special award from Swisscom for their "Lingobot" application (learning foreign language with a bot) even though there were out off top 3 business ideas of the weekend. They won a 2-month collaboration and support with small funding from Swisscom.

I know the idea is not fashion related, but it just shows that if you have a good business idea, business model, product or even you as a person are extraordinary and interesting, you can still win attention of people who would want to support you.
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Old 05.06.2016, 14:03
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

To raise money in Switzerland you will need:

1) A great team.
In Switzerland, this means both a capable team and a team where your potential investor's friends know the team (or your team went to the same university/worked with the investor previously at a large company)

2) Clear Product/Market fit.
In Switzerland this is defined in two ways - either you have lots of paying users and this number is growing (with at least 3 months history to prove it isn't a fluke) OR you have a partnership deal in place with a big Swiss company (such as Migros/Swisscom etc). The second option is more attractive for investors here.

3) Business Plan
You DON'T need a real business plan, but you do need 10-15 slides and a 4-8 minute speech which explains to the investors what your plans are. You need to focus on how and when they will get their money back, as well as the worst case scenario. The best plan of action is to include a best case scenario (we conquer the world), an expected scenario (we are market leader in DACH within 3 years) and a worst case scenario (hopefully not worse than we are profitable in Switzerland and exit to Swisscom, with whom we are already partnering).

Unlike in the US, investors are not interested in hearing that you are going to take over the World. They are really looking for an investment where in the best case, they make a 10x return in 2-3 years from you selling to another larger company or, in the worst case, where you are a profitable company in Switzerland within 3 years and they can count you as a 'success'.

4) Investor/Country relationship
Realistically, you either need to be a previously successful entrepreneur (at least one significant exit) or you need to A) be starting a company which will be active in the Swiss market and B) you need to know at least one of the investors well enough for them to 'risk their reputation' for you by convincing their friends/partners to take part.

5) Some kind of protectable IP
If you have some strong tech AND are partnered with a Swiss university, you can try and get some money from Venture Kick. To be honest, this has descended into a horrible circle jerk of 'jobs for the boys' over the last few years and, unless it has been recommended to you by someone in their inner circle, I would stay well clear as it would just be a waste of your time.

This is mainly tailored to financing rounds at a seed stage (50-500k) because if you had any chance of raising more money in Switzerland, you wouldn't need to ask the question

A final word of warning would be to stay as far away from startup competitions/events as you can (such as startup weekend). They are a vortex of lifestyle 'entrepreneurs', desperate startup consultants and recruiters. Not one real startup (that I am aware of) has come out of such an event over the past 2 years.
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Old 05.06.2016, 17:49
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

Guys,

Thanks to all of you for the input.
Especially the last reply from user lewibrfc is somehow sad but at least refreshing.
I have actually nothing what has been mentioned in last post (maybe apart of Business Plan).
At this moment I am a bit confused about the future of my project, after what I ve heard, especially here locally in Switzerland.

I need to rethink then if it is possible to fund it somehow in my homeland.

Anyway thank you very much once again to all of you for your valuable input
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Old 06.06.2016, 10:14
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

That's a good insight by lewibrfc.

For me that was the first time I attended such an event as Startup Weekend and I think that the main aim of it is to motivate people to think outside of the box, boost innovative thinking, encourage collaboration and along the way build some network, exchange ideas, experience something new.

That's what I took from it. I have spent last 10+ years of my professional life in large corporations where the complexity of business structure, hierarchy layers and conservative approach created large resistance in pushing any innovative ideas forward.
After some time I just needed a reset and felt the need for collaborative atmosphere, brainstorming etc.

Although I moved away from the original topic of funding the business here, I still think such events like Startup Weekends or similar are nice chance for "rookies" in the entrepreneurial world to see how it all works, get some basics.
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Old 06.06.2016, 12:30
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

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I have actually nothing what has been mentioned in last post (maybe apart of Business Plan).
At this moment I am a bit confused about the future of my project, after what I ve heard, especially here locally in Switzerland.
What lewibrfc posted about Switzerland is pretty much what you can expect anywhere else, to one degree or other.

Look at it from the point of view of an investor; they want to limit risk and maximize return. As such having a concrete proposition that demonstrates a clear path to profitability, and thus ROI is essential. Otherwise you're just another bloke with an 'idea'.
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Old 06.06.2016, 23:17
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

Quote:
What lewibrfc posted about Switzerland is pretty much what you can expect anywhere else, to one degree or other.
I believe it contains some local specific stuff, like:

Quote:
OR you have a partnership deal in place with a big Swiss company (such as Migros/Swisscom etc). The second option is more attractive for investors here.
for example in my homeland having such a partnership in place with similar operating companies (biggest retailer/employer in country or biggest mobile network) actually means that you are not a startup anymore but you have a successfull company and probaly you are preparing to "quit" now

Another example (not a particular quote for it) is as far I understood quite significant meaning of universites here. Again - to compare it with my homeland, where universities or any educational institution does not have any role or marginal role on statup scene.

also this point

Quote:
Unlike in the US, investors are not interested in hearing that you are going to take over the World. They are really looking for an investment where in the best case, they make a 10x return in 2-3 years from you selling to another larger company or, in the worst case, where you are a profitable company in Switzerland within 3 years and they can count you as a 'success'.
is somehow interesting, in meaning that local investors here are looking for someone more realistic. My interpretation is that they are less tend to risk(?) maybe
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Old 07.06.2016, 00:08
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

I have talked to quite some venture capitalists in my life and frankly:
- they don't invest in ideas, they invest in people... and it looks like you are lacking the sort of team they want to see.
- "It's a great idea but I keep it secret till you sign a NDA" won't work with a VC. At all.
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Old 07.06.2016, 02:37
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Re: investment / partner for a specific startup - where to look for

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Guys,

Thanks to all of you for the input.
Especially the last reply from user lewibrfc is somehow sad but at least refreshing.
I have actually nothing what has been mentioned in last post (maybe apart of Business Plan).
At this moment I am a bit confused about the future of my project, after what I ve heard, especially here locally in Switzerland.

I need to rethink then if it is possible to fund it somehow in my homeland.

Anyway thank you very much once again to all of you for your valuable input
In your first post you mentioned that you have approached some investment funds.. You did a big mistake here because you burnt some bullets. To approach such funds you need to be VERY PREPARED, otherwise you are getting your name dirty for future pitches.

You must have at least a good earnings growth estimate and consequently a valuation of your company. They need to look at it and conclude that their investment will increase a minimum of tenfold in 3-5 years, even if yourself don't believe it can be so good. Remember that for every $100 that an angel investor or venture capital fund invests, 5 companies will receive $20 each. From those, 3 will go bust, one will barely return the invested capital, but the fifth will give returns >10X.
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