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Friday, November 23, 2007

Some thoughts from the desk of an entrepreneur

Some thoughts from the desk of an entrepreneur

As most of my readers know I have been working on a new start up project, based in Northumberland for the last three months, I have not mentioned much about it, just a few posts on things that have irked me a tad, at times, so today I thought it's time to share some of my thoughts on the process so far.

Month one was spent pulling together a funding presentation, (that I thought was far to early) and visiting the customer base that exists. Pulling together the funding presentation was interesting, it was played in a three ring circle, which is not the best way to do things, there was some good help from the investment advisers "SIGMA", but it just took to long, the lesson learned here was that I should have made it clear what the consensus was on every ones part that was involved, there was a lot of Teflon shoulder stuff, all parties are busy,there never was a "come to Jesus" session to set things right, this is something that should have been done, but was out my control or maybe not, anyway we moved on and the first pitches were done and we raised some interest. The other lesson was that the project was not as prepared to go out for investment as I had thought, the salient point here was we should have had all our material in place before we went out an pitched, hence my earlier comment of "we went out to early".

Month two was spent getting used to the industry players, I went to the large PV conference in Milan, met more customers ,capital equipment suppliers and a few strategic contacts of my own that I met through the http://www.linkedin.com/ site. There was another pitch at the Connect Investment conference in Edinburgh , I have posted about that earlier, again we raised some interest in the proposition, and it was a good learning experience for those involved.
Month three I started to see some movement, and we got to asking the hard questions about the business model and the true value proposition, this had been stated before, but we started to dig deeper and push to see if the assumptions and past experience held true, this again was run in the same three ring circle, so took longer that I would have hoped and for me it was evident early on where our true value lay, but it took some time for the rest to be more comfortable with it, we took on a CEO , who has helped to crystallize the value proposition clearly and focused, so I feel now we are starting to move move faster, and dispense with the three ring approach and tackle things as a team of two, and truly begin to see if there is a future in this project.

In closing, the one thing that has been reinforced in me is the purity in creating a new organization, how it all grows from a thought and it is through the germination of that thought, into actions and deeds, do you see the growth of a new organization, I started work in the office in the picture above, and now I have created a functional office, I have a strategy to build a company, and factory design in it's bare bones form to house it. Things are taking shape. I see in greater clarity that the link off passion to the idea is proportional to the results achieved, I sometimes wonder what it would be like if you had a team off liked minded , passionate individuals working on the real issues of this world, it only takes a few to change the future of a nation and a world.

have a great weekend



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