June 2015 - Tank Stream Labs

Equitise 5 Tips to Prepare For a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Posted by | Crowdfunding, TSL News | No Comments

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There are many resources available on crowdfunding and I encourage every crowdfunder to do the required research before embarking on a such journey. The crowdfunding industry is still in its infancy stage and there will be numerous changes in the future. Keeping up with the recent research on what makes a campaign successful is pivotal. Equitise has provided 5 essential tips on how to build a successful campaign to make the most of their platform.

The first element when preparing for a crowdfunding campaign is setting up a business plan.

1. The Business Plan

“The most important ingredient in your business plan is making sure to plan for the plan not going according to plan.”David Feldman

What is a business plan? A complete and concise business plan includes several sections equally important.

  • Business summary (elevator pitch): This is what investors first read. It is crucial to convey your message in this section as clearly as possible as most investors do not get past this point in the beginning.  In other words: How would you describe your business in a small paragraph, in plain English?
  • Market analysis: Describe your market size, the target market, the geographic market, the demographics of the local population, the market density (crowded or fragmented) and key competitors.
  • Marketing and Sales strategy: Marketing and Sales complement each other and they are at the core of business operations. You should be able to answer questions such as what market needs is the business going to satisfy? What is unique about your product/service? How is it different than your competitors?
  • Milestones and History: Include stages of development, key business events and milestones achieved to date.
  • Risk Factors: Here is where you describe different risks that can affect the business negatively. As matter of fact, this is your insurance policy against future claims by angry investors.

2. Financial Information

This section should cover information and discussion regarding the business liquidity, capital resources, revenues and expenses.

This information is perhaps not applicable to all companies. Startup companies typically do not possess this kind of information, yet it is helpful to include as much information as you can.

3. Use of Funds and Offering Amount

State the intended use of the raised funds as specifically as possible. This will help investors to understand the forward vision of the company in the near future. Other information should include the target offering amount, the deadline of the campaign, share price, equity offered, minimum number of shares offered and the type of shares.

The valuation determine the share price. Here is where inflated valuation can have a negative impact on the business. Try to limit the funds raised to a minimum or to what you need. Investors must feel comfortable with your valuation and financial projections.

4. Communicating with Your investors

“The most important item on any prospective fundraiser’s list is to start building relationships with new people that could potentially fund them some day.” –Joy Schoffler

  • Building Relationships

It is no secret that a solid relationship with potential investors gets the funding process faster. Walk in the investors shoes and deliver your message in that perspective. Investors are not just investing in the business but are also investing in the management.

Investors need to believe in the product as well as in the people behind the product.

A study by the Wharton School of Business found that there is a direct correlation between the number of Facebook friends and the probability getting funded. How is this related to equity crowdfunding? Connections are important. Think of it this way, if investors see that co-workers, family, friends or perhaps the management are investing in their offering that instance builds confidence and a favourable proxy.

  • Digital Presence

During the due diligence process, investors will research the company, the management and everything that is related to the business.

It is important that you feel confident and comfortable about the digital print of the business and the team behind it.

  • Target Your Audience

Try to curate as much contacts as possible. The bigger the audience the better. All sorts of tools are available to create a comprehensive contacts list.

  • Consistent Feedback

Every campaign portal has a section for communication between management and investors, if not then there is something wrong.

On the Equitise platform, for example, there is a specific section where investors can ask questions and interact with the management. It is crucial to keep a constant flow of communication as it will create credibility.

Good communication builds good business foundation.

5. Conclusion

This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can included as much information as you want. However, it is not about the quantity rather it is the quality that matters. Clear and concise information will help to deliver the message intended effectively. Most importantly, do not forget to thank the investors and keep good investor relations.

For more information or to kickstart your crowdfunding campaign visit www.equitise.com.au

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Why You Should Get to Know EQUITISE

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With the announcement of Australia’s 2015 Federal Budget, Crowdfunding has been THE topic on everyones lips. Can it work in Australia? How does it work? And how do I get involved? Luckly at Tank Stream Labs we are fortunate enough to have a new member at the forefront of this “fintech” disruption. We took a moment to get to know Chris Gilbert and his passion, Equitise – helping startups raise capital.

Chris, what is your Industry background? And why Equitise?

I have a professional background in investment banking and management consulting. I have always been determined to improve the accessibility of capital in New Zealand and Australia for startups, small and medium sized businesses and it inspired me to found Equitise.

What is Equitise? Why should startups and entrepreneurs be using it?

We enable Aussie and Kiwi startups to raise capital in an intuitive, simple and social way.

Bringing investors and entrepreneurs together, the Equitise crowdfunding platform simplifies the investment marketplace. It removes traditional barriers to investing and sourcing capital by making the process quick, easy and safe.

In doing so, we help businesses to grow and thrive.

How it works:

1. Entrepreneurs profile their plans and set a funding target

2. Investors commit money to their preferred opportunities

3. If funding targets are reached, shareholder agreements are signed (if not, money is refunded)

Equitise will be the first Australian platform to complete a crowdfunding campaign using retail and sophisticated investors (via New Zealand operation).

How are you managing to sway current crowdfunding legislative constraints and any advice for those looking to enter an industry where they may need to seek legislative change?

We’re working very closely with Australian legislation in order to facilitate the equity crowdfunding model in Australia. We are expecting the regulations to change by the spring session of parliament and envisage that we will be up and running before the end of 2015 in Australia. Bruce Billson has been a huge supporter for equity crowdfunding.

We recently hosted a conference in the ASX function centre where Bruce Billson attended as a key note speaker (among other prominent figures in the financial industry). The focus of this event was to discuss alternative finance (or ‘Fintech’) and also shed some light on the advances of equity crowdfunding in Australia.

My advice for those interested in influencing a change in legislation is to meet with government officials, network and build key relationships that can support your cause.

Why do you think Australia is so behind when it comes to crowdsourced funding?

The Australian market is closely following the New Zealand market in changing its local laws to enable equity crowdfunding. New Zealand is now the most liberal equity crowdfunding market in the world with regard to the restrictions typically imposed on investors and issuers. Fortunately, the Australian government is currently implementing a very similar approach to mimic what was rolled out in New Zealand and despite it taking longer than anticipated, I think the government is doing a good job in assessing the key components of Australian law that require change to enable private companies to more easily access this form of funding.

The restrictions include:

  • A limit on the number of shareholders in a private company before having to change its structure to public (50 shareholders)
  • Limitations on promoting private investments to protect unsophisticated investors
  • Restrictions on the number of retail (or ‘mum and dad’ investors) allowed to invest in a private offer (20 over a 12 month period)

What makes you different to other crowdsourced funding platforms?

We are the first Trans-Tasman equity crowdfunding platform. We will be able to provide investments opportunities for Kiwis and Aussies, and they will be able to invest vice versa. Equitise also plans on launching into the Asian market soon to enable both Australian and New Zealand companies a better opportunity to network and raise capital from a much wider pool of potential angel investors.

What should we expect from Equitise in the next 12 months?

Interesting investment opportunities. We are launching our Australian platform and bringing Rabble to Australia but, there is a whole lot more! Unfortunately, we can’t give away all our secret sauce, you’ll just have to wait and see.

For more on Equitise visit their website http://equitise.co.nz and register your details.

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Tank Stream Labs Joins The Pledge 1% Movement

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Tank Stream Labs is excited to announce a partnership with Pledge 1% and encourages your involvement. As part ofTank Stream Labs’s overall commitment to building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, Tank Stream Labs has built a relationship with Pledge 1% to help build stronger companies and stronger communities.

Pledge 1% is a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product or employee time for their communities.

Pledge 1% founding partners include the Salesforce Foundation and Atlassian, two companies that know first-hand how pledging a small portion of future success today can have an enormous impact tomorrow. In 2014, they came together with the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado to accelerate a shared vision of every business around the globe integrating philanthropy into its corporate DNA.

Why pledge?

Companies and their employees today want to be civically minded and aligned with a social mission that prioritizes having a positive impact on the world.

How does Pledge 1% Work?

Individuals and companies can go to www.pledge1percent.org to learn more about how to create a culture of giving through resources, case studies and best practices. Visitors can also pledge equity, employee time and/or product directly on the website. Pledge 1% facilitates making an equity pledge easy to implement, connects companies with local resources to empower employee engagement programs and helps companies to further define and respond to community needs.

Who benefits from the pledges?

Pledgees choose the cause, focus area and nonprofits to receive the realized value of their resources based on their community goals and company and employee interests. The Pledge 1% movement is fully funded by it’s founding partners, so all realized benefit from pledges goes to the causes that pledgees support.

“I encourage all entrepreneurs to make a meaningful commitment to society.”
Ryan Martens | founder and CTO, Rally Software; co-founder and board member, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado

Be part of the movement. Build giving into your culture today. Contact dipti@pledge1percent.org to learn more.

PET SLEEPOVER COMING SOON!

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LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT: PETSLEEPOVER

PetSleepover is a Sydney based start-up, founded in 2015 by a small group of investors who are focussed on using technology to make people’s lives easier.

In Australia, 8 million households have a pet. Of these 8 million households many cannot afford board for their pet when they need it most. Pet owners are uncomfortable leaving their loved ones behind in impersonal, sterile, cage like environments.

To meet the needs of this significant market, the PetSleepover service will allow Pet Owners to find, connect, and transact with thoroughly vetted, local Pet Sitters, through our feature rich web portal and mobile app.

We are excited to announce registrations to be listed as a “pet sitter” will open this 10th of June, followed by a full commercial launch on the 10th of July.

OUR PEOPLE

Our team is led by Arthur Panos, who is based at Tank Stream Labs. Arthur has 22 years experience in leading high performing teams which design and launch market shaping, consumer oriented products and services, including award winning  propositions like Vodafone’s innovative and disruptive Global Roaming daily offer (which he launched in Europe and Australia).

CONTACT

For any questions please come and see Arthur at Tank Stream Labs, or call us +612 8035 4464, or email contact@petsleepover.com.au

TSL WELCOMES APPIER TO THE FOLD

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This month we sat down with Head of Operations in AUS & NZ, Roger James from Taipei based Cross-Screen Digital Marketing company, Appier.

WHERE WERE YOU BEFORE APPIER?

Prior to Appier I spent 7 years at Google where I worked closely with Australia’s largest Retailers and Media Agencies, developing and enhancing their long term digital marketing strategies. I have a deep understanding of the digital landscape and the importance of targeted advertising.

WHAT IS APPIER AND WHY SHOULD WE BE USING IT?

Appier was founded on the opportunity for cross-device, user targeted advertising created by our technology. Our founder Chih-Han Yu, has a Ph.D from Harvard specialising in:

  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Robotics
  • Bio-Inspired Algorithms
  • Cooperative Control
  • Graph Dynamics
  • Self-Organizing Principles & Machine Learning.

He helped develop the technology behind the self driving Google Cars!

With his guidance, Appier has developed revolutionary technology that allows advertisers to re-target visitors to their site, as well as target new potential customers, across all devices they own based on user behaviour combined with Big Data and AI.

“We deliver the right ad to the right consumer, at the right time on the right screen.”

-Roger James, Appier

What do you think is stopping businesses from capitalising on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology?

During the last decade, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a promising new technology for structuring, guiding and improving information processing and decision making.

The scale of information growth – driven by the pace of information change, has reached a point where humans simply cannot process it without the aid of intelligent computers. Small businesses need to understand this change and understand that eventually, such technology will revolutionise industries.

What makes you different to other media buying platforms?

Appier’s unique use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence connects advertisers to users instead of just simply targeting devices. Our technology allows the advertiser to reach all potential consumers, not just those identified by unique data identifies. Ad creatives and messaging can be personalised depending on the time of day, the device used and the user’s position along the shopping journey.

What should we expect or look forward to from Appier in the next 12 months?

We are always developing new tools and advertising solutions to improve both the personalisation of advertising, the overall performance of campaigns and reporting capabilities. Cross Screen Analytics is our latest development and there are many additional projects currently under way.

Is Appier experiencing any growing pains?

As with any new brand/product that enters a market, generating awareness is always a challenge. We plan on expanding our AU & NZ team over the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for further information on upcoming positions.

Lastly, are there any special offers you would like to extend to TSL members?

A FREE consultation and overview of our technological capabilities for anyone interested in targeted digital advertising. A 5% (one off) discount on your first campaign. Offer valid for TSL members and referrals only.