The life of a Startup Founder is exciting and amazing: a world full of new ideas, innovation, progress. But beeing a Startup Founder is very challenging too. A brand new product, developed from a Startup, can potentially change our world and our life; but at the same time, without a proper product-market fit, the concept is going to fail. Also, at some point, the Startup has to face the need of raising money, which is a very hard and difficult process, that requires time, patience and preparation too.
Learning from Startup: Funding
I’m very honored to talk again today to Gianluigi Tiberi, Founder of UBT Srl. This Startup has invented and developed a new X-rays free mammogram, which does not use ionizing radiation, thus it’s safe for women. Also this brand new mammogram doesn’t require any breast crushing, so it’s more confortable for patients too. With the X-rays free mammogram it will be possible to safely perform examination any time and any condition. Thus it will be possible to enhance mass screening, potentially saving more lives from breast cancer.
For UBT, as for many other Startups, it has been necessary to raise money, in order to continue both the research and the development process. In this interview Gianluigi Tiberi is going to share with us his experience and some tips about funding.
Which is your experience with funding and what would you suggest to an early stage Startup Founder?
There are many ways to raise money, and the choice is not always obvious. In this context, it is important to point out that the amount of funding is somehow correlated to the development stage of the Startup itself.
One possibility is to apply for EU funding through grants. Grants are available:
- either directly from EU and they are listed in: Horizon 2020- The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
- or through programs managed at national level but funded by EU
Startup can also benefit from EU through a series of non-financial assistance measures in the form of programs and business support services.
EU grants range from small grant (<50K) to huge grant (up to 2M). There are many different schemes: for example I’d like to mention SME phase I (for small grant) and SME phase II. Since the preparation of the grant is difficult and time-consuming, Startups may find convenient to ask for the support of dedicated companies, among which I would like to mention Alien: https://alientt.com/ and EXUS: http://www.exus.co.uk/en
And here it’s my advice: even if the first proposal will be not successful, let’s keep trying! For example, we won SME phase I at the second shot! Together with EU funding, there are many other possibilities for a Startup to look for money. Obviously, there are Venture capital, which is a type of private equity.
Venture Capital Companies could be contacted directly by submitting an appropriate business plan and project description. However, to speed up a little, my suggestion is to participate as much as you can in dedicated Startup competitions, where Venture Capital usually take part. But before to accept any offer, it’s crucial to understand, whether this is the best option to finance your Startup. There are surely many right investors, but unfortunately there are also many vulture capitalists, who in the end will make the Startup very vulnerable. The choice, if accepting this kind of offers, may depend on many factors; mentioning a few: the goal you have for your Startup, which percentage of your Startup you’re ready to renounce to and if a Venture Capital Company is an healthy option for your business.
Then, the last funding modality that I would like to mention is Crowdfunding. There are many dedicated web-platforms for Crowdfunding; but it’s important also to highlight the opportunity to crowdfund locally. For example, we successfully performed a local Crowdfunding, involving our branch bank. Local crowdfunding is quite easy to organize (go to your branch bank and ask for info), and its success resides in the group and social identity of the local community.
So today we’ve read a lot of useful tips for those, who want to start a Startup and those, who are interested to find out more about the complicated process of raising money. I thank you again Gianluigi Tiberi and Ubt Srl for having shared with us these advices and have talked about the own experience.
The Startup world is really fascinating and gives me the opportunity, as Virtual Assistant, to meet very smart and extra-ordinary people, with great volunteer and ideas, that will change our life for better.
Here you find the link to UBT Srl web page: http://www.ubt-tech.com/en/
and to Gianluigi Tiberi Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gianluigi-tiberi-0a0270124/
And, if you want to read the interview, that UBT released some months ago to AssistantTop in Italian, here the link: Impariamo di Startup da chi fa Startup