From idea to market with some secret sauce in the middle

You have an idea, have trucks of experience so know where the big guys go wrong and the shackles are thrown off as you’re a start-up. So this journey is going to be quick and rewarding! Or not. Add to the mix it’s a regulated industry and you have lots to build before getting the first revenues in.

Our advice is after having an idea and before reaching the market get some secret sauce. Our secret sauce involved getting wise words, support to make us creditable and learning to ask direct questions to get direct support.

The idea: change the world of investments using co-ownership and direct access to an asset usually the preserve of the financial elite.

Good Company Wealth and our first product bondsmart is a seed startup. We had decades in financial services but needed to get our business to be robust and not spend months only focusing internally. We realised early on an intensive programme of focusing “on” the business and not “in” the business was imperative. We navigated our way onto Barclays Eagle Lab Flight programme with Creative England. Here are a few lessons on our journey in accelerating from March to May.

We hope these few lessons help you create your own secret sauce.

Wise words

When you have solved all the things in your control focus on the ones you don’t. Anyone can do legals, build technology, put a product together but you rely on forces beyond your control for routes to market and validation from customers. When you have a basic product work on proof of concept agreements, friendly pilots and wisemen (and women) to help control the things you don’t control. Your networks are always worth pulling on and we have developing concepts with clients in the UAE and abroad alongside the UK.

Search out endorsements and platforms to wax lyrical

In financial services getting your product amongst influencers and professionals is all about access, networking and standing on the soapbox being wax lyrical about the problem you are solving. We have spent time refining and fine tuning the language we use to explain the problem we solve and our solution. Our format to pitch of problem, solution, market opportunity, traction and ask is a well-trodden template in lean startups. The outcome of this secret sauce has been networking, interviews and pitching at events summarised in three great videos below. We are happy to be have been involved with Rise London, BNP Paribas International Hackathon in Brussels (TBC) and upstart 2017 in Belfast.

Sniper focus

It’s important in a lean startup to keep an eye on immediate goals and reasons why you’re doing something. We always focused on doing things smart and lean to move one step forward. We have benefited from creative mentoring from Creative England and UK DIT new exporter grant when we went to the UAE for proof of concept conversation with a master agent. We always look out for opportunities on F6S and grants news on Sussex News.

There is more on our journey in the rest of our blog but hopefully this is a short and sharp guide to help create your secret sauce.

Backers of distinction – Investment from the UK Government

Followers of Good Company Wealth probably already know that every day we strive to make investing for an income as easy and convenient as it can be. But what you may not always see is the heavy lifting and technical knowhow in the background to validate our vision. We are happy to report we now have a UK Investment Agency as a backer of our business.

To further our development of an innovative income focused savings platform, we submitted an application for an investment from the UK Government. Recently we heard we’d been granted a convertible loan to development our product and validate the service. The convertible loan comes from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund, a strategic pool of capital launched by the government to develop innovative private sector initiatives to create jobs and finance high growth companies.

Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was launched in June 2010 to support businesses across all sectors and regions in England. RGF is a competitive fund with two primary objectives: to stimulate enterprise by leveraging private sector investment to support projects and programmes with significant potential for economic growth; and to support areas and communities dependent on the public sector to make the transition to private sector-led growth. In our case the Regional Growth Fund was delivered by Creative England.

We are really excited to have UK government support in a sector where ‘trust’ and credibility are imperative. We feel this is a positive endorsement for our clients, stakeholders and partners.

Start the countdown

In 2016 we spent a stack of time in the workshop, design studio and in the field – not building something new – but making something better with parts already available in the market.

In this era marked by unstable markets and low interest rates people need to get more income from their savings. They want predictable and steady income known at the outset. Equities cannot do this. Mutual funds hope to do this. Direct bonds can do it but the minimum investment is way too high for the everyday investor.

So, Good Company Wealth went to the workshop and worked out a smart way to unlock access to the corporate bond market for the smaller investor.

We intend to give joe public the same access as your big pension fund manager to earn attractive income on your pot of savings.

What we plan to offer is simple:

  • Put your money with a high street firm you are familiar with,
  • earn a set interest rate at the time you invest,
  • know when to expect your cashflows and
  • get your money back at a set maturity date

The main risk is the solvency of the high street firm you lend the money too.

We also want to do this in a consumer-friendly way avoiding financial jargon.

The journey is now underway. Come along with us.