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Springboard Feedback by altex marketing

Yesterday I presented the case for investment in altex marketing oü at Springboard event run by ConnectEstonia.
I learnt a lot.

I thought it would be valuable to openly share how it went so future Springboarder’s get an independent perspective and to inform people who follow altex’s progress.
We have always been open and liked to share knowledge/skills and this post continues that tradition.
Of course I do not disclose “too sensitive” stuff.

Here we go….

I should have shown better how the various strands of altex’s business interconnect
e.g – how events and trainings produce agency leads
– how email consultancy and campaigns result in software and data sales (and vice versa)
Basically how the agency side of altex feeds, and is fed by, the other elements of altex: investment stakes, strategic partnerships etc.

Investment would be easier to win if we focused on one product/less products. e.g. spindo or epostel. Although some opinion suggested eggytech oü as a company would attract investment. One VC went against that and said that although complex, investing in safe profitable growing company like altex (with its potential golden eggs) would be attractive to some investors.

Not knowing the size of our market(s) for various products/services was seen as sinful. Whilst we are not aware of anyone knowing such data for Baltic + CEE. E.g. for usability training, email software, etc. We must find ways to estimate market size or potential investors will not be impressed.

Various stats are actually available and it might be possible to compare with UK market where comparisons between Intern “display” advertising market size and “emarketing other stuff” are possible.
If we factor in population size and the relative immaturity of the Baltic & CEE markets compared to the UK then that might save the hard slog of surveying.

Stats sources include: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007065 and http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007073 and of course, here: http://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium

So generally much more homework on figures needed.
Tough financial questions that we will need to answer:
Why these amounts of predicted revenue ?
How are they calculated?
How will the payback come?
When?
Profit / revenue splits for various products/services?

One definite mistake was not clearly defining how and when CEE (as opposed to Baltic) revenues kick in.

Preparation time – I spent 20 hours preparing for the 15 minute presentation and it was not enough but I realized too late and rightly the gaps were exposed.

Thank God the purpose was to get „practice and advice“ and was not a real/serious investor pitch.
I now realize quite how tough the process might be.

Is it (Springboard) worth doing?
Yes absolutely. Having joined a number of associations over the years with variable results I can honestly say that the ConnectEstonia Team really put the effort in. We learned a lot and the focus helped make the decision to spin off eggytech oü.

Is it worth altex going for investment?
Depends how much money. We currently estimate we need 400 000 € but someone suggested we might only need 100 000€

Frankly I can’t see it’s worth the hassle for as little as €100 K – 6 month of paperwork and negotiations – time would be better spent making money.

Any criticism of the process?
Just two
1. For myself. Not listening carefully enough to Tarvo Tamm’s advice. He warned me about the need for numbers but I just did not make enough time in my schedule and so I was not fully prepared.

2. I expected more concrete advice on the areas of focus I asked for e.g. How to expand into CEE, selling agency services in Latvia and Lithuania, organisational development. Instead I mostly received, mostly very valuable, criticism on the presentation itself.

My overall take outs are very positive and we now know a good chunks of things we have to do….one big one seems to be the need to rationalise our offerings and focus in more depth in key areas.

In retrospect maybe we should have gone to Springboard with eggytech and not altex marketing but who knows…

So overall score 9/10.
Would I recommend Springboard to others?
Yes, definitely, but take a whole week to prep or prepare for a bruising 🙂
I might add more comments in due course and welcome yours privately or publicly.

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