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Securing Investment as a Start-Up: Interview with Christian Kumar, Part Two

Here, we continue our interview with Venture Capitalist Christian Kumar. Read part one here if you haven’t already. In the second half of our interview with Christian Kumar we delved deeper into the Board, the connections and the people needed to demonstrate to an investor that a start-up has the ability and the drive to scale and succeed.

 

We know that all of this cutting edge research is happening in Universities and research facilities across the globe, but like you say, if you don’t have the device to get that research and that technology into someone’s hands or into someone’s house, then they’re not going to feel that effect. That’s the part of the picture that doesn’t get the same publicity. We hear all the headlines about breakthroughs in research and new technologies that have massive potential, but there isn’t then that conduit to get it into people’s hands and houses. And that’s something that we’re really excited to work on, and I’m sure that’s similar for you as an investor?

Absolutely, and for us, it’s also not just about making the investment, it’s then about mentoring that Client, growing them through the different iterations of a business lifecycle. Because the founder of today is not the CEO of tomorrow – everyone has to play at their strengths. This is the hardest part, when you we’ve got a great talented founder, to break the news to him that unfortunately, you’re not the CEO, we have to bring someone in from outside to drive the long-term vision of the business. Read more

Securing Investment as a Start-Up: Interview with Christian Kumar, Part One

Through our work with numerous entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to breathe life into new ideas and deliver disruptive products to market, at ITERATE Design + Innovation we’ve seen our fair share of intelligent concepts. We’ve also seen too many ideas left unrealised due to the challenge of securing financial investment and we’re on a mission to change this.

Funding for new product development is undoubtedly the biggest barrier encountered by Clients, which is why Gethin Roberts and Holly McSweeney from the ITERATE team recently set out to unmuddy the pathway to securing venture finance as a start-up. We interviewed investor, Christian Kumar who offered fresh insights and welcome optimism on the subject of successfully attracting investment. Our interview unveiled exciting synergies between the considerations that underpin new product development and the priorities of investors. It also resoundingly confirmed that the appetite to invest in new product development is certainly there. Christian’s core hope is that with more connection and communication, entrepreneurs can “embrace the fear and deal with the challenges” to secure investment.

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Finding the Right Funding Route for Your Product

Start-ups, new business owners and creators often approach a product design consultancy inspired and optimistic about realising their idea but restricted in their freedom by funding limitations.

Nonetheless, new product development covers an unimaginably broad array of sectors and with the constant growth of the field of new product development, the funding landscape continues to evolve and expand. Securing funding for design and development is the single biggest challenge faced by many innovators and given the range of funding sources now available, knowing where to focus your search can feel daunting. When different funding avenues all state their criteria is for “innovative ideas”, what does this really mean?

Understanding your funding options is made simpler by the fact that certain funding avenues are better suited to certain types of businesses and products. This means that understanding where exactly your idea falls can help you channel your funding pursuits in the best directions.

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Why you should ditch that off-the-shelf enclosure

I recently visited a manufacturing company in the Midlands who produced electronic control systems for the utilities sector. My understanding of such control systems is limited but it was clear that the company had developed a unique product that was proving very popular with their customers.

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