Fourth week of Startup Sauna is behind us, can’t believe it’s been a month. Monday started with a colorful pitching trainig with Aape Pohjavirta. He is a lively and inspiring coach, and I was able to squeeze Mobile Brain Bank’s pitch into a clear value proposal with three supporting arguments – very happy. He also gave us a few useful ideas. ”Two things make people act, fear and hunger”. ”No” is the word that will put you forward, ”yes” will teach you nothing new.
Tuesday started with metrics with Petteri Koponen of Lifeline Ventures. Metrics become critical when your company grows roughly above five people, they help you focus on the right things. We covered four key metrics: Customer Acquisition Cost (incl K-factor), Monetization (incl ARPU), Churn (incl cohort analysis), and Customer Lifetime Value LTV. All very useful tools, check them out.
I met with two coaches this week, too. Paolo Borella gave me good pointers to potential customers, and new ideas of revenue share models with co-marketeers. Taneli Tikka drew me a picture of two worlds:
On the left we have a traditional model how digital agencies work when outsourcing ICT projects for clients. On the right is a virtual network where hubs create value-add for each others. Mobile Brain Bank is definitely a network, but how to get Developers excited and more committed, and Businesses to buy from us? Taneli showed examples from 99 design, Presans, Innocentive, xhtmlized, etc. We are getting there, but need to work harder. I am open to all good ideas.
Latter part of Tuesday was spent with Jari Sarasvuo. A character, as always. A couple of nice thoughts I wrote down: During a conversation, Antti said something about an entrepreneur making ”a dent in the universe”. I liked the sound of that. Jari also said that sharing work globally is the biggest peace movement event. I really liked the sound of this!
Wednesday was about Meet the Money (and some lawyers). Open Ocean Capital’s Tom Henriksson looks for Big Vision, Big Ambition, and Big Market Opportunity. If you don’t have at least two out of three, no point in approaching a VC. His feedback on Mobile Brain Bank was encouraging. First, he already knew us, second, he liked the clarity of the pitch, and third, he can see this at least a 10 million business easily. But…again another VC with the same response: We don’t invest in service companies. Consistent and similar feedback as I got from Artturi Tarjenne earlier.
Then, Borenius walked us through how to make a good Shareholders Agreement (SHA). Really important, in my opinion. At Mobile Brain Bank we will have something more sophisticated than the shortest SHA in Finland, which goes ”kukaan ei kuseta”.
On Thursday, I heard again an encouraging message, Antti Vilpponen from Arctic Startup was giving us good tips how to benefit from PR and media. During a one-to-one converstation, Antti told me that he, too, was already aware of Mobile Brain Bank and sees a good future for us. What a grrrreat week it’s been
In the evening I attended a strategy seminar by Suomen Ohjelmistoyrittäjät (The Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association). Speakers included hotshots like Petrer Vesterbacka, Risto Siilasmaa etc. Interesting strategy stories.
Tomorrow taking off to Silicon Valley.
Have a nice weekend peeps!