Ask any founder about the challenges they face launching a startup and many will say one of the biggest is attracting seed capital.
Zambesi co-founder Rebekah Campbell says one reason is that in those early days, the founders themselves are often still not sure if their idea will work, making it even more difficult to convince others of the merits of their venture.
And that’s majority of Australian seed capital comes from family and friends willing to back someone close to them.
Campbell was in her 20s, and remembers her friends getting married and thinking about buying a home when she launched her first startup, Posse (now Hey You), so they weren’t an option.
“My parents were still paying off a mortgage and didn’t have money either,” she said.
So she applied to Sydney Angels and Innovation Bay and met the first people who’d invest in her company.
“This formed the beginning of my network. They introduced me to more people, who introduced more. This is how networks are formed,” Campbell recalls.
“That was back in 2011. Now in 2019 there are so many more founders with great ideas – it’s a lot more competitive.”
Her latest venture is Zambesi, a collective of leaders from high growth technology businesses who like to share skills, and conscious of that early break she had, Campbell is keen to show the way for the next generation of founders seeking seed funds.
Next Tuesday, September 3, Zambesi and Hall Chadwick are presenting ‘Raise Seed Capital’ info session in Sydney.
Campbell said the two-hour event is for founders of early stage companies looking for capital and founders who might still be in jobs and haven’t started yet. The leading sources of seed capital in Sydney will be there outlining how they approach their role.
“You’ll learn how to apply for funding, how their investment process works, what they look for and have the chance to ask questions,” she said.
Those taking part are Sydney Angels, Innovation Bay, Scale Investors (for female founders) and Springboard (for female founders), as well as Andrea Gardiner’s Jelix Ventures.
“As a founder who’s worked with both Sydney Angels and Innovation Bay, I can vouch that these groups offer founders so much more than just cash,” Campbell said.
“The investors in the groups are often successful people from a range of backgrounds who can help with everything from sales to team leadership to IP protection.”
You can book for the September 3 seed capital session on Eventbrite here.
Tickets are $12.58, or Startup Daily readers can enjoy a $5 discount by entering the promo code ‘StartupDaily’ when they book.