Dienstag, 7. Mai 2013

Future Customers

Co-founder Patrick Donohue, 36, a onetime Twin Cities securities analyst and investment banker, said the feedback so far has led the fledgling company to conclude that prospective customers will pay up to $25 for a kit that will include several patches to stop bleeding, as well as bandages and gauze.

The founders hope to avoid raising money from venture capitalists who would want majority control. They also will avoid going to retail shelves, at least initially, because of the marketing expense and the likelihood of the product getting lost amid myriad others. Instead, AllaQuix will be marketed primarily through low-cost social media.

Donohue, who spent 15 years watching private and public companies try to raise money, says there is a crisis. There’s plenty of capital. But most banks, venture capitalists and private-equity players have become increasingly conservative and won’t take chances on start-ups and promising small businesses.

“While most entrepreneurs think of crowdfunding with dollar signs in their eyes, a smarter way is to look at the crowd is to envision them as future customers or investors ready to help in the early stage,” Donohue said in 21-page paper he’s written on the subject titled “The New Fundraising Reality for Entrepreneurs.”

“Those individuals who actually spend time on your crowdfunding site are the people who are interested enough to tell you what they like and dislike about your concept.”

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