PartySlate.com is a website for anyone planning a large-scale party who is searching for new ideas and top local event professionals. Since the site launched in May, local event planners, decor companies, caterers, photographers and venue managers have posted over 25,000 beautiful high resolution photos. Julie Roth Novack raised $1M through venture partners and angel investor in her personal network. She shares her tips and hopes to help more entrepreneurial women fund new companies. Here are her tips:
Cast a Wide Net.
It is important to network with a large group of investors. Find the right people who share your vision and believe in your team. I personally met with over 20 VCs and Angel investors before Hyde Park Venture Partners invested in our initial seed round.
Tell A Personal Story.
In addition to 20+ years of digital marketing experience, I have also hosted a wide range of parties and charity events. I created PartySlate because I was increasingly frustrated spending hours online looking for event ideas and venues. I only found wedding blogs and sterile vendor listings. When I told my personal story it was much easier to explain the gap in the market.
Know the Competitive Landscape.
To gain credibility with investors, be very clear how your solution is different from the competition. I am clearly able to show that unlike other inspiration platforms like Pinterest, every photo on PartySlate is linked back to the event professionals that worked on that particular party. I also showed how typical wedding blogs and event listings sites were not helping event professionals build their brand and share their work with the world. You will be asked many questions about the competitive landscape–so be prepared with all the research!
Build a Strong Team.
It is important to build a team that has complementary skills to yours. While my background is largely sales and marketing, my tech co-founder, John Haro, has over 20 years of product and tech experience. Our Executive Creative Director, Mark Semon, has strong design and user experience skills. The three of us have worked together on and off for almost 20 years. Investors look for strong, experienced teams that prove to work well together.
Starting your own business is very challenging–and rewarding. Investors want to see that you are passionate about your product and how it solves a problem. They want to feel that you will not let any challenges stop you from bringing this solution to life.
By Christine Bachman, Chicago-Woman.comRead Original Article