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Global Start-Ups: Cut Costs! Think Tbilisi, Not Silicon Valley.

Without investors, funds, offices and especially without money: the entrepreneurs of the past, present and future.

We all go through the same steps. Stop for a moment. Think Differently!

Don’t run straight to raise investments, and don’t do what everybody else is doing. This is the biggest mistake you can make.

Instead of raising money, simply work to get your startup up and running. Raising money for a start-up is a full time job. It requires careful preparation of the presentations, emails and a pitch for potential investors.

To do this successfully, you must work continuously to refine and improve your messages from one investor meeting to the next. As a result, in the early stages of your start-up, your small team is completely occupied with raising money, rather than work with your team to advance the project itself.

Instead of presenting your idea to investors, start introducing it to everyone you can find and trust. Begin your marketing with the circle nearest you. Listen to ideas and especially to criticism. That’s the best way to improve your product. Remember that negative reviews are actually a very good thing.

Then, present your project to as many potential users / customers. Do it before and during your product development. Be sure to keep these relationships going. Share the development process with your customers, ask questions and don’t be discouraged after negative criticism. This is a very efficient and correct way to improve your product and know if your startup  is in “the right direction”.

The trick is to make the necessary adjustments quickly based on what you learn from your users.

In our startup topishare, we share our development process with our users. We ask them questions, such as their ideas for new features. In doing so, we’ve made them partners in the development process and product improvement. And of course this feedback helps us to constantly improve the development of the user experience.

From the very early stages of topishare, we took a decision not to raise money until we’ve reached the beta stage. We’ve had offers from investors at the alpha stage which were politely refused.

Important guidelines worth knowing before raising funds

Timing to find investors depends on the developers record, the industry in which they operate, and the state of the startup. Investors are human, and humans are social beings who are exposed to psychological effects. Learn how to activate psychological mechanisms and harness the investors for the benefit of startup. Take care to select the most appropriate timing.

If you as entrepreneur invested your time, money, commitment, than it will be easier to raise money. It demonstrates to potential investors that the founders are serious in their intentions.

Entrepreneurs should invest 100% of their time and their energy in the startup. This way one can measure the commitment to the startup they are building. Founders do not always have money to invest. That is also clear to investors, so both sides understand that the founders alternative investment is their time, talent, perseverance and seriousness.

Investor is a partner in every respect!

Even if you think that everyone manages to find investors and that there is plenty of money out there, remember that serious investors examine each investment in depth. They look for entrepreneurs who have the technological depth, a product that meets the market needs and a great team that can bring the company success for the long-term. All these together contribute to entrepreneurs’ successes in fund raising.

As your startup advances beyond a proof of concept and it gains users/consumers, you will get a higher market value and will be able to trade lower percentages in return for investment. Consider the upcoming investments required and prepare a long-term strategy for the next capital rounds.

During the initial development of topishare, our team did research to decide where we could operate for very low costs, even when we’ll have investors. The basic idea is that when we’ll raise money, we will still maintain lower ongoing operating budget for offices, staff salaries, etc. So we can direct most of the money to marketing and development.

After a year of topishare development and testing, we’ve decided to settle in Tblisi Georgia. This fits a startup with a global market perfectly. Topishare was launched in March 2016 and after two months we have users from more than 60 countries. It is great to live here and develop a startup with  very low costs, relative to countries like UK, USA, France and Germany. We were able to meet our goals without fundraising. Now, as topishare received the proof of satisfied users, we started to look for investors in round A.

Georgia, as a country, is rapidly developing and is a great place for entrepreneurs and startups. The country is actively encouraging technological development. Topishare is located in the advanced Tbilisi Tech Park. There are similar locations here ready for startups.

Tbilisi has to offer:

  • A vibrant city full of life in a Stunning country
  • Great food and wine
  • Friendly people
  • Much lower costs of living and business running costs than equivalent places the West
  • Fast lane to visa while you stay in the country

Have a startup? Start thinking outside the box.

Topishare is a privately held international company, located in Tbilisi. I am topishare’s CEO and I am happy to share the promising options that are available here.

For more information you can contact me and I will be happy to help you free of charge.

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