How to sell an idea

Before CulCharge, no start-up in Slovakia had ever tried to use crowd funding. The small simple device which can transfer data and charge smartphones or mobile devices from almost any device with a USB input arrived on the market in 2014 after raising nearly $95,000.

Before CulCharge, no start-up in Slovakia had ever tried to use crowd funding. The small simple device which can transfer data and charge smartphones or mobile devices from almost any device with a USB input arrived on the market in 2014 after raising nearly $95,000.

“When we were starting with this project, crowdfunding was a new phenomenon and new option for realising ambitious projects with a global character,” CulCharge co-founder Jozef Žemla told The Slovak Spectator. “This trend impressed us so much that we decided to try it.”

While other start-ups come with ideas and then think of how to sell them, CulCharge developers surveyed the market trying to find something which people would really want, according to a report by Euractiv.

Crowdfunding, however, should not be seen as the sole source of income but as an opportunity to test the market. In the case the market likes the offered product or service the crowdfunding serves a secondary purpose of generating buzz, effective marketing and the chance to realise a project without huge risk or cooperation with an investor, according to Žemla. He said that every commercial project should be done with the aim to profit, but that this should become a priority in later phases.

Žemla added that start-up operators should set their target group and then persuade people of that group that the product or service will bring benefits to them and how that particular start-ups will realise it in the best way possible. Persuasive start-ups have well-written projects, with well targeted marketing and prices which will lure clients, he said.

“People should prepare for ups and downs and shouldn’t overestimate either of them,” Žemla said, “and above all, they should never give up.”

For more information about the Slovak business environment please see our Investment Advisory Guide.

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