Earth Notes: Radbot: Origin Myth: 3

"Funding" - Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it is a radiator robot with AI! #webcomic
The Continuing Adventures of Radbot!
panel 1: is search of the elusice CE seal
panel 2: get serious and dress the part
panel 3: don't know the first thing about crowdfunding!
panel 4: market on social media
panel 5: I wish I understood people better, Radbot!
panel 6: eliminated anything that could go wrong
panel 7: just received a huge investment

Radbot Origin Myth 3 "Funding" (Copyright © 2016) , editor .

To get someone to invest, which might be for shares ("equity") or with a loan ("debt"), the golden rule is that you need to show the person with the gold that you have a capable management team. (If you can sell oil to the arabs does it matter exactly what the product is?) Then preferably show that your product/service works, that there is a market for it, and that people are prepared to pay for it. That can often be boiled down to "team, traction, data". One investor may take a punt on us without those, another may say no. (You have to expect most to say no, whatever your case, for many reasons and non-reasons!)

But how to get sales ("traction") to show investors before there's have a full product to sell? Hmm, I think we call this bootstrapping in IT, or in some cases "crowdfunding". Raise enough money to get the first shippable product and ship it.

Some of the most convincing stories to be heard while knocking back the free wine and pizza at cleantech networking events are from those using crowdfunding as marketing, for getting seen, for building a community, with the money almost a side issue.

But Radbot really does need a bit of tinkering and TLC, and a CE stamp, and that costs hard cash, not just social awareness!

Confused? You will be!

Tune in next time to find out more about Radbot's encounters with marketing!

Back Story

Back in the day I made a slight oversight while in banking: I failed to "put aside" (as a friend calls it) the megabucks to become a gentleman of leisure and science, so we need someone else's money to spend, ie "investment". But here we are without two supercars to rub together, and a desire to become the default product in this sector at a price that is within anyone's reach.

And as I also said here: Hardware ain't hard, money is: Crowdfunding, bootstraps and startups:

We definitely need to expand beyond our (wonderful) techie open-source community and get ourselves known to “normal” human beings if we [are] to move the needle [on climate change].

Our main target market is not the uber-geek who programs their heating system in 15-minute increments a week in advance from their smartphone.

Yes, I met him recently; a very smart guy he is too, and a happy Nest user it seems. But he and his ilk don't control most of the hundreds of millions of European home radiators that we care about.