This is a great episode to observe how co-founders work together – all bar one of the pitches have several people pitching – and Tommy who is the only solo founder tonight is well surrounded by advisors and mentors – some of whom have an equity stake in the business; great to watch their interplay. Choosing a business partner for the strengths that they bring to the business – is fundamental to its success… choosing someone because they’re your spouse or friend might not always be the best idea. I talk about partnership strategies at length in Ready To Soar – because I have seen too much loss of focus when partnerships don’t go to plan.
Kisa – The ‘Keep It Simple Always’ phone. Each phone is made to order; there are many designs to choose from, and you have the ability to add different images, numbers and emergency details. The co-founders Dmitry, Dennis and Leon have a clear passion for making life easier for anyone with less ability. The phone was designed for ease of use for children, through to seniors, through to people suffering arthritis, dementia and those needing a braille device. Proudly, the KISA phone was designed in Australia, is 100% Australian owned and all support is based in Australia – each phone is customised for the needs of the customer. Communication is an essential service and this phone is approved under the NDIS – it’s a partnership play and I can see a fit for Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Guide Dogs Australia. And what a wonderful gift this would make for someone – It looks great on RedBalloon – perfect fit
Parkhound – In this collaborative age a spare parking spot turns into an asset that can be leased out – like an AirBNB for car spaces. The founders Robert and Michael have global aspirations – and have already got great traction – but I’m not sure that it is worth the 40 times earnings valuation. This business is all about putting the right people in touch with each other, creating a lessor/lessee arrangement taking advantage of the limited space our cities now have for car spaces – as we all know, a car spot is a premium and suburbs closer to the city will charge through the tooth for one. I wonder if it is disruptive enough?
Sofi Spritz – Tommy shared a wonderful brand story of the Italian-inspired spritzer and his product is already stocked in 1000 stores. Tommy has surrounded himself with great advisors and experts, his marketing is crisp, inviting and memorable. Sofi is personifying the drink so “she” can be shared with friends; so “she” can be enjoyed. I liked it. The brand was fun, playful – nothing a 20 something would not love – they had a captured market. But what will the $130k investment he requested by worth in five years time?
The Mup – Being Mister Popular on Nova 96.9 in Sydney – does not mean that Fitzy and Wippa will automatically be great at business – in fact, some focus would be great. Not sure if the radio station will be keen to see that these two are looking for ‘career options’ … or maybe the station suggested it?! The product is okay, well executed – the numbers seem fair, nice branding – they want to spend the $300k investment on more novelty costumes – but what would you pay for an idea when clearly the co-founders think that they are the ‘Big Deal’.