Thursday, November 15 is demo day for the current cohort from the Boulder based Boomtown Accelerator. Earlier this week, we were fortunate to have two of the teams, Breefly and Fangage, visit Leeds to share their pitches and talk to my New Venture Creation class about their journeys and accelerator experiences.
CEO of Fangage
Josh kicked the evening off explaining how the Fangage team is revolutionizing the autograph market and in doing so, is changing the marketing and branding opportunities for athletes and retail brands. Josh started Fangage over three years ago and has shown great drive and determination. From its early releases, Fangage has shown that it is able to drive revenue and now Josh is focused on learning and developing a team that will allow Fangage to scale.
Personally, Josh is a great example somebody who is willing learn by doing. He has repeatedly put the Fangage product in the market, while perfectly imperfect, with the best intentions of serving the customer and continually working to make it better. They have not obsessed with the design and overall look and feel, but rather on a clear focus of providing critical functionality to deliver a rewarding experience for clients. The clients have reciprocated by continuing help them grow and drive revenue from day one.
During Q&A, Josh shared that his near term goal is to complete their capital raise required to expand the business. He highlighted the benefits of Boomtown for Fangage: the mentoring, coaching, and network that the team benefited from over the 12-week process. This access to knowledge and experience has helped them improve and evolve their business model and get to a better position to scale more quickly in 2019.
CEO of Breefly
Breefly is focused on dramatically improving the way research and information is presented and consumed within large marketing and brand organizations. Today over 95% of content goes unused and the quality of critical presentations is dependant on the skills of individual analysts. This results in inconsistencies regarding the value of the content that is published and means that many end users are underserved. To address this problem, Breefly has developed a platform to make it easier to publish higher quality content that is more useful for sales, product, and customer service teams. In addition, the ability to track the information that people engage with and share will enable them to help large enterprises focus in on the content that drives results across different groups and geographies within their business.
For Marcus the Boomtown experience has been challenging but very rewarding. Over the course of the program, they've had to tear apart and build up their business model and story several times. However, he is now much more confident in not only delivering his pitch, but in how it will be received by the investment community. One of his key insights has been the need to tailor your pitch to the different investment audiences. While the fundamentals are the same, how he tells the Breefly story to large and smaller investors matters. This experience has therefore made him more effective in communicating the Breefly story, engaging with potential investors, and understanding how they can fit in to the Breefly journey.
I encourage everybody to go out to the Boomtown demo day on Thursday in Boulder and cheer on Breefly, Fangage, and the other teams that are competing.