Barrington Edge seeks to partner with individuals and organizations who have identified a significant commercial opportunity and want to make the world a better place through action and perseverance. Barrington Edge has assisted “basement founders” reach the “boardroom” with their ideas through early involvement in the initial phases of starting a business. Barrington Edge provides enthusiasm and skin in the game by deferring hourly fees and producing equity for founders by guiding them through the early stage of their endeavor.
Basement founders are often exposed to a problem and have an idea on how to solve the problem. Sometimes, the idea involves applying a new technology to a problem or thinking about the problem in a completely different manner. The good ideas are not always taken. Some problems can be solved better than a clunky predecessor or have been overlooked opportunities. Some ideas can revolutionize the way we live, and some may drastically reduce the time, effort and expenditure tackling the mundane.
The discovery, the passion and the obvious social or fiscal merit of a start-up is key to Barrington Edge becoming involved.
One of the first activities that Barrington Edge facilitates with a founder is guiding them through the steps of building their pitch deck. A google search will tell you that a pitch deck is the tool used to garner investment so that you can start (or continue) your business. Sites will accurately tell you that it needs 1) Problem, 2) Solution, 3) Market, 4) Product, 5) Traction, 6) Team, 7 Competition, 8) Financials and 9) Amount needed.
Barrington Edge doesn’t want to just see your pitch deck; we want to help you refine it and develop a compelling narrative so it maximizes the value of the time spent in early investor conversations. In dealing with founders who are beginning their journey from basement to boardroom, Barrington Edge provides support services to enable and accelerate this transition.
Understand the User (Talk to Todd)
“Talk to Todd” is an internal joke at Edge referring to the necessary conversations required with the end user of your product, service or business audience. Founders are not always the target user for an invention and although the founder sees the merit, it is vital to talk, show, sample, share and listen to the audience for your product. Part of the Edge process is to find “the Todd” and ensure the founder can view their own idea from the Todd’s point of view. Insights from “the Todd” allow you to respond to investor questions about business merit, true business problem and respond to the questions about the solution.
Investors have questions and spend the most time looking and thinking about your financials. For founders not steeped in finance, Edge can build service models, growth models and formulate financial information that supports investor interest in your endeavour. The sales cycle and speed of ‘installing an app’ differs significantly when compared to installing a health or safety service within an enterprise. Knowing the cost of acquiring a customer, calculating the cost to do business and detailed planning is part of the financial model and must address key investor questions.
Competitor and Market Research
It takes more than the ‘art of googling’ to identify and find information about competitor products and services. Using the connections of its team members, sister company and surrounding ecosystem, Edge can assist in gathering the information and proof required to make a strong business case for your product or service.
Feedback on Idea
Barrington Edge team members can leverage their experience in ‘mobile app development’, site development, manufacturing, scientific research and enterprise implementations to let you know the challenges in building your product. A product or service will change as its built. Barrington Edge believes that continual iteration, improvement and alternate ideas can help refine your business offering and find additional avenues or revenue, use and utility.
Define the Differentiator
Differentiating is key to convincing investment groups of the merit in a founder’s idea. Differentiation is achieved through gathering of data, current state analysis, cost analysis and growth and analysis of the addressable market. E.g. Pitching an ‘app clone’ like Facebook is not very appealing – whereas an ‘app’ that respects people’s privacy or addresses an unserved niche may be far more appealing.
Articulate the Solution
Although a founder may know what they want to build, one of the largest challenges is articulating what exactly your solution will do. When in the basement (without a proof of concept), it can be difficult to explain intent, features, and differentiation. Barrington Edge doesn’t believe vague statements and nebulous summaries belong in any of your investor communications – starting from the initial pitch.
Although black text on white background has its place in putting an idea out there – Barrington Edge can leverage and build visual elements to assist with your early branding and communications. Visual descriptions of the problem and solution will help your audience understand and be captivated.
Describing the Problem to Investors
Investors may not have domain or industry experience to understand the problem being tackled. Barrington Edge will work with you to accurately describe the problem being addressed so that the power and utility of the solution is obvious to investors who need to trust your understanding of the problem and solution approach.
Creating the “Ask” of Investors
Many pitch decks talk about the immediate fiscal needs to bootstrap the company. Making and informed ask with an understandable plan builds confidence the trust needed to seed your organizations with the capital to deliver.
Pitch Delivery Coaching
Sometimes the brains of the organization are not the ‘show person’ needed to capture the attention of investors and customers. Barrington Edge provides blunt, open and creative inputs into the flow, content, verbiage and aptitude of captivation required for an effective pitch.
Collaboration, Rehearsal and Refinement
Barrington Edge will sit with you and dissect, assemble and proof the pitch through collaboration and shared understanding of the problem and solution. After NDAs are in place, open discussions, critiques, opportunities, weaknesses are filtered through our team to ensure they are addressed by the content of your business plan and pitch.
Application of Technology
Barrington Edge technical resources will assist in determining approaches and technologies required to make the solution a reality. This will include identifying the key technical challenges, anticipate roadblocks and expensive barriers that may be faced in product build iterations. This can help feed information about the approach, costs, timelines and investment required to start, continue or change course.
Scope the Proof or Prototype Process
Barrington Edge can develop a plan, estimate and cost associating to building a proof of concept or prototype of the solution. Barrington Edge has skilled technical project managers and estimators on staff and can leverage expertise from Barrington Consulting sister company – who has a well-documented reputation for delivering on time and within budget.
Navigating Business Licenses, Non-Diluting Investments, NDAs and Early Business Running
Barrington Edge can assist with navigation the Nova Scotia business start-up process, licensing and legal requirements to start. This may include methodologies for tracking R&D dollars for potential tax credits, protecting of intellectual property and management of business documents.