The Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE) at Ryerson University has awarded $25,000 in Stage 3 Norman Esch funding to help advance the Everest technology to the Canadian market. On behalf of our team at Sobie Systems, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Esch Committee for their generosity.
This is a major milestone and turning point for us. And it’s more than just about the money. After spending endless nights and thousands of hours in developing our product, a validation from experienced business professionals in the form of an investment, provided our team with an increased spirit that what we are doing something that matters and can make a difference. Although it did not come easy, for any passionate entrepreneur and new start-up, we would like to share with you what we did and learned so that you can learn from our mistakes and successfully build your dream:
Approaching investors is never easy and can be terrifying when you believe in what you are doing. It’s the fear of having something you have worked tirelessly towards rejected. This is exactly what happened to us the first time. In 2016, we applied for the Esch awards and made our pitch. However, as good as we thought our pitch was at that time, we were not selected, even though we thought we had a great product. So what was the problem? Was it the product or was it the pitch? Well, it was the pitch. In 2017 we reapplied for the award and this time we were successful. So, what did we do differently?
In 2016, we pitched a product. The following year, we pitched a business. That’s what we did differently. Instead of putting emphasis on the product itself, we knew that the product was good, but we had to develop the business model around the product and sell THAT to the investment committee. Having an amazing product is only a part of the task. It’s about having a proper business model and understanding exactly who your customers are and being articulate, clear, and concise in expressing your value amongst your competitors.
Another important thing to remember is that “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein. We learn from our mistakes and the world revolves around progression from failures. We hope that by reading this, our mistake can become your progression.
For more information about the Norman Esch Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards, please visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/ceie/eschawards/