Here will be a sad story of failed venture.
At the end of 2016, I decided that the role of interim CTO of AssetBar is too technical for me and I have ambitions to start my own venture. I used to be with horses for the past 25 years and there are no doubts that I want to transfer my hobby to my job. At the over side, I have discovered that still have pleasure from programming despite have not worked as a programmer about the past 20 years. And with all of my experience as deputy CEO\CTO of a big MSSP company, MIT FinTech education and passion about of IoT I went sailing. So, I drown very fast :) Where were two main reasons. First, all of my management experience was completely useless in community forming. I failed to find co-founders\co-workers who wanted to travel all this hurdles full path with me for future success and money. Second, I knew that it will be a long way only with my FFF money and try to be frugal. So, I did not hard invest on MVP or marketing, and starting to try to raise funds only with a site, business plan, presentation, app interface mock-up and partly working something - this is can no be even called MVP. Generally, because it can not be shown to investors\customers. I was wrong. As the reality show me, those investors I spoke to want to see MVP. I try to find an angel investor in the horse, not tech world, and all of them I spoke do not bother about buzzwords like IoT, ML, cloud blah-blah-blah. They sad - “Oh, it`is a good idea! Come in and show how it works.” - “Oh, sorry, I can not show, I can play a presentation to you” - “God by, my friend…”
The idea was really good. At the beginning I found about five similar solutions, at the present time, there are more than 20 (see brief list here). With the first attempt, I was invited into the IIDF accelerator. But, I did not understand what exactly I can accelerate? Where is no MVP, no team, no sales? So, I just need money for complete pre-production research and make MVP (this project requires hardware design too, you can not give even loyal customers Arduino with an accelerometer attached by wires), and I refused the invitation. I successfully applied to IBM GlobalEntrnership programme and had an equivalent of 10k$ credits for using IBM Bcloud infrastructure. A successful applied to Indegogo\Arrow programme and got an Arrow Approved badge, but they only fund US projects. Soon, I were invited to IoT TechExpo at Berlin 2017 (here we were where). It was a fantastic experience for me, and our project met the warmest feelings from visitors and co-exhibitors. Every visitor, who came to our stand told me, that “I personally do not know a lot about horses, but I have doughter\wife\nethiew who has a horse and she definitely wants some kind of solution. I call her”. So. a lot of marketing\targeting insides :) I have got some contacts with potential angel investors, with one of them we try to communicate up to September but we did not close deal. No team, No MVP, even not sure all features will work. Up to this moment, I mostly burned off my money. So, as the last chance, I try to apply to a research grant from FASIE, They refused my application, and, it sounds like a bad joke, one of the reasons were that “Where is a commercially successful project already done a similar product on market -” Damn! My site was too good, and made impression on FASIE manager :)). I should use the jekyll&simple static site from the beginning….
After that refusal I have two ways - start to sell my assets (car for example) or take a customer loan from the bank trying to find fundings or find a job. A choose the last one and became an employee again….(Here I am on LinkedIn) Yes, I am a professional in the area of information security :) Maybe I have a professional abberation and tell to angel investors more about risks not about possibilities :)