Founder Spotlight

BY Diana Dorahy | June 19, 2020

Category : Community

One of the best ways to grow as entrepreneurs is to learn from the successes and mistakes of others. Recently, we sat down with two inspiring female founders and asked them our top funding questions:

Dr. Entela Benz, Founder and CEO of Intensel

Intensel provides AI-enhanced analytics on climate change and weather extremes for better decision making across industries.

What type of funding have you received? 

Seed funding that allows us to build the product.

When and why did you decide the time was right to fundraise? 

The time to fundraise and incorporate the company was only after we validated the solution, i.e. received strong market traction.

How did you prepare for the funding process (or didn’t if that’s the case)?

In order to raise funds, one has to be able to show a good understanding of the product, deep competitors landscape, product edge and how it will generate returns. The ability to raise funds is therefore a function of the above.

What was the biggest challenge in the process?

Getting paid proof of concepts without having a product yet.

What would be your biggest tip to a female founder seeking capital or investment? 

Female or not, the tips should be the same, the main difference is if you have a family and kids because it’s all about the breakeven point. Overall it all boils down to self discipline and sometimes mums are even better than singles.

https://intensel.com/

 

Olivia Cotes-James, Founder and CEO of LUÜNA 

LUÜNA is Asia’s first female-led period care company. Their aim to create healthy periods through chemical-free feminine care products, taboo-free content and menstrual health education initiatives. 

What type of funding have you received? 

We first completed our seed round in December 2018 and have completed a subsequent round of fundraising.

When and why did you decide the time was right to fundraise? 

I always knew I’d have to fundraise to launch the business but was acutely aware of the challenges I faced in doing so. I was a first-time business owner, building a company whose mission it was to shift the kind of deep-rooted cultural taboos that large corporates with endless budgets had failed to overcome. It wasn’t going to be easy to convince investors that our company would succeed where all these other brands had failed. 

This knowledge led to two and a half years of period education workshops in which I was able to gather evidence to prove that my vision wasn’t idealistic but grounded in a genuine need and opportunity. 

Importantly, this process had the dual effect of deepening my conviction to make LUÜNA work. The ever-increasing knowledge that what we were doing would genuinely change the lives of other women and girls kept me strong throughout some of the more challenging fundraising periods.

How did you prepare for the funding process (or didn’t if that’s the case)?

I prepared practically as much as I could; testing my pitch and business plan on as many experienced people as I could get in front of before facing potential investors. 

I spent a lot of time on Linkedin reaching out to high-level institutional investors who I knew wouldn’t be interested in us at seed round, but who I wanted to make contact with for the future. Most didn’t answer but those that did were able to provide invaluable advice about the fundraising process and to this day, continue to provide mentorship with the motivation of investing in us at our Series A round. 

What was the biggest challenge in the process?

Knowing my worth and identifying the right investors – these two points being inextricably linked. I narrowly avoided accepting funding from the wrong kind of investors, who put emphasis on the fact that I hadn’t run a company before to dictate investment terms that would have been enormously detrimental to future fundraising. Everyone wants to get more for their money but your investors need to be able to see the bigger picture – if they can’t, they aren’t the right investors for you. I’m lucky now to have investors who closely share my vision for the company and are willing to help me learn and grow to make it a success.

What would be your biggest tip to a female founder seeking capital or investment? 

Remember, the right kind of investors will try to build-up a founder and empower them to make the company a success. They won’t belittle you or drag you down, even in the negotiation process.

https://luuna-naturals.com/

Are you a female founder? Have you successfully raised? Get in touch with us at Next Chapter Raise for your chance to be profiled.

contact@nextchapterraise.com