Posts Tagged ‘equity’

Assistep Live Crowdfunding
60David Nikel

David NikelJuly 8, 2014

Catching up with Equity Crowdfunders AssiStep

It’s been some weeks now since AssiStep stole the show at our Live Crowdfunding Experiment. I caught up with CMO and co-founder Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø to find out his thoughts about the whole crowdfunding process now the dust has settled.

It’s been a hectic time for AssiStep since Technoport 2014. I sit in the same co-working space as them (DIGS here in Trondheim) and have seen first-hand how much effort they are putting into product development.

“We have worked a lot with product development since Technoport. We are trying to put things into production, there are still some small issues that come up once in a while that we need to solve and it takes time solving problems, ordering new parts. Our technology is now able to turn corners. This worked in theory before the crowdfunding event, but now we’ve been able to check it actually works in practice, which is a big milestone for us as it makes us unique in the market.”

It may surprise some of you new to equity crowdfunding that AssiStep hasn’t yet received a single kroner of the investment pledged at the Live Crowdfunding Experiement. In fact, the funding round hasn’t even closed yet.

The funding round was over-subscribed, and the Assistep team is busy working out which investors to take on board.

“Since the Technoport event we’ve had an offer from a seed fund who wanted to join in the funding round. This has been a bit more work and things are taking a bit more time than we expected, so we haven’t been able to close the round yet.”

“It is a case of probably accepting the larger investments, because this makes it easier to have good communication with all our investors, but it’s also the result of a thought process. Do we want friends and family to invest? After some thought we decided it’s probably wise not to have friends and family on board, so we don’t feel like we are always working when we spend time with them.”

“FundedByMe enables the communication really, the process beyond that is more governed by us and how we want to act. We’ve had some hints and tips from FundedByMe on what to do next and how to run the process with our potential investors, which has been really helpful.”

AssiStep hopes to close the funding round very soon, take the investment and put their product into production. With some deals already made in Norway and interest from potential partners in Sweden and Denmark, the future looks bright for AssiStep, thanks to equity crowdfunding!

“It would have been more difficult without the crowdfunding process. We’re sure we would have used more time finding the investors if it wasn’t for the Live Crowdfunding Experiment, and not even sure we’d have found the investment by now. It was a great opportunity for us and saved so much time by not having to sit through all the potential meetings with investors, one at a time.”

roVsPWA
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 16, 2014

Technoport 2014: Dimension10 develops 3D scanner

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we hear from each of the startups in turn. We’ve heard about AssiStep and Rom & Tonik, now we hear from Krister Fagerslepp of Dimension10, developers of a 3D scanner.

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

Our solution solves the difficulty of scanning living objects by scanning the entire subject at the same time within mililseconds. Our solution is innovative because it’s purpose built down to the software that controls it. Our innovation also lies in the areas of use, and how easily we can achieve an automatic process from scan to result.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

The origin for my project is my interest for immersive technology/Virtual Reality. I developed software for Oculus Rift as well as building my own unit before the developer kit hit the market. The 3D scanner is a result of experiments I did to create characters/avatars for this system. I would say the seed for this project was planted around 24 months ago. However, serious work was not initiated until a while after this.

What have you achieved so far?

Our 3D scanner is working and stable, with generally decent quality. We have developed the software and hardware to control the rig ourselves. However, the quality of scans still need improvement in our opinion. This means mainly that we need to add more cameras and flashes, to get more angles covered.

Where has your funding come from before?

Funding has come mainly from our own pockets.

Why are you seeking equity crowdfunding?

In order to speed up development we need money for things such as more/better hardware and bigger office space. Selling equity seems like a good way to raise funds in this project.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

We see ourselves having a working scanner system that is simple enough to operate that we can hire almost anyone to operate it. Once this achieved, the only demanding job is occasional software updates and maintenance.  If we can achieve these goals, we have more than enough ideas to pursue in the field that will keep us occupied and plenty of IP to keep us going. We have no doubt that we will never a dull moment, and firmly believe that our companies ability to produce revenue extends far beyond  5 years.

Check out Dimension10’s FundedByMe campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: Dimension10 

IMG_7958_2
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 15, 2014

Technoport 2014: Rom & Tonik makes natural sound absorber

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we hear from each of the startups in turn. First we heard about AssiStep, now up is Rom & Tonik, a company founded by Mats Solberg and Birgitte Røsvik.

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

Our product is proven to be one of the most volume efficient sound absorption products on the market. We work towards reducing noise in office and public spaces to improve the working conditions. We are doing this through using natural rough wool as the actual absorbent. This is a whole different way to do it, and the unique felt that we produce in Mongolia is uniquely efficient. We have also developed a modular and very flexible system that allows the user a lot of freedom when configuring their FeltTile system.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

We wanted to start Rom & Tonik because we saw that there was a huge potential market in acoustic solutions for open offices and public spaces. We also saw the need to make use of the rough wool quality that the textile industry avoided in their products. Making use of a raw material that has a perfectly sustainable profile to solve a growing problem in the interior market made perfect sense. We decided to start Rom & Tonik after winning the regional finals of Venture Cup in Trondheim in the spring of 2012. The company was started in October 2012.

What have you achieved so far?

Since then, we have developed the profile of Rom & Tonik, worked intensely with developing our production and distribution line. We have been hard at work with finalizing our product design for FeltTile and finally we launched FeltTile and Rom & Tonik at Designers Saturday in Oslo Sept. 2013. In February this year, we were able to present FeltTile at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, the leading interior exhibition for the Scandinavian market. On a day-to-day basis we are hard at work with selling FeltTile and we have now sold more than 20 projects around Norway.

Where has your funding come from before?

We have received funding (etablérstipend) from Innovation Norway and Seed capital from Ålesund Kunnskapspark.

Why are you seeking equity crowdfunding?

After visiting Stockholm Furniture Fair we got interest from resellers all over the world. Now we want to start testing the Scandinavian market and establish our network beyond the Norwegian market. In parallel we are working with some very exciting new products with a very good supplementary potential to FeltTile. To be able to develop pilot projects with this new product, we will use some of the FundedByMe equity for product development as well.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In five years Rom & Tonik is substantial actor in the interior furnishing industry. The organisation has grown a lot, and we are the go-to company for acoustical solutions and soundproofing. We have our products installed in more than 20 countries in the world, and we have contributed to improve people’s working environment in every project we have participated in.

Check out the Rom & Tonik FundedByMe campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: Mats Herding Solberg

AssiTech
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 14, 2014

Technoport 2014: AssiStep helps the elderly

At Technoport 2014’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment, the first of its kind in Norway, three promising young tech startups will pitch their company to a crowd of investors. This week we’ll hear from each of the startups in turn. First up, AssiStep – a company created by Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø, Halvor Wold, and Ingrid Lonar. 

What challenge does your product solve, and how is your solution innovative?

One of the biggest obstacles for the elderly and people with mobility issues is stair climbing. It’s one of the most common reasons that people need to move away from their home. At the same time, stair climbing is the most effective training method in your own home, but the consequences from falling can be dramatic, which is illustrated by the 50 casualties and 30,000 injuries from stair falling each year in Norway alone.

If we can solve this problem by adding increased support, increased safety and stimulate people to continue to use their stairs, our users will become more independent, get increased exercise, and continue to live in their own home for longer.

Why did you decide to develop this company?

Through a large number of interviews with users and therapists, we learned  how big the stair climbing problem actually is, and that there aren’t good enough solutions out there today. By creating AssiTech AS, we can make people more independent, and at the same time establish ourselves in a market with a big growth potential over the coming years.

What have you achieved so far?

We’ve established a passionate and ambitious team that really wants to make a difference by creating innovative and user-friendly products. We’ve raised over 2 million NOK in soft-funding. We’ve developed a lot of prototypes, and  at this point are ready to produce the first series of AssiStep. AssiStep is a trademarked and patent-pending product.

Where has your funding come from before?

We’ve raised over 2 million NOK in soft-funding to date, from Innovation Norway, NTNU Discovery, our biggest customer NAV, and the Tekna scholarship 2013, in addition to the equity we’ve put in ourselves. We’re now at a stage where we need to raise private capital, in order to initialise production of the first 60 products.

Why are you seeking equity funding?

Because we know that a lot of people out there really believe in AssiStep, and want to see it go into production. Equity funding makes it possible for ordinary people to make a difference, by becoming a shareholder in a company with growth potential. In order for us to start delivering value to users and customers, we need to raise capital for production of our first 60 products.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In 5 years our product portfolio have grown to something more than AssiStep, making use of our strategic distribution partners outside Norway. AssiStep is by then an established product also within markets outside Norway, and should be the natural choice for stair mobility. Our organisation consists of creative people that wants to make a difference by creating innovative products that solve big problems.

Check out the AssiStep Funded by Me campaign here!

Want to attend?

Learn more about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment and register for Technoport 2014.

Photo credit: AssiStep (from left to right, Eirik Gjelsvik Medbø, Ingrid Lonar, Halvor Wold)

CFX
15Megan Jones

Megan JonesApril 11, 2014

Last-minute chance to crowdfund your start-up!

We are excited to announce a last minute opportunity for an exciting new start up to join us at Norway’s first live equity-based crowdfunding event. This follows from the success of Bad Norwegian – one of our original participants – which is now close to reaching its fundraising target.

To take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to pitch to a live crowd of investors at CFX on 29th Apr, just send an e-mail to aleksander@fundedbyme.com by 12:00 p.m. on 15th Apr. In the e-mail, explain in one page who your startup is and what products and/or services you are looking to develop. All participants will also receive free entry and merchandising space at Technoport 2014, and a free crowdfunding campaign on Funded by Me.

Crowdfunding interview
60David Nikel

David NikelMarch 26, 2014

Equity Crowdfunding: Your Questions Answered!

Everyone at Technoport is getting excited about the Live Crowdfunding Experiment, a real highlight of our Technoport 2014 innovation conference next month. There’s a real buzz around equity crowdfunding right now, and we feel the world is watching us.

We’re getting a lot of questions to our Inbox about the legalities of equity crowdfunding, as much of the American-led tech media still refers to it as illegal. We covered tax implications recently, but corporate structure is a little more complex. So I called up our legal brain and startup law expert Tommy Dahlen to get some answers. And here they are:

Is equity crowdfunding legal in Norway?

Provided that you structure the crowdfunding campaign correctly, equity crowdfunding is legal under applicable law in Norway.

It should however be pointed out that you should seek legal advice, either from the representatives of the crowdfunding platform provider, or an independent lawyer or legal advisor, to ensure that all formal requirements are met. The service provider will normally have all necessary information available and safely guide you through the various steps required to successfully, and legally, launch and execute your campaign.

You could for instance be required to prepare a “prospectus” for use in the campaign dependent on how much equity you are trying to raise, where the main threshold is €1,000,000 over a 12-month period. Under this threshold you would still be required to provide potential investors with certain information about the company, but without the same formal requirements.

It should also be pointed out that the current legal framework in Norway does not provide specific legislation for crowdfunding, insofar as that neither the process of placing the equity crowdfunding campaign nor the equity itself is specifically regulated, so that this is somewhat unchartered legal territory. However, done correctly, equity crowdfunding could prove to be a valuable source of financing for your venture.

What exactly are investors buying?

Normally, an equity crowdfunding campaign would offer regular shares to the investors just as you would in a conventional private placement. The main difference would be the process of finding the investors, and the number of investors, but at the end of the day you would end up with investors who themselves will own regular stock in your company and exercise the rights normally associated with the shareholders position.

You need to keep in mind that a large number of shareholders add some administrative “burden” on the company, with respect to information requirements etc, so it’s wise to prepare some guidelines for how the company will interact with its owners.

What obligations will I have towards successful investors?

Investors would enjoy all rights and benefits as the other shareholders of the company in accordance with applicable law. This would include a right to vote in the general assembly, have a right to various types of information, a right to equal treatment as other owners, a right to dividend etc. However, in preparation to launching a crowdfunding campaign, every company should look into the possibility of establishing shareholder-/investment agreements that could govern some practical aspects of having a large number of shareholders.

As I pointed out earlier, the existing legal framework does not specifically address the more practical aspects of having a large group of shareholders. Having a shareholder agreement could in this respect prove valuable for both the company and its shareholders.

Any further questions on equity crowd funding? Let us know!

Want to invest?

Take part in the Live Crowdfunding Experiment at Technoport 2014 as real companies swap real equity for real cash. We’ll also explore future crowdfunding business models with industry experts. Book your place now.