Paul Hughes, Director of Enterprise Support at Allia talks us through the top 10 things he looks for when taking on applicants of the Serious Impact programme.
Paul will be representing Allia as a judge at the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-ups competition 2018 next month, where he will be looking out for these key criteria:
We call it Serious Impact for a reason; to work with entrepreneurs who are committed to creating positive impact on people, planet or place. To help them understand the challenges that are facing us all, Allia aligns its work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals; we expect the start-ups to be able to articulate how their solutions address one or more of the 17 Global Goals.
An understanding of the business growth pathway and milestones to be achieved
Where is the start-up headed, what likely challenges will it face and how do they plan to get there? We want to see that start-ups have done their homework and have a plan for how they intend to develop their business.
The strength and depth of the team and their domain expertise. Is the team diverse, and do they have relevant experience and commitment needed to succeed?
Do they have realistic growth potential and are they likely to create job opportunities within a reasonable timeframe?
Quality of business proposition
Have they identified a genuine market need and achievable business model, rather than a solution looking for a problem?
Strong USP/ competition
Do they understand the current makeup of the market, who are their likely competitors and what would give them an advantage?
Traction to date
What have they achieved so far – can Allia Serious Impact help accelerate their growth?
Financial Sustainability & Fundability
We want businesses that have long-term financial sustainability to deliver long-term impact. Is the venture developing multiple and long-term revenue streams, preferably that don’t rely heavily on grant funding. If they need to raise external investment, is their proposition appropriate to attract investors?
The ability to ‘tell the story’
Start-ups need to be able to sell their business to many kind of stakeholders – customers, potential employees, investors, and partners. How well they can ‘tell their story’ is vital to succeed.
The WOW factor
Do they stop you in your tracks?
But most importantly for Allia is impact, and the programmes that Serious Impact runs look for ventures who are focused on improving the lives of others; whether that’s through health & wellbeing, environment & cleantech, community programmes, education initiatives, tech for good, food & agritech or smart cities – they need to make a genuine impact!