“There’s a myth that exists in the South African entrepreneurial community, and it goes like this: I need funding to start my business, but it’s too difficult to get, so I can’t start,” says David Seinker, founder of Corculture Private Capital.
“But,” he adds, “I can tell you that there is no shortage of opportunistic investors looking for the next big entrepreneurial venture. I’ve seen five investors fighting among each other to invest in one business.”
According to Seinker, finding funding is not difficult to do. But — and here’s the thing — you have to do it at the right time.
Good point. But when is that, exactly?
“Quite simply, when a business has proved itself to be investable,” he says.
“Entrepreneurs are looking for funding before they have proven that their great idea can fly. They need to get out there, fail quickly, adapt, get some sales and then start looking for funding,” he adds.
Enter Investable, Seinker’s latest venture. His vision is to create a Start-up Business District (SBD), located in the entrepreneurially vibrant Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg, providing start-ups with a training academy, business development centre and access to investors looking for high-growth opportunities.
Seinker has been working with some of South Africa’s top business schools to develop an e-learning programme based on the principles of Standford University’s Lean LaunchPad programme.
“The six month academy programme will consist of a one-month course and five-month business model validation period. When businesses have proved their worth, they will move up into the Investable Business Centre, where they will receive the assistance necessary to get investor-ready and have access to Investable’s networks in order to grow their client base,” Seinker explains.
“We want to get 10 000 entrepreneurs going through Investable’s SBD each year, which will create 100 new businesses,” he says. Watch this space.
Energy, drive and vision to help make high-growth start-ups investable.