HATCHEDit.com

HATCHEDit.com: The Adventure

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The Indiegogo Adventure (Day 3)

CONFESSION:  Yesterday was New Year’s Eve and I didn’t really do much of anything to promote the campaign. 

BUT - today - I worked on an update letter to send to all of the people we reached out to over the past year regarding funding and investing in Hatchedit.com.

We have met with a few people and pitched at quite a few venture capital events.  We have also made use of investor sites such as AngelList.com.  The thought is that we will send those people a 2013 Year End Review of our Accomplishments along with the information on our New Project and the Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign. 

Filed under crowdourcing kickstarter indiegogo entrepreneur startup tech nj small business smallbiz mompreneur

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Indiegogo Fundraising Adventure (Day 2)

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Alrighty!  Well, I know this is a quiet time of year for crowdfunding.  That was a risk that we took.  But it is also a big time of year for calendaring and organizing which is the basis of our tools so we hoped that might give us some interest as well.  We will see. 

Because I pushed out a press release the first night we launched (though did not forsee to somehow add a link to the campaign in the press release DOH!)  I took some recently released social media information (PEW RESEARCH) that has been in the news and emailed a few people that might be of interest in covering what we are doing (social media platform targeting women - who are the biggest users of almost every social media platform)….and a crowdfunding campaign.  Its hard to know what to focus in on as the important STORY that a journalist/blogger/etc might want to tell.  

I emailed a few tech/entrepreneurship places - but I also emailed a few people whom I really like and admire and read often.  I tweeted a few also when I could.  I tried not to come off as SPAMMY or stalkerish.  Really I am just hoping that someone sees as much that is interesting in what we want to do as I do.  Its a gamble. 

The local Patch writer returned my Tweet - which is great.  I will follow up with her again early next week if I don’t hear back from my emailed response.  But I wanted to try and do as much with our press release as I could. 

Next step?  I will be emailing all of the bloggers that we have met - we created a lot of our donation enticements around bloggers and the prospective ability to have a secured place on our platform to advertise for events - so I will let them know about that and ask them to share it with their readers as well.  We’ve had two years of blogging and attending blogging conferences and reaching out to bloggers so I’m hoping those relationships will be a boost to our campaign.  

Filed under crowdfunding indiegogo kickstarter entrepreneurship njtech nj small business mompreneur

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The Great FAQ Experiment

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Okay - I admit it - I was totally slacking. 

Our FAQ page looked like CRAP. (I really should have taken a before picture).  But TRUST me.

It was all WORDS!

I love words, but had I been a new user, I too would have thought - crap - if they have this much to tell me about how to use the site - I’m scared already. 

In fact, according to our Google Analytics report an astounding 89% of new visitors DROPPED OFF the site after visiting the FAQ page.

Say WHAAAAA?????

So I spent the day doing a big revamp. 

Now we SHOW - we Don’t tell. 

I tried to keep it light.  Fun.  Pretty.  Like our site.  

I’m sure I can keep tweaking and improving it with time. 

I’m also going to do a series of 30 second videos (30 seconds! that’s gonna be TOUGH!) and include those in different areas of the site when people might need to see all of the ways that they can leverage HATCHEDit.  

Who says there is EVER a SLOW Time?

To See our FAQ page - go HERE

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

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It gets bad….then it gets really bad….then all hell breaks loose

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Well - its a damned good thing I stopped to smell the roses over the weekend at BlogHer - because this week the shit hit the fan in the personal aspects of my business life, and it feels like the whole world is collapsing around me. 

Thankfully - that is not true.  

Thankfully - our immediate reaction is never to give up - but to figure out how to best survive. 

Thankfully - my family kicks ass. 

But the reality is - my personal $$ flow is out.  Nada. Nilch.  Zippo.  Zilch. 

That’s a tough nut to face.  I mean - if I were a twentysomething - I’d shrug it off, buy some Ramen and couch surf.  

But I’m not 20.  I’m 41.  And my kid hates to couch surf even though - that looks to be exactly what we will do. 

Wonder why there aren’t more women entrepreneurs out there?

Its simple.  

Entrepreneurship has better results when you have experience. 

When you have experience - you are older. 

When you are older - you tend to have more responsibilities. 

When you have responsibilities it is harder to look them in the eye and say - “no”. 

So the shit has hit the fan. 

But we will get through it.  Things are really just starting to gel - so while I am crumbling a bit on the inside - it is not a full on meltdown - because as bad as it is - I feel crazy optimistic at what the future holds. 

My kid on the other hand - who faces the prospect of switching schools 3 weeks before the fall semester may not be quite as optimistic as me. 

But when I stated the obvious - “We are all healthy.  We have each other.  That is all we need to get by in this world”  we both started to feel better. 

Nobody said it was going to be easy.  I never imagined it would get so hard.  

Filed under entrepreneurism entrepreneurship startup tech nyc nj female founder

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What are Angel Investors Looking For?

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Its late and I am kind of totally pumped up. 

We’ve had two conferences in a row that we’ve been lucky enough to attend.  And part of that privilege means we have gotten to learn some really cool things - including information about Angel Investors. 

Last week at the Princeton Marriott - there was an event sponsored by www.NJEN.com the New Jersey Entrepreneur Network - and invited entrepreneurs were able to mingle with about a dozen Angel Investors from the NY/NJ area.  Part of the event included a five minute presentation by representatives of each Angel Network - all of whom spoke about what they are looking for in making investments.  

The most important thing?

"Can You Deliver?"

Time and time again, the angel investors stood up and said, that the majority of their decisions to invest rested on their belief that the entrepreneur asking for funding would be able to deliver on their concept.  

Much of the rest of the advice included a large dose of common sense.  

1.  Do your research. 
Know what industries specific investors actively invest in.  The majority of the investors speaking with us at the event are currently active in the medical and technology sectors.  

2.  Think like an investor.
When putting together your pitch, answer the questions that investors are going to ask. Know what their background is.  Know what their expertise is, and think about what angle they are going to approach you in their line of questioning.  Be able to tell them about the market you are targeting, how large it is, and perhaps most importantly: What problem you are solving for that market, and how/why you are going to do it better than the competition

3.  Know about the funding trends in your sector
Interestingly, Angels are looking to invest in firms to get them to the next round.  The next round is typically Venture Capital.  If VC firms have backed off a specific area, and are not funding at historic rates, then angels - by necessity will also back off that area - because the numbers do not favor those investments reaching the next level.  

4.  Include your address and contact information on your pitch deck. 
One angel investor pointed out how many times they receive pitch decks without this information.  Typically entrepreneurs think that since they are sending a pitch deck via email that contact information is sufficient.  But pitch decks are distributed, and not always with the original email.  So it is important that there is a clear way to contact the entrepreneur.  

5.  Don’t burn your bridges
People can get angry.  Funding periods can stretch out due to unforseen occurrences.  When an entrepreneur needs money, and feels under the gun it is easy to grow impatient or even angry at a process that can suddenly seem longer or more complicated than you planned.  Don’t let that frustration put you at a disadvantage.  Even pitches that don’t wind up being funded can put you into contact with people who can offer you contacts to other angels.  Remember that you never know what a team can do to help you, even if that help doesn’t come in the form of money that you were expecting to receive.  

6.  Network within the area that you are targeting
When you network with people in your industry - you may find that you can align yourself with a champion who knows you and believes in you and/or your idea.  That sort of connection can make a world of a difference.  Some areas where you might find a champion?  Service providers.  Networked introductions weigh more heavily to angel investors than cold calls. If you are having trouble reaching out to an angel investment group sometimes your lawyer, or accountant may be able to make that introduction for you.  

7.  Be enthusiastic.
Believe in yourself and your product, and that enthusiasm will draw investors in.  As it was pointed out angels are investors not donors.  They want to fund the dreams of entrepreneurs, but they are funding those dreams in the pursuit of profits.  Your enthusiasm is one of the best ways to convince an angel that you are indeed the person that can deliver.  And remember, enthusiasm doesn’t always mean being happy and joyous, it means having a passion about the space you are in, and being well read and knowledgeable about that space.  If you know everything their is to know about your audience and your competition and you are driven enough to know potential pitfalls you will be able to answer all questions that investors can throw at you and show them that not only do you have a clear path to success, but that you can think on your feet, and realistically consider the eventual obstacles that every entrepreneur finds they have to out maneuver on the road to success.  

Filed under entrepreneur startup tech angel investors vc fundraising nj

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A Really Good Day

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So every day there is a good dose of doubt in the mind of any entrepreneur.  But then every now and then - if you are lucky - you get a day like we had today.  

A few months ago Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine contacted us and asked for some artwork.  It was a lot to hope for - and we held our breaths for a while - but then today I ran out to Barnes and Noble and there we are!  Page 22.  Listed under “May Cravings” section - for SURF IT!  They listed us as a great site!

This is so amazing because we were starting to feel like the only way to get any press was to pay for it.  And we haven’t really been out there pitching the site either - frankly we’ve just been too busy trying to cover all of the other bases (customer service, conferences, marketing, meetings, site changes, etc).  

So when this happened - it was sort of overwhelming because we didn’t pitch them, we didn’t pay for the coverage - it was just that someone liked us and decided to recommend us - and that is the exact kind of vote of confidence that can bolster us through the next month of daily self-doubting.  lol.  

But really.  It’s amazing.  I’m on an adrenaline high.  WOOT!  WOOT!

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