Business Brief: Start-Up Success
Despite stories of economic woe, Barclays Bank still predicts 380,000 business start-ups this year and 350,000 in 2009. New Media Knowledge spoke to one self-starter who aims to build what he says will be the premier social network for entrepreneurs in the UK.
When Emmett Kilduff launched cmypitch.com this year he wanted it to ultimately become “the YouTube meets LinkedIn meets Dragons’ Den of business”. Kilduff describes cmypitch.com as a social network for small businesses which connects entrepreneurs with investors and service providers. The company’s video-based website has five distinct business communities for anyone starting, running, growing or selling a business. The site contains interviews with leading business people to give advice to visitors on the company’s Entrepreneur TV site.
What inspired the concept of cmypitch.com?
During my time at Credit Suisse (2000-2008) I always wanted to start my own business and it was while I was researching it that I realised that there weren’t any really good resources for entrepreneurs to get funding and mentoring. There were plenty of information-based sites but little else. cmypitch.com aims to help entrepreneurs understand what kind of start-up they want to be – for example, do you want to run a franchise or get into sales in the run-up to Christmas? We’re the only ones that offer that.
We looked at the concept of Right Move in the property space, which matches buyers with suppliers, and also we wanted to mirror the way MoneySupermarket.com works by becoming an online resource that enables entrepreneurs to compare products and services relevant to them.
How does it work?
The site enables entrepreneurs to pitch to business angels, venture capitalists and seed funds. In the current economic climate banks aren’t so ready to lend to start-ups, maybe to small and medium-sized businesses (SME), but it gives entrepreneurs a start.
Start-ups can upload a two-minute video for free to introduce their proposition supported by a business plan. It’s all user-generated content. We don’t edit anything although we naturally reserve the right to remove anything we deem inappropriate.
Start-ups need access to resources, such as business services, how to find funding and recruiters, they can all be found at cmypitch.com.
How does cmypitch.com make money?
It’s free for entrepreneurs. We only charge service providers to list. They can then upload their profile on the site, including video content, and also pay for access to entrepreneurs who have expressed an interest in a product or service which they provide.
Do you think that social networking is key to entrepreneurialism at this time?
Entrepreneurialism is sexy right now, just look at the success of television shows like The Apprentice, Dragons’ Den or The Restaurant. The economy needs entrepreneurs and it’s only really now, with widespread broadband penetration, that companies can really exploit online networks and upload video content, for example.
It’s early days, but where do you hope to be this time next year?
By December 2009 we aim to have between 50-75,000 regular users on the site and around 65 per cent of them will be entrepreneurs.