VCs in the UK
July 16, 2004 6:02 PM   Subscribe

If you thought you had a great business idea, but it was too expensive to just go for it on your own, how would you go about getting venture capital funding (in England)? Or would you do something completely different?
posted by reklaw to Work & Money (4 answers total)
 
I would likely try to find a way to start the business small and grow it. That's not only less risk for you, it's.... well, to put a fine point on it: less hazardous to your health.

If this is impossible due to the nature of your business, as in you need to purchase expensive equipment or lease a business space, then I guess you are facing a bank loan of some kind, or finding someone with money to back you.

The honest truth is that a lot of these things get started with help from friends and family. And the majority of them fail.

Oh... and don't confuse a product idea with a business idea. A product idea is something cool that you know a certain number of people want. A business idea is how to get it to them in a way that's cash-flow-positive for you. Not the same thing at all.
posted by scarabic at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2004


As I far as I understand it, the basic idea is for a website that would almost certainly make lots of money, but would require expensive servers, a bunch of programmers, and so forth -- not to mention being a bit of an economy-of-scale thing, where it'd need a decent number of users to become profitable. It does seem to mostly avoid product-with-business confusion, though: what I've seen is essentially a technology demo and business plan.

A few people seem to have started investing in the web again, so...
posted by reklaw at 6:54 PM on July 16, 2004


a website that would almost certainly make lots of money, but would require expensive servers, a bunch of programmers, and so forth -- not to mention being a bit of an economy-of-scale thing

Well, what you're alluding to is a pretty complex calculation that many people have a once-bitten, twice shy level of experience with nowadays. Feel free to email me specifics and I'll tell you what I think of them. But you may be surprised by some of the ins and outs of actually making money online if you've never really tried it before. Economies of scale don't compensate for a minimal conversion-to-sale (as many have assumed) mainly because - duh - traffic isn't free (not to mention ops and bandwidth, not to mention the build investment).

So what's the idea, anyway?
posted by scarabic at 7:43 PM on July 16, 2004


there are (were, at least) various government grants for technology startups. i think "smart awards" kept a company i worked for going for a while.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:39 AM on July 17, 2004


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