Launching a new business can be expensive, especially if it’s a new idea that still has to prove itself in the marketplace, f inding the right backer can be a tortuous process. There are venture capitalists and angel investors in SA keen to invest in start-ups with potential, but often the match is not made because the start-up is not able to present a good business case. Sometimes the entrepreneur is simply unable to find the right investor.
In his former role at venture capital firm Redwood Capital found that while there is no shortage of entrepreneurs with ideas emerging from Government and private incubator environments, they are generally ill-equipped to present themselves to potential investors. Elias explains: “The incubators weren’t actually prepping them for venture capital. Either that, or their particular businesses would never actually warrant a venture capital investment.”
Elias saw a gap in the market, and launched Seed Engine, which he describes as “a hybrid between a venture capital f irm and an incubator: a company that is venture capital driven, and operates in an incubator-type manner”. Think of it as a matchmaker – filtering out the best prospects, grooming them and presenting them to the most compatible investors.
“Every venture capital firm has a mandate,” says Elias. “What we try to do is help them to tick as many boxes as possible on those mandates, so they’re able to make investment decisions further down the line.”