Like any good startup, BlueChilli is always learning, listening, adapting and changing it’s model. From how we select the top 1% of potential startup founders to the evolving nature of product scope in development through to our accelerator program “156” which is updated on a daily basis by our team of startup advisors as we learn better ways of doing things.
The model is simple.
We combine the best of a Digital Agency, Incubator, Accelerator and Venture Capital to mitigate the four key risk areas of a startup of Technology, Team, Traction and Termsheet (money). Let’s see how this works.
We provide a complete integrated product team in to your business, will all the skills required to get your online business off the ground. We provide them at cost so it’s the equivalent to having an embedded team in your startup. Depending on how the finances work, there may also be tax advantages this way also. Our team are the best. They’re in the top 1% of certified engineers in the country and our design team has even spent time in New York at the prestigious NY Design School that takes the top 18 people globally.
The team build on top of ChilliSource, a proven enterprise grade “Frameless framework” which means we’re fast. Really really fast. We’ve invested over $1.5m in to this framework and your startup gets all of this from day 1. This entire team is there to get your company to MVP+ (i.e. launched) and then to support you until we employ your own full time team. This is the Digital Agency.
We then provide a safe environment for you to build your startup, surrounded by other awesome entrepreneurs, our startup advisory team, office space, meeting rooms and events and shared services such as recruitment. We have partnerships with firms like Commonwealth Bank and Deloitte and our “buying power” means we can get awesome deals to events, conferences, press coverage and online tools. This is the incubator.
At the same time, we’re going to teach you how to run a startup. Using our 156 step program “156” we accelerate your learning and mentor you through a detailed and aggressive course over six months that aims to get you to Series A. Startups that complete this program get the huge brand lift that comes by graduating from a program too. This is the Accelerator.
Finally we have a $10m VC fund that, once closed, will co-invest in our startups at the Angel round by matching investment dollar for dollar. There are conditions of course, like you have to have graduated from our accelerator program and you have to have raised from independent sources and like any VC fund every investment is subject to our investment committee. Plus, as an added bonus, we’ll even kick in $25k just for launching your startup. This is the Venture Capital.
What type of founder is best?
BlueChilli’s full model is designed to empower non-technical founders, that is, people with strong domain experience, the ability to lead and grow a team and can call up the right industry contacts to make the business work. We look at 9 characteristics of a potential founder and rate you against all of these. These characteristics drive your “risk profile” or how much risk you present to the business. The lower the risk profile, the lower the equity BlueChilli requires in the company to offset that risk. We generally start at 20-30% (And never take more than 30%) but have taken single digit percentages, but you have to be pretty exceptional and have raised some significant funds first!
How much cash do I need?
The BlueChilli model is based on the premise the Business must support itself. To cover the initial costs of setup, incorporation, stamp duty, legals, documentation, setting up the finances with Deloitte, the initial product roadmap and research, definition of the product, server installation and templates, development environment configuration; we charge a flat $25k.
After that, it really depends on the complexity of your startup. If you’re building a complex life insurance platform (like our startup Lime) it will require more development than a simple SAAS tool and therefore require more capital. During the initial product workshop, as your vCTO we provide you with an estimate on the level of capital required to enable you to budget accordingly and raise seed as necessary.
The point here is that as the CEO, you have full control over the budget. Want to spend more time in wireframes and prototypes? Done. Want to cut back on design and add more features? Done. The advantage is that you have a full product team working for you at the same equivalent cost as if they were full time employees. You don’t get one co-founder – you have 20.
Typically you’re going to need at least $50k to get you to a product market fit and spend sufficient amounts on marketing and SEM/SEO with $75-100k being the sweet spot.
Every business is different – so we can’t apply a single “Price” across the board. Come and chat to us first and let us help you build an awesome company.