What happens when your business plan model does not match with the French market? If investors are hesitant and do not really share your vision, no matter how hard you try ? If you strongly believe in your product, well, there must be some other way.
Guillaume Martin, CEO of Pictarine, a start-up issued from season 2 of The Camping shares its story. At the end of our acceleration program, they were facing with French investors reluctance, who mostly believe that the photography market was already too busy. Pictarine strongly believed in its product (and so do we !!) so they decided to apply for several accelerator programs in the United States, where was also the majority of their users. Their first advice they will give you if you are applying: don’t give up, be patient, remind them with concrete facts how great you are !
A new vision grows in the US incubator, investors show interest
So, after a few months, they won an expensive place at Excelerate Labs, the third accelerator in the United States, which recruits 10 promising start-ups for a very intense three months program. The incubator injects $ 25 000, takes equity in return of 6% and invites you in a huge space where co-working with 150 other start-ups.
At the end of the first month and a succession of mentors sessions, Pictarine vision already evolved. Then, when it came to the Demo Day to meet potential investors, our two young founder were only focusing on a very limited numbers of metrics, and were able to present an advance version of their product.
Guillaume explains how the product has been reworked, and reworked again, designated for a more optimal customer experience. Success from now on will depend on retention rather than acquisition. So finally, what are the key things that the founders retain from this intense trip to the US ?
• the level of mentors, who also invest money personally.
• they have a strong customer-oriented vision
• the investment seed, that is much more commun across the Atlantic.
Should the french eco-system be a little bit more inspired by this point of view…?
“Our next challenge : get our visa, essential for the investors ! “
Today, the startup is scrambling to get their visa, the starting point to initiate fundraising. The two founders are ready to swap the rillettes and wine for burgers and beers, in order to make their beautiful project a success. Although they will miss the French ecosystem, The Camping wish them good luck in their adventure across the Atlantic !