Governments around the world are trying to encourage people to launch startups.  However, there a number of specific challenges facing first time entrepreneurs. The most common problem is raising seed capital.  Professional advisors often talk about FFF, or Friends, Family and Fools as being the only source of capital. This is an elitist and out-dated concept. The cost of launching a high growth potential startup has reduced considerably. However, many founders come from backgrounds where friends and family do not represent a credible source of funding. Luckily, there are a number of new ways to obtain early stage funding.  Crowd-funding has become a credible option as are the various accelerator programmes. These inject small amounts of capital into selected startups.  Unfortunately, these solutions only suit very specific types of startup. The UK Government is trying to address this issue with the Startup Loans scheme.  This will provide small amounts of funding to entrepreneurs under the age of 30 to help them to kick-start their business.  Dreamstake has now been selected as a one of the delivery partners for loans under the scheme.

The Startup Loans scheme is not just about the money.  The delivery partners have also committed to provide practical support.  We will be delivering a full programme of free events and workshops to provide startup  founders with the vital skills they need to make their venture a success. It is essential that founders understand how to make their startup ‘investment ready’.  This involves understanding and addressing the key risks that face the startup.  Dreamstake Academy will cover topics such as product development, legal and accounting structures, business planning and pitching and will prepare founders to meet investors and obtain funding.

As well as providing hands-on workshops we will be continuing to run our series of highly successful investment related events at Google Campus.  These provide the chance for early stage entrepreneurs to network, share ideas and seek advice from the experts.

2013 promises to be another exciting year for startups. The enthusiasm being shown by Governments as well as the new forms of funding will result in record numbers of startups being launched across the globe. It has never been easier to get started. We look forward to meeting many of members and helping to take those vital first steps.

Dreamstake is a platform for early stage high growth potential startups. The platform provides support and access to an investor database via a highly sophisticated screening process. We are constantly on the lookout for top-quartile startups to introduce to our advisory board and other investors on our network.