Thursday, September 3, 2015

In the spotlight: KonnectAgain

KonnectAgain are a Dublin and San Francisco based company who help universities keep in touch with their alumni, and help alumni make the most of their networks.

Jayne Ronayne, KonnectAgain’s CEO, spoke to me about their journey and their experience in securing funding so far. Jayne also has a couple of nuggets for entrepreneurs looking for funding at the moment.

KonnectAgain knew from day one that investment was going to be required. With a young team, financial resources were not in abundance in the team so funding was needed very early on. While friends and family gave great support (and Jayne was eager to point out are always welcome to do so again), they knew that to expand and grow their team and their idea, more money was needed.
Ignite100 in Newcastle brought the first £15,000 as a part of their accelerator programme for KonnectAgain. From there they went looking for investors who could offer advice, assistance and market knowledge. KonnectAgain decided on angel investment on the basis of these requirements and the level of funding required and so set about trying to identify the right investors. Their focus was those that they looked up to, and those that could really bring value to the company. Jayne’s focus was building a relationship with the people that she thought could really help and asking them directly if they would be interested in doing so. KonnectAgain brought together funding from a number of angels at seed-stage and this amount was matched by Enterprise Ireland*

KonnectAgain are now making plans for Series A funding and are looking at VCs to bring industry experience and naturally… some cash! Another interesting journey ahead.

Key take-aways and learnings from Jayne’s experience:
  1. Don’t be nervous asking for money. You’re giving them an opportunity to invest
  2. Don’t be afraid to turn town an investor if they’re not the right one. It’s not just about the money
  3. Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel like a fit, it probably isn’t
  4. Get talking: talk to those that have raised funding, and those that have failed too
  5. Its not a done deal until the money is in the bank!!
My take:
KonnectAgain are in a fascinating field with limited competition and huge potential. I’m looking forward to great things from Jayne and the team.

*Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government agency responsible for the growth of Irish companies. Info on their funding programmes is available here.