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Start-up woes: finding a co-founder and the struggle for funding

Prodigy Finance - December 21, 2016

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As all entrepreneurs know, there are various challenges that come with entrepreneurship and early stage start-up life. To help motivate and encourage those looking to share their ideas with the world, the Oxford Business Alumni (OBA) London Chapter held a panel discussion on Entrepreneurship – What does it mean? 

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The panel was chaired by Dean Peter Tufano and consisted of:

- Carlos Silva (MBA 2008) – Co-founder of Seedrs, President and Head of Seedrs Europe

- Enrico D’Angelo – Finance Director, Parkwalk Advisors

- Joyeeta Das (MBA 2014) – Founder of Gyana

- Vana Koutsomitis (MBA 2014) – Co-founder of Date Play

When starting a business, all speakers agreed that it is essential to find a co-founder you can put your trust in. As the emotional turbulence of being an entrepreneur is a lot easier to handle with a trusted partner by your side.

One of the audience questioned if a co-founder could be a family member, given the age old mantra of not mixing business with family and friends. However, Joyeete Das, Founder of Gyana, suggested that for her, there is no better trust than amongst family, and that she works with her husband.

Another key challenge for entrepreneurs is funding their business venture. Even in today’s world where crowdfunding offers access to capital online, it is still difficult to meet fundraising goals. The panel’s advice was to be persistent, enthusiastic and not give up.

Enrico D’Angelo, Finance Director at Parkwalk Advisors, said that if you keep searching for funding, you will find it. Often entrepreneurs take rejection too personally, but it could have simply been because the investor approached does not want to invest in the sector or that the timing isn’t right, rather than it being a reflection on the idea.

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At the end of the day, the two messages that came through were that a trusting partnership and persistence will get you far.

Dean Peter Tufano acknowledged Prodigy Finance as a major contributor in enabling international students to study at Oxford Saïd Business School. 

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