How Smart CSM raised seed money to build an empire from blood, sweat and mentorship.

The Company

SmartCSM is an Internet of Things – Smart Building (BIoT) platform that manages infrastructure mapping data for commercial, industrial and multi dwelling unit buildings.  The platform creates a complete, easy to use digital map of the structure, allowing users to instantly understand the mission critical infrastructure and easily track, as well as manage changes that have been made to their structures.

More times than not, once a building is finished, the documentation used to design it is stored in a backroom, only to be rarely accessed and never updated.  This means any improvements/increased efficiencies that can be achieved through new building related technologies or repairs are simply lost.  Truly not understanding how a building is wired, inter-associated or altered can lead to catastrophic system failures, accidents and even death. The net result can potentially cost facilities managers and building owners millions of dollars in shutdowns (lost revenues), redundant repairs (fixing the same problem several times) and fines/lawsuits (OSHA fines or criminal prosecution).  Some of the company’s more notable customers include The Salvation Army, Raytheon, DHL and Universal Studios.

How the Dojo helped

When the CEO of SmartCSM came to the Expert Dojo, he was looking for help with fund raising.  After initial discussions, we recommended they utilize our one-on-one mentoring option.  Through a series of initial meetings, our mentor was able to peel back the layers of the company and it became clear that aligning the company with the right investment partners was paramount.  

Given the stage of the company, the “usual suspect” institutional investors were not the right groups to be targeting.  Their narrow scope of interest and checkbox style of investing would not only make it a challenge to get a check, but would align the company with a group who’s value and goals were not shared with SmartCSM.  The company needed investors who not only had have keen understanding of their sector and business model, but someone who would be partner.  

Specifically, beyond the shared values, they needed a group who’s long term vision aligned with that of management.  Through a lot of trial and error, the company shifted it’s focus to finding high net worth individuals.  After many, many meetings and countless pitches, they found an investor who was also not only in the software industry, but clearly understood the value that SmartCSM was creating.

In conjunction with advising on investor strategy, the Dojo also lent a hand with SmartCSM’s technical development.  As many entrepreneurs have experienced, just having a great idea does not guarantee success.  You also need the ability to deliver a user friendly, fully functional product or no one will buy what you’re selling.  Fully well knowing that, we introduced the company to a consulting/development firm who, after much vetting, SmartCSM ultimately chose.  That introduction, and subsequent partnership which evolved, proved to be quite fruitful and the company could not be more pleased.  Interestingly, our mentor who was advising with the company, was so impressed with SmartCSM and the business opportunity, that he decided to join the company when the mentorship program concluded.

After taking a step back and evaluating what was learned by our work together, it became clear that the thesis of aligning yourself with the right partners, in every facets of the business, proved to be correct.   Congratulations to team at SmartCSM in what you have achieved thus far and good luck in the road ahead!

A lesson by Healora in how to launch your startup using the crowd

SUPPORT THE HEALORA EQUITY CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN HERE

Lots of people are starting businesses today but how many are planning out each step for success using the crowd all the way?  Not many. The reason why its so difficult to start, grow and exit a business is because many founders try to do this alone.  This is a big mistake according to Brian Mac Mahon, CEO of Expert DOJO.  To find the answer we need to look at companies who just get it right. Thomas Farmer from Healora is the model of how you should properly validate your business model, then build the right team, have specific SMART milestones and finally maximize the crowd to line up one success after another.  Here is what has been achieved in the last 9 months:

Healora was founded and launched with a patented algorithm to reduce the price of healthcare by up to 70% using prepaid cash pricing, after three months of face to face market validation.  Only when patients begged Thomas to help reduce the price of healthcare did he proceed with his Priceline model for healthcare..

At that time Thomas brought a new member to the team.  Julian Henley is one of the leading specialists in the USA and had patents in place for exactly what Healora was designed to build.  This team became unbeatable because of the complimentary skills and Industry relevance.

Thomas immediately sought industry validation for what he was doing and was instantly endorsed as member partner by the biggest healthcare association in Los Angeles, LACMA (Los Angeles County Medical Association) to help in their fight to improve and reduce the cost of healthcare.

Only after Thomas took advice from the best user experience people in the business did he start on development.  The Healora Website was built and deployed with mobile app planned for March 2017.  Stealth execution of product fit was based on using experts in this space such as Enki Technology.

Next came an award for the most innovative healthcare technology at the prestigious IDEAS Los Angeles annual conference sponsored by Tel Aviv University.

The company official launched in Santa Monica with panel event of supporters from Kaiser Permanente, Vesalius Ventures, Biocom, LACMA and LAVA.

The final validation came from doctors throughout Los Angeles with over 100 registrations across all 25 of the AMA specialties.  How many founders care so much for their customers that they validate to this level?  Not many, but this is the difference between creating a painkiller product and a vitamin product.

The next step was to bring in the crowd to democratize the fundraising process. Healora is launching in three states initially and that will cost over 1 million Dollars in the next 12 months.  The choice is to raise that investment by evangelizing the crowd to not only use the product but invest in Healora.  Healora partnered with crowdfunding experts, Crowdfunder and Expert DOJO to make this a reality and before the campaign has even started over $150,000 has been raised. Such is the power of the crowd.

Join the Healora journey over the next 6 months as we follow this rise from an idea whose time had come to the disrupter of an entire industry.  To contact Healora email info@healora.com