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!