By Jill Richmond (CEO & Co-Founder, Cheftabl)
My startup Cheftabl, a curated marketplace for the best “off-the-menu” dining experiences in each city launched a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. We, as a company, spend time tirelessly finding the best chefs and developing ease in the way that people think about dining in a new city, adding the ability to search, reserve and pay with simplicity and then focus on the most important aspect of dining – discovery.
The reality is our company was making a pivot and focusing in on our core product in the D.C. market and wanted to engage our community early. Naturally, validation, feedback and demand is important but winning ‘hearts and minds’ is another challenge.
Indiegogo is a very real way to open the proverbial kimono before re-launch. It was not until after returning from a long sojourn in San Francisco preparing for a second city and having exhausted our own personal finances we realized before we took another step the next best step was to let our community buy into our first city launch and help us to move into our next.
We are having an exciting journey and we are thrilled by the support we’ve received through our campaign. Yet, we realize there are multiple risks – as a company that focuses on experiences crowd-funding platforms are tricky businesses.
Fears, concerns and worries notwithstanding, we are thrilled that in our pivot and our reveal our community was excited to support and invest and ultimately vote with their dollars.
Our campaign ends in under 10 days – help make our next funding milestones possible!
Women 2.0 readers: How have you won over “hearts and minds” in your entrepreneurial journey? Let us know in the comments.
About the guest blogger: Jill Richmond is the CEO and Founder of Cheftabl, a marketplace for “seamless off-the-menu” dining experiences at the best restaurants from the most innovative chefs in each city. She has over a decade of experience in business development, marketing and communications with both the World Bank and other international organizations and non-profits. Jill holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and an MSc. from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Follow her on Twitter at @cheftabl.