Collette McGowan, Founder & CEO, Kollabro
The Competitive Start Fund (CSF) allowed Collette McGowan to expand her team and invest further in her software development.
Kollabro is a client communication and task management software that instantly saves time and money for digital and creative businesses through clear client communication. Kollabro eliminates the need for phone calls, emails and meetings during a project by having all the project communications in one place.
I faced plenty of challenges starting Kollabro, but ultimately everything in business comes down to sales and cash - that is what my accountant tells me anyway! Cashflow is hard to push through but when you have good people around you, passion, drive and the belief and vision in your concept you will find ways around the challenges you face. I do like to think that challenges are opportunities to learn, pivot and grow.
Applying for CSF
I applied for CSF when we had just completed the New Frontiers programme in Sligo IT. I knew that an investment of €50,000 into our company at that stage would allow us to bring our software successfully to market. We had applied for CSF funding six months previously, but we weren’t ready.
Growing the Kollabro team
Winning CSF funding was an amazing opportunity for Kollabro because it changed everything in terms of our future planning, strategy and growth. It was a huge boost for our team as it gave us the drive and focus to move Kollabro forward. We were pre-revenue at the time, so the €50,000 allowed us to expand our team and invest further into our software development.
Talk to previous applicants
Applying for CSF is not easy, and my advice is to allow for plenty of time for the application process and don't rush it. Talk to other successful applicants and ask them about their application process and get their tips and advice. Make sure to practice the video pitch - this is the first time the panel will see you, so you need to clearly get across your products or service.
We are currently on the Startlab and The Female High Fliers programmes which will really help us get our marketing and sales strategies in place and allow for our market entry when we launch Kollabro in April 2018. We are currently signing up founding customers who are pre-paying for our software. This is something that we are excited about as there is proving to be a very strong demand for our software pre-launch. We are also going for further investment and HPSU later this year. With this further investment, we hope to expand our team, opening an international office and launching Kollabro into the educational, financial and architectural sectors.
Interested in applying for the Competitive Start Fund – Regions? Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here.