The Competitive Start Fund (CSF) allowed Michael FitzGerald to turn OnePageCRM from a side project into his main focus – this is his advice on applying for the fund
20th January 2017
OnePageCRM is an award-winning sales management application for SMEs. Designed, developed and marketed from its base in Galway, OnePageCRM sells directly to all the corners of the globe, competing with the major brands in the CRM arena, and has plans to grow the business to 60,000 users.
We faced a multitude of challenges in the first year of business, from starting the journey of Product Market fit - under a very tight budget and a small team - to making those first few sales. I was actually taking part in the iGap program at Enterprise Ireland’s offices in Eastpoint when I saw my first sale come in on my phone.
Applying for the CSF
I had burned the ships. We had just given birth to our second baby, and in the same week we stopped all client work business and went at OnePageCRM full time - even though it was only bringing in $300/$400 per month!
From side project to main focus
It was the moment I made the leap. Winning the CSF enabled me to change OnePageCRM from being a side project to my main focus - it bridged the gap between an experimental product and what is now a sustainable business.
Tips on applying for the CSF
Be ultra focused on what you want to achieve. Knowing what you want to achieve should fit in one sentence, like “I’m going to build X for market Y, because it solves their problem Z”.
Practice your pitch with experienced business people, but also with some people that wouldn’t know what you do.
Interested in applying for the Competitive Start Fund? Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here.