CornerDrop is an innovative new click and collect service that allows your packages to be delivered to any CornerDrop location, and collected by you at your leisure! At the beginning of the year, they managed to raise £75K in just 2 days of crowdfunding and have recently appeared on a new startup pitching show called Money Pit on Dave.
We have a chat with CEO Andrew Lasota about what it's like to take part in a show like this, and how the experience is likely to impact their business.
Hi, Andrew! So first off, you have recently brought CornerDrop to the TV programme Money Pit. For anyone who is unfamiliar can you tell us what the show is all about?
It is essentially Dragons Den, but with a crowdfunding twist and a ‘pit’ full of 50 ‘smaller’ investors. They club together to raise enough money to get the businesses to their target.
Getting your startup in front of a substantial national audience is a dream scenario for most entrepreneurs! How did the team manage to achieve this and can you give any advice to someone who is hoping to reach a comparable audience?
Thanks, but as with most things, luck played its part. We are quite active on social media and so the opportunity came through a Facebook post in a start-up forum. We secured an interview and thankfully they let us through.
The best advice I have would be to look at every opportunity and go with it, even those with the smallest chance of success, just go with them. You never know. You can afford to be selective later.
As fantastic as the opportunity is, many entrepreneurs would be put off by some of the horror stories which come out of shows like BBC’s Dragons Den. Did you have any such concerns yourself about ‘putting your startup out there’ and if so how did you manage to overcome them?
We did to some extent. It was a new format, and still very much in flux when we got invited to the pilot episode. However, it’s a great experience and really there was no down side as far as we could see. At worst, we would have got some coverage, at best, some funding as well. As long as we remained professional, knew our stuff and managed the nerves, what really could fail?
What have you learned from the experience?
To really get your pitch down, know your subject inside out, don’t be too nervous and above all, just throw yourself in there. It was a great experience, even having makeup applied!
What has been the biggest benefit to come out of being involved?
For us, it was all about fundraising and awareness. We have national coverage of CornerDrop and we're seeing some great brand awareness as a result. The funding was a bonus and we really appreciated it. Also running a concurrent Seedrs campaign during the show has helped enormously.
How do you guys plan to build on the momentum that being involved in the show has built?
We will stretch and take advantage of every single lead we get through. As we are supporting, generally, smaller businesses, we want to make sure we get a real foot hold with these guys. Its all about trust, and having seen us on TV, we hope that will give us more of that.
Can you give us an idea how you hope that the business will continue to grow and develop over the course of 2016?
We have some very ambitious plans for 2016. We have a rapidly expanding network and this time next year we estimate there'll be 3,500 CornerDrops. This will really put us in the game, so to speak. But more importantly now, as we have our first Magento Extension, we need to start getting online retailers on board to start sending parcels out to these locations. We will launch more plug-ins for popular platforms, start a returns service and hopefully have a few more large contracts in place. Its going to be very exciting!
Is there anything that you need at the moment that members of the Startacus community might be able to help you with?
Yes, definitely! If anyone wants to get access to the CornerDrop network for parcel Click and Collect and know of any online retailers, we would love to have a conversation about integrating. We would love to talk to e-commerce agents who build shops and any other leads that could generate deliveries. Thank you.
Thanks for the chat Andrew, and we look forward to hearing more about CornerDrop soon!
Update* Following the excitement of the show, CornerDrop have just launched a Seedrs corwdfunding campaign! You can check it out here.
If like Andrew, you have got a fantatsic Startup then you should add it to our Showcasing space where you can lean, share, and connect with other entrepreneurs, startups, mentors, and investors!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.