The construction of Commu, the marketplace for helping people, has been progressing at a dizzying pace. Transparency is important to us, and so in this blog we’ll be revealing more about what we’ve been up to this year.
Invest in your team and marketing – Take advantage of start-up communities
We start our review in January 2021, when we began our determined work on Commu. We finished the Commu website and started building up the Commukupla, the insider email list. Ronnie started building the prototype. At the same time, we were looking for someone with marketing skills and our values to join our team, because we knew that it was in the marketing area that Sam and Ronnie had gaps and things to learn.
At the end of January, we got a boost through the Kiuas Inside platform when Karoliina Kauhanen joined us. Karoliina works at Advertising Agency Precis and is an iron-clad startup marketing expert and event producer. Through Karo, Commu’s social media presence and the team’s expertise in funding and partnerships got a boost. As a cheerful, open, innovative, ambitious and considerate person, Karo is a great fit for our team, we couldn’t have asked for a better team member! Overall, our team has a very good sense of working together and a vision for the future.
What to do in the early stages of a start-up and where to apply for funding?
After Karo joined our team, we focused on exploring different funding opportunities. The first step was to apply for Business Finland’s innovation voucher, which unfortunately we didn’t get. Only after applying did we find out that the conditions for the innovation voucher had recently been tightened and that one of the conditions is now that the company has at least one full-time employee. We do not yet have the required full-time employee in our team.
In addition to this, we applied to various business accelerators. We didn’t get into the Kiuas Start programme because we were said to be too similar to those who had previously participated. We felt we didn’t yet know how to say clearly enough that we were a marketplace for helping people, not a freelance platform. However, we are really grateful that the Kiuas team gave us feedback, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to sharpen our message!
We also applied to join the Red Brick Pre-Accelerator accelerator in Tampere, and according to the latest news we just received, we got in! The programme starts on 29.3 and this date happens to be the same as the start date of our alpha test group.
We also applied for ESF project funding under the title “Strengthening partial employability and reducing inequalities through a peer-to-peer platform”. Our angle was that the well-being, well-being and work capacity of people with partial disabilities can be improved by creating meaningful encounters in their lives. Unfortunately, the ESF project money could not be used to support the business of one company, so the decision was negative. However, during the process of preparing the project funding, we learned to better articulate our own offer and competences.
Why is pitching important? Ask your networks for help.
Ronnie has been working with a fierce attitude throughout February and March on the prototype. And now the Commu prototype is ready for release.
In March, we’ve been polishing our Pitch Deck, our company presentation, with Jarkko Nissinen. Jarkko works in the Startuplifters community and is a pitch professional! Our Pitch is starting to be in diamond presentation shape. During the process, among other things, we defined our basic problems in one sentence, discussed the importance of the team and defined our roadmap for one year, three years and five years. We also became part of the Prönön community, which we will tell you more about in April!
This week we have received an investment of €10 000 from an angel investor, which we are currently considering how to use to maximum effect. Our main goals for the future are to raise funding to fully scale up our operations, publish Beta and secure Tempo funding from Business Finland.
Try it now and improve – you will soon be able to test Commu!
We’re officially launching the Commu alpha group on 29.3*, and as supporters we’ve got Ruohonjuuri with its surprise bag, sports masseur Juuso Savolainen with his massage gift card, Padel Tampere with its gift card and a gift card from a sports club in Tampere (whose name we’re keeping secret for now). Our partners’ gift cards will be distributed to the prototype testers within the app. The prototype testing period is expected to last three weeks, after which we will develop the app in the direction you want. After that, we plan to do a beta release in the Tampere area and test the app with an even larger number of users. After a successful beta, we will officially launch the app.
Thank you to all of you who have been with us on our journey. We will soon be able to use Commu together and we can’t wait to meet up to help! If you would like to support us and the alpha group, please feel free to contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a nice week Sami, Karo and Ronnie
* = as far as the corona allows