Category

The Startup Journey

Polar Bear Pitching – CityFALCON Dream from an Ice Hole…Why, How, What’s Next?

The Polar Bear Pitch, held in Oulu, Finland in the dark cold days of mid-February, is an annual event for startups pitching their ideas for the chance to win the 10,000 euro prize and, more importantly, get coverage and interest… Continue Reading →

How to Raise Money for a Start-Up in Risk-Averse UK; fcuk innovation, problem, solution

If you’re sitting somewhere outside of the start-up ecosystem, the media can make you believe that there is tons of liquidity floating around the UK that’s waiting dormant to be utilised by green-eyed entrepreneurs. But the unfortunate reality is that… Continue Reading →

10 Life Changes That Will Get You Ready for Entrepreneurship

As a first time entrepreneur (and a single founder at that!) who has been building a product company for the last 3 years, I’m the first to admit that I’ve made tons of mistakes. If I were to do everything… Continue Reading →

Why Single Founder Discrimination is More Severe Than Gender or Racial Discrimination in the Start-Up World?

Imagine someone going to a woman and saying – “You will fail because you’re a woman…how many women do you see in the boards of big companies?… clearly the stats prove that you’ll fail if you’re a woman”.  If you… Continue Reading →

7 Steps in 2 Years to ‘Smash’ £150K Equity Crowdfunding Target on Seedrs – the Process – the Great, Good, Bad and Ugly

Sticky post

Disclosure: I’m an investor in Seedrs, and CityFALCON has business relationships with Seedrs. If you depend on the media you may not realise this but fundraising at an early stage remains a real challenge in the UK unless you have… Continue Reading →

Octopus Labs Accelerator – Week 2 – Game ON

As expected, in the first week we were settling down, and the real action started in the last week, week 2 of the program.  Also on the business front, we had a very positive week at CityFALCON (touch wood!). We… Continue Reading →

Octopus Labs Accelerator – Week 1 – The Pilot

Why join an accelerator program again? Whether accelerators are helpful or a waste of time depends on several factors, and we, at CityFALCON, have declined a few of these that have approached us in the past.  Apart from whether they… Continue Reading →

CityFALCON Financial News API for £20 Donation to ActionAid

The story goes that Nathan Mayer Rothschild, once reputed to be the wealthiest man of his generation, made a fortune because he was the first to learn of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Informed by his couriers, the… Continue Reading →

Why We Are Valuing CityFALCON’s Crowdfunding Round at £4m?

As a value investor, I look to buy assets quoted below their ‘intrinsic’ value.  If you’re in London, come down to the London Value Investing Club, where we have over 800 active members and hold 2-3 events each month. At… Continue Reading →

Four Things That We Failed At Within Our First Two Years Of Start-up Operations

One of the key differences between Silicon Valley and the rest of the entrepreneurial world, is that the rest of the world does not celebrate failure as much as it should. Here in UK, “success” is the primary focus, and… Continue Reading →

Our Commitment to Investors in Our Crowdfunding Round

We recognize and appreciate the contributions of all our investors, and the inherent risk they take by investing in a new venture…

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Why You Should NOT Invest In Our Upcoming Equity Crowdfunding Round

Our goal is to make our fundraising campaign one of the most transparent crowdfunding campaigns ever…

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4 Reasons Start-ups Get Acquired – It Goes Beyond Revenue and User Traction

Acquiring start-ups is risky business. No matter how good an idea sounds, or how simple a solution a start-up offers, the acquisition may never pay off…

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Why Most Start-ups Worth Investing Are Worth At Least £1m Using ONE Fundamental Financial Concept

An idea is worthless until someone is willing to invest in it. When someone puts money…

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Life Of A “Highly Skilled” Immigrant In The UK  – The Unheard Side Of The Story

Let me start with saying that I don’t mince words and I was never taught diplomacy…

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5 Unique Challenges Startups in the UK Face, and How to Work Around Them

If you’re looking for quick and simple solutions to the many challenges entrepreneurs face…

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Why we entrepreneurs are responsible for the risk aversion of investors in the UK and Europe

I wear two hats: a fintech entrepreneur and an angel investor…

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Reality vs Hype in UK Fintech Startups

“There are three categories where you will get funding very easily”: “if you are a Rockstar product manager or serial entrepreneur” “If you have worked in the City for a long time and can…

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15 Things I Learned as a First Time Entrepreneur in the UK

In 2014, I launched CityFALCON from my bedroom, raised £200K in seed funding, hired a few people, and started to build a scalable product…

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Petition to UK Parliament – Improve entrepreneurial schemes and their implementation

Please sign the petition here if you agree with the points highlighted below. This petition is based on my experience as an entrepreneur for last 2 years running CityFALCON and also based on discussions with other entrepreneurs. We hope that…

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How A $25 Investment Converted Our Developers Into Marketers

In a start-up with limited resources, detailed specs for your developers are a luxury. At the same time, without proper specs, developers may not build what’s actually useful for our customers. To solve this problem, we decided to try something out,… Continue Reading →

Reflections On The Startup And FinTech Ecosystems In Ontario From CityFALCON

We can’t overstate how proud we are that CityFALCON won the Next Big Idea in FinTech competition. For the honour, we got to travel to Ontario to get acquainted with the FinTech ecosystem there and learn more about startup culture… Continue Reading →

Why I would think twice before building a PRODUCT startup again in the UK

Unfortunately many people in the start-up space do not understand the difference between PRODUCT and SERVICE start-ups. User/revenue traction, i.e. “how many users do you have or how much revenue…

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UK unicorns – how much did they raise in their seed rounds?

For service businesses where you can target customers from month 1 and even start making revenue, funding can be less important. But for ‘product’ businesses where-in you have to build for 2, 3, 6 months before you can start making… Continue Reading →

Twitter Hatch – Preparation, Script, Story of two minutes pitch

12 August 2015 – the date I and my team can never forget.  In the midst of the painful fundraising process, we realised that we had an opportunity to differentiate, get validation for what we are doing and strengthen relationship… Continue Reading →

UK funding gap is killing start-ups and also creating a bubble

If you as an entrepreneur are running a service business or you belong to any of the categories mentioned in “Abundance of start-up funding in the UK but not necessarily for YOU”, you probably have not faced any serious issues with… Continue Reading →

Abundance of start-up funding in the UK but not necessarily for YOU

Before I ventured out to launch my start-up, every morning when reading about start-ups raising 1, 2 or 10 million pounds, I was positive that there was abundance of liquidity in the market. Further, with equity, bonds, property markets at… Continue Reading →

Lessons from outsourcing software development and hiring 20+ people remotely

At CityFALCON, we believe in hiring the best people irrespective of their location. Over the last 18 months, we have used eLance to work with several freelancers including developers, designers, business analysts and copywriters. We currently have people in Ukraine,… Continue Reading →

Who starts a startup investment pitch with a dance!? you must be crazy!

We entrepreneurs are risk takers. We leave the comfort of our corporate jobs and take a leap of faith to start our own businesses. But some aspects of running a start-up have not changed, and at times, investors, service providers… Continue Reading →

An entrepreneur’s wishlist for HMRC

HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) and the UK government have provided much better incentives for start-ups than in most other countries – SEIS, EIS, R&D Credit, Entrepreneur’s relief, etc. We at CityFALCON have taken advantage of most of these benefits, and… Continue Reading →

Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Worth Every Penny…Oh Wait, It’s Free!

One of our advisors at CityFALCON called me and asked me why I’m not looking to join Microsoft Ventures accelerator. I didn’t know much about the program, but my first reaction was that it may be a distraction. I was… Continue Reading →

The Mystery of UK Start-up Valuation

I had highlighted the benefits of starting a business in the UK in an earlier article – 11 UK start-up benefits that may make you wonder why you are still in a corporate job. A couple of the aspects of… Continue Reading →

How learning to code helped on my entrepreneurial journey

Learning to code, as I did in three months before setting up CityFALCON, can be an extremely daunting prospect. But I fully believe that the effort that I have put into it has been entirely worthwhile, and that there have… Continue Reading →

An appeal to all investors – Focus on the value of your shareholding instead of your % stake in a start-up

While raising funds, I was asked these questions countless times: 1) Will you raise more money and dilute my stake in the company? 2) You said you wanted to raise £150k and now have raised £200k. You have already diluted… Continue Reading →

11 UK start-up benefits that may make you wonder why you are still in a corporate job

Governments around the world have realised that start-ups are critical to socio-economic progress. The UK Government is no exception to this rule. Thus, there are a wealth of start-up benefits provided by UK Government and other organisations which will collectively… Continue Reading →

Definition of “success” for me, an entrepreneur

“It’s impossible to fail when your goal is to try and make an effort to improve the World“ – Eric McAfee The concept of success can be extremely diverse. Some entrepreneurs end up as billionaires, while others are just happy… Continue Reading →

How we stayed lean, and will save £350K just in the first year

One of the first lessons that we learned at CityFALCON was that it is essential to stay as lean as possible during the fundraising stage. This enables you to keep fundraising to a bare minimum, and ensure that you will… Continue Reading →

Unexpected questions from potential investors and my responses during our seed round

During CityFALCON’s first year of trading, we were fortunate enough to secure £200K worth of funding from a series of high profile angel investors. Every one of these people have our undying gratitude, as without them, we could not have… Continue Reading →

Can one learn to code in only 3 months? The answer is in the objective

Coding may seem like a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. Most people would doubtless think it is impossible to learn to code competently in only three months. While I can understand this conclusion, I know for a fact that it… Continue Reading →

Why we would love to but may NOT hire many full-time people in the UK

Let me be clear – the purpose of this post is not to criticise anyone but to be honest and transparent, and to give some food for thought to stakeholders. I’m lucky to have some great people that work with… Continue Reading →

Why did we launch Finance for Founders?

Founding a start-up is a big undertaking, and one that also necessitates a lot of risk. Unfortunately, in the competitive world in which we live, and particularly in the sometimes perilous economic state of the world at the moment, many… Continue Reading →

1 Year of CityFALCON – Our Journey So Far

“Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.” – Mark Cuban What we managed to achieve It has been a year since we first launched CityFALCON, and it would be fair… Continue Reading →

From convenience to impact, from security to adventure…

“Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven’t done” ― Chad Michael Murray Every time, my ‘dream job’ had turned into just another job 1 to 2 years in; every year, my definition… Continue Reading →

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