If you have a love of shoes, interest in the start-up scene, or read the finance news lately, you should have heard of Shoes of Prey – Australia’s most recent success story: an online customised shoe business that raised $15.5 million in a round that was backed by Nordstorm.
On the first night of elevate61’s US tour, Jodie Fox, CEO & founder of Shoes of Prey, came to speak to the group at El Cholo in Santa Monica. She shared a range of thoughts and observations on moving to the US and being based in LA having moved in August 2015. Two key questions the US tour aims to help the elevate61 cohort with are – should I move and what does it take to raise capital in the US?
In terms of pitching in to the US, Jodi’s advice was; know your metrics, be prepared to have both high and low capital requests in your back pocket and be prepared to pitch anywhere – the kitchen, the beach, the pool, the supermarket. Expect every pitch to be different, so a pre-prepared spiel won’t work for everyone.
Jodie’s top five tips for the elevate61 crew were:
- Don’t let expertise get in the way of making a deal
- Choose a market for the correct reasons – access to customers, resources and capital
- Are you willing to and able to turn up – the life style is high pressure and can mean living out of a suitcase
- Be aware of the human cost – 22 Shoes of Prey Australian staff came to the US and this meant new contracts, relationships and social networks had to be built
- Know your blue sky? Investors want to hear the big story and how you will take over the world.
Her final advice was there is no room for being humble. Be true to yourself, but don’t be arrogant either. Share your successes, compare and celebrate.
Remember you are constantly selling yourself and your business, so be prepared and be alert to every opportunity.
At the end of the day, Jodie’s advice was tested at a reception at the Australian Consul General for Los Angeles’ private residence. Each participant gave an unexpected and impromptu 30 second pitch to the crowd.
More on the first day of elevate61 here or follow the conversation on Twitter at #elevate61
James tweets @themabbo