I had a very interesting day on May 2nd, 2016 being part of two very good lectures. The first one was a lunch lecture by one of the project managers of Cinnober at the kista campus of Stockholm University (If you haven’t already been there do check it out .. they have a pretty cool campus!) .The second lecture was on Crowd funding during the class.
Having had an interesting perspective on the finance industry and also on crowd funding, I thought some my learnings could be useful to everyone and hence this blog. (I hope others can contribute to something similar where they can post some of their learnings which could be useful to others)
Cinnober is a really interesting fintech(financial technology) company with headquarters here in Stockholm. Technology is something that is really influencing the finance industry and making it more efficient. They offer customized trading systems and financial software systems to several stock exchanges around the world. After a quick introduction to the Fintech industry, the presentation moved towards the work culture in the company and what it takes to be a good project manager? Being an aspiring project manager myself and some one with no full time work experience, I found these learnings very helpful :
- The company culture was really flexible and not as structured as in many firms in the United States. She was very proud of the fact that their employees don’t really have ‘Long titles on their business cards’
- I got a good idea of the role of a project manager as compared to a developer. As a developer, you are pretty much focused on one task or working on a single aspect of the project and you are only worried about getting the task done. However, the role of a project manager is a bit more critical in not just getting the things done but also understanding the customer perception of your product/project and then managing your developers to deliver the product that can match the customer expectations.
- ‘Understanding the customers’ and ‘meeting up to their expectations’ are the prime focus for any project manager and I could finally relate this to a lot of lectures taught by Serdar on this topic
Lastly, Cinnober also has openings for master thesis/internships, so interested people do get in touch!
The second lecture today was on crowd funding by Michael Gromek. Being one of the few researchers currently in this field, i was able to get an in-depth view into the world of crowd funding. Some of the key learnings for me were :
- How not to pitch on crowd funding websites?(Choosing the right content, context for the pitch video)
- Lack of government regulations in crowd funding websites? (Especially with regards to who is responsible if a campaign fails or if the funding is misused)
- The various kinds of investors in different kinds of crowd funding(Reward based, Equity based, Loan based etc)
- Choosing the right crowd funding platform/website with the best fit to the product
- A lot of focus in today’s startups is on their products and not so much on their teams (You should also mention about the skills that your team possess/ the achievements that they previously have and why you team is the best fit to release this product/service)
- Evaluating you firm properly especially when mentioning your value to VC’s?(Being precise always helps.. ‘We value our firm at $76,000’ as compared to ‘We value it as a million dollar firm’)
- The startup financial cycle : when a startup moves on from reward based crowd funding to equity based crowd funding to finally loan based crowd funding?(Rewward based crowd funding is great way to evaluate product/service and see if people are actually interested in it! )
- How to avoid the ‘but’ aspect especially when talking to VC’s? (Ex: I had a great startup idea ‘but’ I could not push through because of my studies :: You can re-phrase it to ‘I have a great startup idea and if you can give me a thousand dollars then I can finish my studies this year and work full time on the product’)
All in all a great day of learning and also a lot of fun!