Our dream date.

Our perfect match? Pretty simple: Consumer focused business (sorry, the rest we do not understand), Ambitious (no guts no glory), Proof of concept (we look for entrepreneurs not academics ); distinctiveness – your niche focus, product or message makes you unique (no me-too’s with 20 companies doing the exact same thing) and scalability (we want to go on a journey together, not stay where we are)  

Distinctive brand.

Your business and concept has to be somehow unique. If you have plenty and sort of lookalike competitors, it will be tough. To raise the bar and to be clear: If we say unique we are not looking at our backyard. Leveraging key global trends is always a plus. Think for example cycling or commuting; meaning & personal growth; sports & E-games; planet friendly lifestyles; focusing on forgotten niches etc.

Consumer traction.

We are looking for businesses, not (just) ideas. A great idea is where it all starts, perseverance and testing brings you to the next phase, gaining consumer traction. That’s the minimum hurdle you would need to meet. We do not do prototype or idea phases. We need some sort of proof of concept that is available. In defining consumer buzz we are flexible though. That can be a mix of sales, press attention or high (but genuine) digital followership. We invested in HNST when it had to start commercialization, but it did win the Vandevelde awards and was featured in Forbes and on BBC as a global leader in sustainability, that helps. To be clear, we do bigger businesses as well, that have scaled already in some way, but consumer traction is somewhat of a minimum hurdle.

Scalable.

You need to be able to scale your business.  For consumer goods or services that basically comes back to the point of being distinctive. We are not very interested if you offer a product with a purely local appeal.  As much as we believe in authenticity, somehow the trick is to be able to touch an authentic vibe globally.  For businesses with a strong offline component (for example restaurant businesses), with more physical constraints, scalability means that at a minimum you need to be able to take it nationally.  

Ambition.

This one seems obvious but strangely enough our experience has shown that it is not. You have to be ambitious. You need to want to be the king of the world in your segment. To make it more tangible, suppose have 200k turnover today and your ambition is anywhere below 1.5 EUR M revenue in 24 months, you are not ambitious to our definition. We believe in today’s world great ideas do not hang around very long by themselves. If you do not execute fast, somebody else will grab the cookies. We invest in entrepreneurs that we feel are ahead of the game. It’s ok if that is being ahead at the very start of the race, but we do want them to have the ambition to stay ahead.

B2C business.

This one is simple. We do not touch stuff we do not know, and we do not want to create an ecosystem for you where your peers are working in sectors not even remotely touching where you are at. This being said, we are broad enough in B2C: you could be offering a consumer product , a consumer service, be a brand or a retailer. That is all fine. As long as one of the key skills your business needs to be successful is building a product or a story that real people need to want… we ‘re fine.

Are you the one?

Do you have what it takes to join the Freshmen family? Don’t hesitate and fill in our form so we can contact you to grab a coffee!

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