Last September BacktoWork24 took part in the House of Genius evening, an international format Fintech District has brought to Italy. It was an opportunity to listen to tips from people with very different sectoral backgrounds and also reflect on the next step as explained by Edoardo Reggiani, Head of Business Development
Why did you decide to participate in House of Genius? What made you curious about it?
Working every day on the growth of a young innovative company is certainly an exciting experience but you often risk being too busy with deadlines and various short-term tasks to be able to find a moment to analyze the problems through an external eye.
It immediately sounded like an excellent opportunity to be able to deal with “Genius”, with very different backgrounds and expertise with the aim of focusing on a specific problem within an already established format. Moreover, I thought it was an interesting and winning idea to get rid of job titles and the industry to which they belong. It was almost like doing a survey among anonymous users but in a super-efficient way in terms of timing and output.
Are there any tips that have been particularly helpful to you?
Without doubt, explaining a specific business problem in a limited time to people with very different sector backgrounds is in itself a very useful training, which can help you to better understand the leverage to use for “telling” the company outside.
It was very interesting and encouraging to see that we’re actually implementing many of the solutions proposed by the Genius. This is further confirmation of the fact that we have focused our improvement strategies well within the company! But not only: I was impressed by the understanding that user engagement solutions, which I already knew could be applied to other web-based services and that many “Genius” operating in other industries know well, are absolutely applicable to our industry and could bring significant improvements.
Since a major bank like Banca Intesa invested in you, what has changed and how did you grow?
Undoubtedly the round which closed in June strengthened our position in the market in an immediate and significant manner. The fact the first bank in Italy chose our platform to enter the crowdfunding market is undoubtedly an element of strong confidence for investors, both professional and retail, and for companies.
In addition to this, we have already opened several working groups with people belonging to the Intesa Sanpaolo ecosystem. This will allow us, in the coming months, to launch new solutions on the market, dedicated both to companies looking for capital and investors interested in including in their portfolio alternative investments.
What kind of crowdfunding projects do you think are most appreciated by the “real crowd” today?
An investor who chooses to use a crowdfunding platform to invest in a specific asset class – the risk capital of small businesses – does so with very different motivations and objectives, whether the investment target is a startup, a consolidated SME or a real estate project. What we are observing is that investors, both professional and retail, thanks to the investments’ offer on our platform, are increasingly diversifying their investments from a portfolio perspective.
This is an encouraging sign because it shows the market is maturing. In order to meet this need, we believe that a wide and diversified range of investments is needed, depending on the sector and stage of development of the companies. That is what investors expect. Any project that is well structured, with a complete and prepared team of proposers that makes it clear what can be the opportunities for return on investment, can certainly find the support of investors.
What will you do in the coming months?
In the next six months, we will definitely start to ground all the work set up with our new partner Intesa Sanpaolo and I can guarantee we will see some extraordinary outcomes! Stay tuned!
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