Since the beginning of this year, I spoke to number of EIPP/e-invoicing StartUps in various stages of development. Most of them were in very early stages and had the wisdom to meet me before putting their plans into action. One of them has withdrawn their ambitions following the meet up. In this case, the individual was very optimistic, but clearly lacked a plan. The initiative was driven by a sales person, who saw a clear opportunity in the market place, but lacked the gravitas to pull-together the startup team, even though he has confidence of bringing large customers to the table as well as initial seedcorn funding.
In another case, the team is already involved in an associated product offering and has identified exceptional talent in few new recruits, whose talent could be diverted to produce an EIPP product. Some of this team knows my background and the pain I went through in gettting ebdex Document Exchange to the market. Like everyone else I meet, they also believe exchanging data between accounts and ERP systems is easy. Whilst my experience differs from this level of optimism, I always wish that someone will prove me wrong not in too distant future. But they did the right thing by approaching me for guidance (just like lawyers the initial meeting is free, in this case two meetings).
I also had the pleasure to meet an individual who thought they could also crack the EIPP conundrum. But their thought process was limited to one side of the equation, but they clearly had ideas which could make a difference. More than anything they identified their lack of business experience but exceptional knowledge of accounts and ERP systems. These individuals are about bringing an innovative product to market (they are technologists), and the team I mentioned second is about doing the same, but doing it right (they are business people). I found this difference extremely refreshing. Having run Northern StartUp events for the last 24 months or so, I am beginning to understand motivators and strengths behind startups.
In another case, a startup I have discussed in this blog before has admitted failure. This is a sad day for the industry, but I must admit, I did not think they will pull through due to history, wrong business model, etc. The founder has asked me to not blog about the subject but has given me a detail information about the business.
Above clearly shows that there are plenty of people out there willing to take a risk at entering this market. Most do not know the level of laws and regulations they need to adhere to, the complexities of reading and writing from accounts and ERP systems, the diverse personal agendas of human beings that we call customers, the lengthy supplier or customer enrollment processes, etc. The opportunity is as significant as ever. It can be done, but you should seek out much help as possible before embarking on setting up an EIPP startup.
On this regard, please do engage with me as I can show how to avoid early mistakes, as well as help you find talent to complete your team.