What do you do when you leave the corporate world to start a business and it never gets off the ground? Well if you’re Scott Haughton you pick yourself up and try again.
On this episode of Xero Gravity Scott reveals exactly what went wrong during that first venture and how he used it to fuel his next business. He’s also sharing what it’s taught him and giving tactical tips for businesses looking to fund their own ideas. Today, he’s the co-founder and COO of Envestors, an international network for sophisticated investors. But of course, that’s not where his story begins.
So what prompted Scott to trade his corporate life for entrepreneurship? An inspiring speaker, a great idea, and some “entrepreneurial twinges” he couldn’t ignore. But the startup world was uncharted territory for Scott when he embarked on a solo mission to raise capital. His idea? A London based play facility that also catered to parents. Within 18 months he raised the funds needed, but at a loss of 70% of the company. Turns out, that was the easy part.
Scott needed to find a physical space for the play facility but underestimated how difficult that would be. “I needed to find premises that had the height to put in an indoor play facility for children. 18-foot ceilings, 8,000 square feet of space, and parking nearby. Suddenly I became a property expert,” he tells host Elizabeth Ü.
His efforts were substantial, but there were now two other people involved in the property decision. Ultimately, they couldn’t decide on a place in the time frame Scott and his investors agreed upon. He had to return all their money, and call it quits on the venture. Scott was frustrated but he didn’t lose his entrepreneurial drive. He knew that going back to a corporate job would have been “the easiest thing in the world.”
Then a friend approached him about a new project. “He floated the idea that we start a business where we can share our learnings of starting businesses and raising capital for other aspiring entrepreneurs.” Shortly after, they formed Envestors.
Scott had spent months successfully raising capital and jumping through hoops to start his business. “I learned more in those 18 months then I probably ever learned in my 16 years of corporate life,” he says. Scott wanted to help guide fellow entrepreneurs through those beginning stages of business.
Envestors started with a handful of investors – some of them the same ones that had invested in Scott’s play facility. Now they have a network of over 3,000.
Tune into Xero Gravity #92 to hear more from Scott Haughton. He’s sharing exactly what went into those 18 months trying to get the play facility to market and why some people fall into the ugly baby syndrome when looking for capital. Plus, we discuss why creating an exit plan is one of the best things you can do when talking in front of investors.
If you enjoyed this episode, check out one from last week on female empowerment in business. And join us again next week when we chat with Frances Valintine. Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!