What newly established startups that don’t need any funding? Whatever the valuation of a company is, funding is like a tank of oxygen in a closed, unventilated space. The more people in that space, the faster the oxygen will deplete. A startup is just like that.
Garchi, established in 2019, is started by two graduates of Lancaster University. It is developed with the support of the university’s Enterprise Team Work In Progress (WIP). Programmes like Disciplined Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme, Pitch Night and various workshops are some of the supports Garchi has participated in.
After failing once when pitching in the Santander Universities funded Pitch Night, Garchi was finally granted a £1,000 equity free funding in their second attempt to pitch. According to Maharani Hariga, CIO of Garchi, failing to pitch the first time was a learning experience to pivot and solidify the business plan. “Feedbacks from the judging panel were highly considered when refining the pitch.” Due to COVID19 restrictions, the second pitch was done online as a 15-minute recording submission.
The grants received from Lancaster University Enterprise Fund are useful in sustaining Garchi’s survival during 2020. With forecasts rendered useless due to lockdowns and restrictions, these grants are well-timed life support for the continuity of the business. “Thanks to the grants, my co-founder (Aditya) and I have some room to breathe.
We used them to pay off Garchi’s year-end accountancy fee and digital marketing fee, as these are the most immediate needs of the company,” says Maharani. “Of course, we were using this down time to rethink the business model. Because of that, we pivoted Garchi’s offering into 100% digital.”
A newly established startup, especially those started by students and graduates, often has the advantage of youth and ideas. As it takes some time for the business to gain traction, funding is that oxygen tank for the startup until it can breathe on its own.