Ep. 80 – Jeremy Liddle: “When we’re looking at a company we want to invest in, we like founders that have an authentic connection to the problem they are trying to solve and that understand the way their customers think.

Jeremy Liddle Show Notes

Jeremy Liddle: Entrepreneur for 16 years. Co-founder & Exec Director of CapitalPitch. President, G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Aus-tralia for 5 years. Represents Australia in youth employment and entre-preneurship at the United Nations. Published author on startups and TEDx speaker.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur since before I knew what the word meant. Af-ter 17 years of founding and growing businesses, I realized that entre-preneurs solve the world’s problems but a lack of access to capital inhib-its too many from changing the world.

I cofounded CapitalPitch to solve this problem. CapitalPitch is a Digital In-vestment Firm that accelerates founders for impact on the world by helping Pre-Series A tech companies and sophisticated, professional and institutional investors; providing a capital raising platform, Venture Capital investment funds and advisory services from Seed to IPO or acquisition.”

Most passionate about

  • What I’m most passionate about is helping founders with huge problems scale up solutions and solve them on a global scale in a way that will make the world a better place. The way that we do that here at CapitalPitch is by helping investors invest through our venture capital fund and we then help the founders by investing in them, advising them, supporting them, and giving them an ecosystem of support: us, our advisers, our investors, and a broader network.
  • It’s two sided, we started originally working with founders, advising and connecting them to investors using a proprietary platform that we built. So, we started as a platform, and then raised a fund a couple years ago; earlier this year, we started making our first investments. So, we’ve now done, as of this recording, three, soon to be four investments out of the funds, then looking to make a total of 20 out of fund one and then moving into fund two.

Jeremy’s best advice about approaching customers

  • When we’re looking at a company we want to invest in, one of the key factors is their ability to attract customers and generate revenue. We like founders that have an authentic connection to the problem they are trying to solve, that have deep industry knowledge, and understand the way their customers think. Companies and founders that think like that, and are that intimately knowledgeable about their customers tend to be the ones that come up with the right solution. Because they will know where their customers hang out, what they’re reading, the way they behave, what they’re eating, what they’re thinking; they’ll know everything about those customers and when you know everything about your customer, then it’s significantly easier to acquire them.
  • Going and speaking to as many customers as possible and systematically interviewing them to get that intimate knowledge is super important.

Biggest failure with a customer

  • When I went to Singapore and we were opening beverages’ retail stores, selling fruit juice, in a market where Chinese were the majority of the population. In Australia, the juice worked really well because we used to sell truckloads of orange juice for breakfast. In Chinese culture, fruit juice is not drunk before midday because it’s seen as heating. So, we didn’t realize when we went over there that we basically knocked out half of the market before we even opened the doors because the Chinese wouldn’t drink fruit juice before midday. So, had we done our market research better, we would have realized that. I’d say that was a huge mistake that made those stores really struggle.
  • Same thing applies when selling a technological product. You need to start with a market research. It’s got to solve a problem, it’s need to be something that keeps the customer awake at night, because if that problem isn’t solved then their life might not go on so, same goes with software. You don’t want to have a vitamin, where it’s nice to have; you want a cure for cancer, where it’s a must have, and people will pay whatever they need to pay to get that solution.

Biggest success due to the right customer approach

  • We gave away the frozen puree business, which was a pretty controversial decision because it was 100% of our sales at the time. And pivoted into powder, because the cost of distributing the frozen puree was super high, it was really low-margin, and arguably, we hadn’t found our market fit because the big chains, the juice bars weren’t stocking it. So, we put out a minimum viable product, a white jar of powder with a really crappy label, into a health food store, just to test the market. And it happened to be that the market timing was right, which is often the biggest determinate of success with companies. It was at a time when everyone was getting emailed about this weight loss berry, which wasn’t really a weight loss berry, but everyone was getting emailed abut the Acai berries and it flew off the shelf. We had huge margins and we were able to go national tour, a huge distribution network, much easier because it wasn’t perishable and had a long shelf life. So, that transformed the business. We also did market research before we launched that product, and we understood intimately that our target market were mothers who were working from home, that are quite wealthy, and are concerned about their weight and appearance. So, we marketed and designed the product very specifically to that target market and it worked. We had a huge success very quickly.

Jeremy’s most recommended tool

  • We use content. I host a podcast as well, we’ve produced a pitched deck platform that’s been downloaded almost 19,000 times. We do events and produce videos in order to find founders, and their investors, who are really focused on content and education and using that content to generate leads that we can then follow up on.
  • We put most of our content on HubSpot.

Jeremy’s key success factor

  • Being tenacious and having resilience I would say, or grit, as the great book with that name states. I think for me being an entrepreneur, being an investor, working in this space is really hard. I work harder than most people I know, and after every down, I get back up as quickly as possible and keep running.

Jeremy’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed.

  • Ever since I was little, I watched this cartoon named City of Gold about the Aztec, Incan, and Mayan civilizations; it was about this kid searching for temples. I’ve been obsessed ever since with Machu Picchu in Peru, and I recently got to go there! Finally, after 20+ years, I got to go a month ago. I’d heard stories that the mountains would be completely clouded over and sometimes you don’t get to see anything. In thinking about this question, it’s kinda similar to the entrepreneurial journey. I finally got there, it was cloudy and imperfect, and I was potentially going to be very disappointed. But there’s this old mountain that’s the most old Machu Pichu mountain, anyway, hundreds people up there each day and it’s 600 meters almost straight up, it’s super hard, it takes about an hour to hike up there. After I barely got a glimpse of the Machu Picchu temples, I hiked up this mountain and hiked it in 45 minutes, absolutely killed myself getting up there; you could see Machu Picchu peek through the clouds that looked like they were starting to clear, and then when I went back down, it was like the heavens opened, and it was just absolutely beautiful and couldn’t have been more perfect. Sometimes, the heavens just open with entrepreneurship, and after a lot of hard work, things align and it all becomes easier for a while and that’s exactly what happened to me on my mountain climbing journey.

The best way to connect with Jeremy:

More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: The three free, most practical steps to researching and locating your market
  3. Former interview: With Justin Wu has built his personal brand as an influencer in the growth marketing space, and based on these skills set for founding an entrepreneurial blockchain growth & media group

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