BetaGroup fellow Davy Kestens shares his journey to the USA: from TwitSpark startup idea to raising $1 million in just 9 months
Davy Kestens has landed today from San Francisco and came to the Betagroup Coworking Brussels, where he?s still a member, to get some work done. This was a great opportunity to talk with him about the amazing entrepreneurial experience he?s going through: from idea to raising over one million dollars and moving to the USA in just 9 months. It was also a great opportunity to interview him about it and sharing it with all of you.
From idea to Silicon Valley
TwitSpark?is a tool to deliver and manage customer support over Twitter for large enterprises. From the beginning it has experienced a lot of traction and interest, getting calls from investors from across the Atlantic in just two weeks. Davy took advantage of the network of the Betacowork to find some mentors and also to get his business plan done over a weekend.
One of the mentors we connected Davy with was?Sebastien de Halleux, one of our members who is an investor and entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley. Sebastien believes in entrepreneurs, in helping them, and in developing the Belgian ecosystem of startups. And he?s looking to invest in new startups. They immediately decided to move forward and Sebastien became Davy?s lead investor.
That?s when the late call to?Xavier Corman?came to do the business plan over a weekend. And it worked!
If you think about it, the pace is quite impresive: idea to product in 3 months, then to raise one million dollars and moving to the USA in just 6 more months. It may have a lot to do with Davy?s?JFDI?school of business.
The importance of the network
One of the things that have helped Davy is the network of like minded and different minded people with whom he?s been discussing his idea from the very beginning, some of them in?our coworking space, others in events like the ones organized by?westartup... anywhere he could get valuable insight and help.
What has changed- now that he?s moved to the USA and that he?s gotten the investment- is the people that actively search to contact him. Top entrepreneurs from succesful startups and investment funds want to meet him and are offering his support. One of the things that has surprised Davy about this network is how open they are and how easy can become once you reach a certain level. Qualified introductions and connections payback, so recommend, don?t only expect to be connected.
Next Steps for TwitSpark
A lot of energy and focus has been spent in raising money, now it is time to focus again in the product and to increase value for the customers. Working with a new partner, and to start hiring to build the sales and the engineering teams.
Looking forward to more news and an updated version!