The world’s safest and lightest bicycle helmet inspired by nature
SevenTwenty (deployed under the company Airhelmet) was founded in 2012 in Italy with the aim to research and develop a novel and innovative bicycle helmet (and in the future also skiing helmet) with a new internal absorption core made of a honeycomb structure in elastomers which outperforms the traditional polystyrene core. In the first product certification tests the core outperformed on average the competitors’ cores by 50%.
With this innovation in hand SevenTwenty wanted to develop a business and raise a first round of funding to develop the first series of the helmets and produce the needed tests to get commercialization approvals.
In late 2012 Fast Forward Advisors was appointed to help SevenTwenty in developing a seed fundraising strategy based on the innovation and validations that SevenTwenty had so far.
“ Without Fast Forward Advisors we would’ve not been able to find the project partners and raise the seed funding. We would certainly not be here today “Patrick Pedevilla | Co-Founder & CEO | Seventwenty by Airhelmet
PROBLEMS & CHALLENGES
The main problems of SevenTwenty when we started our collaboration were the following:
- Business Planning for 0-Series: SevenTwenty had a very strong commercial and technical team behind the innovation, but struggling in defining some elements of their business and investment case. As first time entrepreneurs knowing exactly which steps to undertake, in order to kick-off a project in the best way possible, is not trivial.
- Seed round fundraising: Since SevenTwenty never raised external funding in the past, they didn’t have both network or know-how on the process.
ACTIONS & SOLUTIONS
- Business Planning for 0-Series: We worked with the founding team of SevenTwenty to go through all the important elements of the 0-Series project, from a provable marketing/sales plan, through finding first project and distribution partners, to financial projections and a first funding plan. All the elements in the Business Plan, including required assets, investment needs and first validations were all included, in order to have a rock-solid business and investment case.
- Seed fundraising: Since we did the work with them on the business and financial planning we skipped the Phase 1 “investor-readiness check-up” of our standard Startup International Fundraising package and jumped right into the Phase 2 “fundraising operations”.
In Phase 2 we:
a) created a long-list of potentially fitting investors by crawling through our internal databases (with past transactions), investors via 2nd rank introductions and our own specific research
b) reached out and short-listed interested investors (and managed feedback loops and arrangement of 1-1 meetings)
c) supported in deal closing and negotiations
IMPACT & OUTCOME
- BMC and Business Plan: We produced a full blown business plan and a Business Model Canvas that could enable the company to first show and prove their business and investment case and enable them to raise money based on the expected and validated growth plan.
- 6-figure seed funding: After contacting 50+ highly targeted investors active in the alpine and summer sport industries throughout Europe, we short-listed 2-3 investors and then finally closed with a Northern Italian (Alpine) Seed fund, which invested a 6-figure round.