The essential questions you must ask when starting a business – advice from GateMe innovator, Andre Nakkurt

Imperial College Business School graduate Andre Nakkurt and his primary school classmates have been working on GateMe for the past 18 months. The idea for GateMe began before Andre started his Master’s at the Business School, and it has grown steadily since he finished his course. Recently the team won the prestigious Seedcamp London and they’re very excited to join the Seedcamp family.

“GateMe is an innovative loyalty platform designed for nightlife industry professionals – club managers, event organisers, and promoters. We help them attract and retain more clubbers. We do this using state of the art software which we’ve made incredibly easy to use.”

Andre’s time at Imperial College Business School on the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management programme. greatly assisted the venture, as the group were able to use issues they were facing with GateMe at the time as practical challenges in the course work. The student team produced valuable research and actionable advice, and the findings were recently implemented by GateMe.

Given this success, we asked Andre his advice on the essential questions to ask before leaping into any venture, these were his top tips:

After identifying the major pain for a group of customers, look at the team first and foremost. Recognise which know-how is required to develop a minimum viable product and solve this major pain.

Our core team has eight members in total. We have a strong development group, which is spearheaded by an experienced Chief Technology Officer. The business development side benefits from experience in PwC and recently we brought a designer on board which completed the team. This means, that we can develop a quality product quickly and don’t need to rely on outsourcing.

Plan ahead and identify the go to market strategy. The team must understand how to get the product to the right customers once the Minimum Viable Product is tested and validated.

It’s important to get out there and speak to the prospective customers and any other people, who have experience in the relevant industry. This should happen from day one. Their feedback helps to identify whether the team is targeting the customer’s main problem. If not, the venture group must be flexible enough to recognise this and adjust accordingly.

Analyse whether the market is big enough to attract investors and return their targeted profits.

Institutional investors generally seek a return of 7 to 10 times their investment; angels slightly less. The venture should be attractive enough to attract seed investment and this needs to be considered from the start.

He also advises that these questions omit discussion of the idea itself, “because the idea may change throughout the venture”.

GateMe have ambitious plans over the next five years and their aim is to “produce the best software for the nightlife industry. We strive to be the go-to brand for nightclubs and clubbers alike”.