How To Measure a NI Startup?
It’s been a question on my mind for a good five years, to the point that in 2015 I bought a domain called nitechrank to collate all the data from various sources and see if it could be resold. No sooner as I started I saw that Mattermark was gaining momentum and I did the sensible thing and stopped.
The question though still remains in my mind, is there a good metric to tell me how a Northern Ireland startup is doing. One way is to ask the CEO of the company and hands down, 100% they will talk utter rubbish and say, “yeah it’s great, we’re just about to…..“. Let me make this simple, the phrase “just about to” means, “we haven’t”.
As there aren’t many publicly listed companies from Northern Ireland. Off the top of my head I can only think of two: Kainos and First Derivatives. Andor now belong to Oxford Instruments and UTV are now nested within ITV with the reaction from the action being that Julian has been removed from our screens. With listed companies there is a metric of performance and shareholder value. With a small startup there’s non of that just basic here say, hype and questionable cash flow projects.
So I’ve been thinking more and more about one metric that can tell me how a early stage Northern Ireland startup is doing. And I think it all points back to Mattermark.
All Hail The Growth Score
The Mattermark Growth score is the baseline on how a startup is looking to the outside world. It’s calculated on a number of sources but the main ones to think about are social sources like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as the more entrepreneurial sources like Crunchbase and Angel.co.
With this information fed in, ran through a nice model and distilled to a number of key scores (Growth, Mindshare and Momentum) we have a good idea how a company is doing from an outsider’s perspective. Interaction with the brand will increase the mindshare in your Mattermark score for example.
There’s Nothing Like Exposure To Public Ridicule To Galvanise The Attention*….
If you are Northern Ireland CEO/Founder and you’re not looking at your Mattermark score then I suggest you get your skates on and watch it religiously.
While it’s all very nice with the “Our wee country” schizz, no one outside of Northern Ireland really gives much of a hoot about what you are saying but they will be keeping an eye on Mattermark, Crunchbase and other sources to see how things are performing.
In all fairness while it’s good to be on the Propel Programme and accelerators like StartPlanet NI, that the first foot up from the ground to the first rung on the ladder. That’s about getting you ready to be let out in the world and those two glorious words “investor ready”. Historically I’ve not see much gain on the hype cycle once a company has completed these types of things, just a few quid in the bank to last another quarter. And you know what, fair enough.
Back to the point, what I am saying is that your Mattermark Growth Score is your stock exchange price that others will look at, judge you on and figure if you’re worth looking at.
If we look at GetInvited’s Mattermark score it’s doing okay. A growth score of 48, okay there was a dip during the year but it’s on the up again.
Now, I and others know that GI raised money. And it’s something to shout about so get it on Crunchbase! Would that raise the growth score, possibly. Would it show other potential investors that there was enough faith in the team to put money in it, definitely. Showing incremental growth on these platforms sends out a strong message that things are happening within the company.
Basically every NI company needs to figure out a way of getting positive PR, up to date information on Crunchbase and some good hype on the likes of Angel.co to start getting those scores up. Once that happens then perhaps startups from “our wee country” will get in front of the noses that matter.
Non of this is secret, it’s just common sense.
In the next part I’ll start exploring the growth score numbers and seeing what we can learn and apply from them.