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- 12 May 2021 | 19:00
- 10 November 2020 | 20:00
- 15 September 2020 | 19:00
- Interview with babyeo Founder, Ashley Bartlett-Tasker
It's estimated 183 million items of clothing for the under-threes are lying unused in people's drawers and wardrobes. In addition, more than a quarter of UK parents admit to discarding children's toys that are in perfect working order. It's statistics like this which demonstrate the usefulness of a site like babyeo -a new way to get new and second-hand baby and children's items for a fraction of the normal cost. We caught up with babyeo founder, Ashley Bartlett-Tasker, to find out about this exciting new venture. Which came first for you - passion for business or passion for the environment? That’s a great first question. When I was around 12 years old, I realised I had a passion for business, given the opportunities it can create and the adventures it can lead you to. I wasn’t that aware of the environmental issues until my late teenage years. Being a big believer that small businesses are simply a vehicle for a group of people to deliver their future view of the world, my husband and I started babyeo with like-minded people to do just that - reduce waste in baby and children’s clothes. One of my favourite quotes is you can’t consume infinite resources in a finite world - so all businesses need to sustain their environment. Preserving the environment for future generations has become even closer to my heart since having a little one of my own. What was the key motivating factor at the time you started your business? Just the sheer cost and material waste in the baby and young children’s market. We only realised when my husband and I (Haydon) started trying for a baby. It is an undisputed fact that babies and young children outgrow clothes and play sizes quickly but I took issue with the mainstream players who had done very little to solve this environmental issue and just encouraged over consumption unnecessarily. It’s a horrible stat but the global airline industry produces 0.9bn tonnes of carbon per year. The clothing industry blows Airlines out of the park with a whopping 1.2bn tonnes of carbon per year. How did you finance your business? With our own money and help from friends and family. A shout out to the kind friends and Instagram fans promoting our cause too! We will be looking for seed funding soon after one of our users said we should go and get some, so this may change! Did you have any initial challenges and how did you overcome them? We are a special marketplace, but a marketplace nonetheless. This means we rely on parents listing items and parents wanting to request them. The result is that we have to split our focus and limited resources on both the listing and the requesting side of babyeo - that’s essentially two jobs - and it is very hard! In the ideal world people would hear about you, share with friends and we would have parents listing and requesting thousands of items every day, but that just isn’t where we are on our growth curve. At times it can be quite a slog to get our name out there and get parents to use it - especially if you can’t afford big advertising TV campaigns to raise awareness and trust in the platform. The good news is that once parents do use babyeo they love it - so we are forever pressing onwards and upwards. What are your main revenue streams? As mentioned we are a special marketplace and business. We are not interested in being a Shopify or Instagram baby clothes re-seller which is traditional e-commerce. We want to change the way parents shop to help parents save money and reduce waste. So the only money we make is from the £1-5 service fee, which a parent pays when requesting items. A pram costs £5.00 a clothing bundle is £1.00 for example. That’s it. The service fee keeps the computer servers and lights on. If you were to start from scratch, are there any changes you would make? Yes, certainly: Engaged other green businesses at the start to have a support network to share ideas and tips. Got some help from a designer sooner on the journey - it took us a while. Sought more formal fundraising from the outset (although this is easier said than done in the green sector). Is it difficult to make a green business profitable? If you are a pure play green business then yes. Mostly because your costs will be higher and your market is still quite small. If you are a more traditional business with a green angle (using sustainable goods during manufacturing as an example) you can still tap into the larger more traditional markets but probably have slightly higher costs because the sustainable goods cost more to produce and ship than the standard goods. We are trying to rethink how we consume baby and children’s items so for us we have to create a societal shift to be profitable. That’s quite a challenge ahead but a rewarding one :) !! What gives you the most hope for the environment? People are still building solutions and businesses to aid the environment - people clearly care enough to dedicate lifelong passions to helping the environment and that gives me so much hope. In addition, under new leadership, the United States of America is engaging with the global conversation once again on preventing climate change and taking swift action to protect the environment. You can read more interviews with sustainable business founders and ecopreneurs here.
- Silicone. An Eco-friendly alternative?
With the ever-increasing awareness of the issues of plastic pollution, an array of alternatives are springing up, all claiming to be the ideal solution. There has been a huge increase in the number of silicone products hitting the supermarket shelves. So......how eco-friendly is silicone? Let us shed some light on the subject. What is silicone & how is it made? Time for a science lesson! It’s probably helpful at this point to clarify that we are talking about SILICONE and not SILICON here. SILICON is the 14th element of the periodic table and is a component of silica, one of the most prevalent substances on earth. SILICON in its elemental form is found in bricks, glass, and concrete as silica. In enamels, pottery and ceramics it is found as silicate. SILICONES are synthetic polymers made of silicon, oxygen, and other elements - most commonly carbon and hydrogen. Silicone is manufactured using petroleum and natural gas. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining these hydrocarbons can have an environmental impact. To counterbalance this, however, silicone is extremely durable and long-lasting, and if you look after silicone products well, they should last a lot longer than plastic alternatives. Evidently, if you choose a product with a longer life, the environmental impact will be less. There’s no doubt that using products with a longer lifespan is much better for the environment in the long term. How durable is silicone? One of the key benefits of silicone is its durability. As an example, when used in bakeware, it can be heated to (-55 to 300 degrees Celsius). Provided you’ve chosen good quality silicone, it will be: Boilable Freezable Microwaveable Unbreakable Dishwasher safe Sterilizable Given the above attributes, silicone is becoming commonly seen amongst kitchen and cookware offerings. Cake molds, mixing spoons, and now silicone straws are all amongst items you could consider as a plastic alternative. We compared alternatives to plastic straws, including silicone straws here. Is it recyclable? The short answer is yes. But kerbside recycling rarely accepts post-consumer silicone. Terracycle schemes are usually the most easily accessible, although you may need to club together as a group to make this a cost-effective option. Does silicone break down in landfill? Unlike plastic, silicone does not break down into small pieces, so does not produce the microplastic phenomenon that is so harmful to wildlife. One of the reasons why silicone is considered to be a good alternative to plastic is because it doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals we’ve become aware of that linger in plastic items, such as phthalates and BPA. Overall, in comparison with plastic, silicone offers a longer-lasting, more durable, and certainly more sustainable option. Photo by hue12 photography on Unsplash
- What you should know about B Corps
If you’re operating in the green or sustainable business sector, you’ve most likely come across the term ‘Certified B Corporations.’ So; what are they? How do you become a Certified B Corporation? What’s the benefit to your company? Read on and we’ll shed some light on the subject... What is B Certification? Certified B Corps are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This community is driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. Profits from B Corps are used in a number of non-traditional ways; positively impacting employees of that organisation, their local communities and the environment. Why become B certified? If your company becomes B-Certified, you have shown that it is meeting the highest possible standards of performance across the whole environmental and social spectrum. B Certification addresses a company’s entire supply chain, looking into sustainability and raw materials, and will drill down into your company’s employee benefits and charitable givings. It may seem daunting for a small startup to achieve B Certification when the process appears so involved. By setting your sights on this goal from the outset, and by being involved in the requirements, you will be able to make sure your company grows with this endpoint in mind. Small changes early on in your company’s growth will make a big difference further down the line and will be worth the investment. What do I need to do? To become B Certified, you undertake an online impact assessment on behalf of your organisation. For the short assessment/’quick snapshot’ report, this can be carried out in 30 minutes or so, with the full impact report taking 2-3 hours to complete. Get started here. The resulting assessment report will show you where your company is already excelling, and which areas require additional focus. You are then able to use the resources and best practice guides provided to create customised improvement plans for your organisation. How much does it cost? Providing your company meets the necessary requirements, and therefore meets B Certification standards, there is an annual fee payable to the organisation. The amount is dependent upon revenue, but for companies with a turnover of <$150,000 is $1000 per year, and for those generating under $699,000 pa, your fees increase to $1,100. Is it worth it? This is a difficult question! With some of the big names now signing up to meet B Certification status, there’s definitely a trend towards sustainability. As a B-Certified company, it’s likely that potential consumers would see you as taking your sustainability efforts seriously. In terms of credibility and trust, or indeed competitive advantage, we see that can only be a good thing. You can find more advice for your green business here. For inspiration for your ethical business, visit the Spotlight or to brush up on or learn new business skills, browse our recommended Courses.
- Sustainable straws | Green Springboard
Help me choose: Sustainable drinking straws Whether made of glass, stainless steel, paper, bamboo or wheat, there is no question that reusable or compostable paper straws are better for the environment than plastic. More than 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S. , and they are inevitably used for minutes before being thrown away. Since they are too small to be recycled, plastic straws may persist in the environment for hundreds of years, breaking into tiny pieces over time. Obviously, the best thing to use in lieu of a plastic straw is nothing. But for some, straws are a necessity, and there are definitely occasions where using a straw is simply nicer! The main options are biodegradable paper straws, either made from wood or bamboo, or reusable, made from silicone, stainless steel or glass. We review the options here. Photo by loanne pasleau on Unsplash David Attenborough's Blue Planet II brought the attention of the world to the devastating environmental impact that single use plastics including straws are wreaking on our planet, particularly our marine life. Since they are small, plastic drinking straws are often mistaken for food by animals and because of their cylindrical shape, straws can cause suffocation and death to animals. Thankfully, the world's leaders have started to take notice, and in England, plastic straws were banned in October 2020. Ah Table! A pack of 6 glass straws complete with a cleaning brush and suitable for hot and cold drinks. Reusable, ecological, economical and sustainable and the perfect alternative to plastic and paper. These straws are 20cm long and are made from very resistant borosilicate glass. Perfect for reducing your environmental footprint. Certified B Corp Material Biodegradable/ Reusable Recyclable Vegan Price Support this business No Borosilicate glass Reusable Yes Yes £9.50 per pack £1.58 per straw Shop Eco Living 5 stainless steel drinking straws, with a plastic-free plant based cleaning brush. These straws come in a 100% organic cotton carry pouch and packaged in 100% recyclable packaging. These straws are also vegan and plastic-free. A great step towards reducing your environmental impact. Certified B Corp Material Biodegradable/ Reusable Recyclable Vegan Price Support this business No Food-grade stainless steel Reusable Yes Yes £6.99 per pack £1.39 per straw Shop The Silicone Straw Company 6, UK made, BPA free silicone straws which are vegan friendly and can be snipped to any length. Easily cleaned with any cleaning brush and packaged in 100% plastic free packaging. These straws are a perfect alternative to single use plastic and paper straws and they won’t go soggy. For UK customers these straws are definitely a great option! Certified B Corp Material Biodegradable/ Reusable Recyclable Vegan Price Support this business No Food grade & FDA approved silicone Reusable Yes Yes £10.99 per pack £1.83 per straw Shop Turtle Straws A pack of 500 straws made from wheat straw, with no added chemicals, and no nasties. 100% Natural. 100% Biodegradable. These straws are designed to last until the end of your drink, rather than 100s of years, and they won’t go soggy like some paper straws do. Despite being made of wheat, they're also gluten free which is great for those people with a wheat intolerance. Certified B Corp Material Biodegradable/ Reusable Recyclable Vegan Price Support this business No Wheat straw Biodegradable No Yes £20.00 per pack 4p per straw Shop The Cheeky Panda The Cheeky Panda make their packs of 250 straws from 100% FSC-approved bamboo, and unlike most paper straws, won’t break down after getting wet.Their packaging is made from recyclable cardboard and straws made from fast-growing bamboo, so that every aspect is biodegradable. The straws are certified vegan-friendly and cruelty-free! Overall, ultra-sustainable with little impact on the planet and turtles! Certified B Corp Material Biodegradable/ Reusable Recyclable Vegan Price Support this business Yes Bamboo paper Biodegradable No Yes £5.00 per pack. 2.4 per straw Shop Through our reviews we may earn affiliate commission, but we always endeavour to produce objective information. The revenue we generate is used to help us keep our resources for green business free of charge.
- Sustainable loo roll | Green Springboard
Globally, the production of toilet roll destroys 27,000 trees per day – almost 9 million trees per year (National Geographic). The UK alone uses 1.3m tonnes of loo roll a year, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries, with the average British consumer reportedly getting through 127 rolls every year. Not only is the consumption increasing, but there doesn't seem to be much of a shift towards sustainability. In 2019 The Ethical Consumer magazine found that major toilet paper brands are using less recycled paper than in 2011. There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll and thankfully, there are an increasing number of companies producing loo roll from recycled paper, or more sustainable materials such as bamboo. Typically, these eco friendly alternatives are either made from bamboo and/or sugar cane, or recycled materials. We review five bamboo options below (Cheeky Panda, Bumboo, Naked Sprout, Bazoo and Who Gives a Crap) and two recycled paper options (Who Gives a Crap and Green Cane). Help Me Choose: Sustainable Loo Roll Bazoo Bazoo is a UK based company that is the only loo roll company that is carbon negative. Bazoo offset 200% of all of their carbon emissions produced from the bamboo harvest all the way until it’s delivered to their customer’s door. Their loo roll is made from soft 100% FSC certified bamboo, which is individually wrapped in recycled wrappers which detail facts about how climate change is affecting specific habitats of protected species, as well as some fun facts too! The rolls are biodegradable and profits are donated to UK based charities: Just One Ocean and Rainforest Trust UK. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business No Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Bleached (Totally Chlorine free) Donate 10% of profits to Just One Ocean and Rainforest Trust UK Sea Freight / Carbon Negative with Climate Care £40.99 for 48 rolls (300 sheets, 3 ply) = 28.4p per 100 sheets Shop Bazoo A newly launched UK company called Bazoo is the ultra-sustainable toilet paper. The rolls are made from 100% FSC certified bamboo, and are completely unbleached, meaning no harmful chemicals or dyes enter any waterways. The naked rolls are a luxurious 3-ply, with many more sheets per roll. Most importantly, Bazoo offset 200% of the carbon that is emitted from the bamboo growth until it’s delivered to their customers’ door. Therefore, every Bazoo roll purchased is responsibly removing carbon from the earth’s atmosphere! Rolls are available to purchase in either 24 or 48 boxes. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business No Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. No Donate 10% of profits to Just One Ocean and Rainforest Trust UK Sea Freight / Carbon Negative with Climate Care £39.99 for 48 rolls (300 sheets, 3 ply) = 27.7p per 100 sheets Shop Cheeky Panda Cheeky Panda’s incredibly soft loo rolls are made from 100% FSC certified materials rather than an FSC mix which is typical for other toilet paper brands. Bamboo produces 35% more oxygen and absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than trees, making it more environmentally-friendly. Bit’s also naturally anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and hypo-allergenic so it is great for sensitive skin. As further evidence of their commitment to sustainability, the company uses waste bamboo to make their luxury toilet tissue, giving farmers in China extra income and creating job opportunities for local workers. The packaging is 100% recyclable but will also degrade easily in landfill. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business Yes Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Treated with hydrogen peroxide during manufacture - Sea Freight / Carbon Balanced with The World Land Trust £38 for 48 rolls (200 sheets) = 39.5p per 100 sheets Shop Bumboo Bumboo produces luxury ‘tree-free' sustainable loo roll from bamboo. They offer 24 and 48-pack boxes, with an option of wrapped or unwrapped rolls. The company works with the Eden Reforestation Project, which employs people in areas impacted directly by the effects of deforestation. Bumboo pledges to plant one tree for every box purchased. The benefits of bamboo are being harnessed across a number of industries, and in the loo roll there are clear benefits in terms of superior fibre quality when compared with traditional recycled paper loo rolls, translating into a softer paper. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business No Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Bleached, but free from elemental chlorine (ECF) Plant a tree for every box trough edenprojects.org Sea Freight / Plants a tree for every box of rolls purchased £40 for 48 extra long rolls (300 sheets, 3 ply) = 27.8p per 100 sheets Shop Naked Sprout This UK company offer either 24 or 48 pack box sizes of 100% organic bamboo loo roll. The packaging is 100% plastic free. Naked Sprout do not use bleach, or indeed any other chemicals in their manufacturing process, thereby ensuring no harm to local waterways as can happen in the production of many traditional toilet papers. The company supports the ‘Just a Drop; charity which ensures fresh drinking water at school for children in Kenya. Each box purchased promises to provide water for one child for one year. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business No Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. No Every purchase gives a child in Kenya safe water at school for 1 year Sea Freight £39.99 for 48 rolls (300 sheets, 3 ply) = 27.7p per 100 sheets Shop Who Gives a Crap One of the more well-known sustainable loo roll companies. Founded in 2012, this company prides itself in donating 50% of its profits to help build toilets in the developing world. Their premium 3-ply sustainable loo roll option is manufactured from bamboo and ships in plastic free packaging. If you subscribe to their regular delivery service, you can save 20% on your purchase. These loo rolls are fully biodegradable, come wrapped in only paper and are septic tank friendly. WGAC are now a B Corp Certified Company. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business Yes Bamboo Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Whitened with elemental-free chlorine Donates 50% of profits to charities like WaterAid Sea Freight £40 for 48 rolls (370 sheets, 3 ply) = 22.5p per 100 sheets Shop Who Gives a Crap Who Gives a Crap Recycled Loo Rolls are made from 100% recycled paper. Containing no inks, dyes or scents, these eco-friendly loo rolls are made from recycled books and office paper. Shipped plastic free in either boxes of 24 or 48 rolls, this bulk buy approach can certainly be deemed a more eco-friendly way of shopping, providing you have the storage. Donating 50% of their profits to help build toilets in the developing world, you can feel you are doing your bit to support these communities. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business Yes 100% recycled materials Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Whitened & strengthened with hydrogen peroxide Donates 50% of profits to charities like WaterAid Sea Freight £36 for 48 rolls (400 sheets, 3 ply) = 18.8p per 100 sheets Shop GreenCane A New Zealand based company, manufacturing in China and selling in 6 countries around the globe. Green Cane sustainable loo roll is composed of sugarcane, and bamboo; fast-growing tropical crops which are grown in rural Southern China. Their manufacturing facility is monitored to ensure compliance with ethical and environmental standards. No fertilisers or pesticides are used in the manufacturing process. The company ships via sea-freight to keep environmental impact to a minimum. Their loo roll offering is plastic free, with home-compostable packaging. The 2-ply toilet paper itself is available in packs of 48 rolls and cost-saving is available for multiple purchases or subscription sign-ups. Certified B Corp Material Packaging Bleached Charity Shipping Price Support this business No Bamboo & recycled sugarcane Wrapped individually - but can opt out Packaging is Plastic free, fully recyclable and compostable. Bleached, but free from chlorine based chemicals - Sea Freight £28.80 for 48 rolls (300 sheets, 2 ply) = 20p per 100 sheets Shop The large-scale use of virgin paper (particularly the trend for “luxury” four-ply and quilted loo roll) contributes to unnecessary deforestation and only five of the nine major supermarkets assessed in The Ethical Consumer Magazine's survey (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. In addition, a 2017 Greenpeace report warned that large parts of Sweden’s Great Northern Forest, and the biodiversity contained within it, were under threat from the timber industry’s growing demand for virgin wood. As well as the environmental impact of the raw materials, there is increased consumer concern over the chemicals used to bleach virgin pulp. which has led to less toxic alternatives being used, and some companies not bleaching toilet roll at all. Through our reviews we may earn affiliate commission, but we always endeavour to produce objective information. The revenue we generate is used to help us keep our resources for green business free of charge.
- EVENTS | Green Springboard
Free webinars for sustainable businesses Are you running an eco-friendly business? Need advice on choosing a legal structure for your business or using your environmental credentials to gain new customers, increase sales and recruit staff? View our previous webinars below for help with these topics. Keen to learn about trends in sustainability and how to secure funding for your sustainable business? Our webinars are led by industry experts and are designed to give you a competitive edge. Join us to be the first to hear about upcoming webinars, and catch up on previous webinars below. No upcoming events at the moment Previous events Money Mindset for Ecopreneurs with guest speaker Julia Fawsley Grant If you really want your business to be a business for good, one of your most powerful assets is the way you use your money and the choices you make. This webinar will focus on using money as a tool to grow your business, allowing you to invest in long term projects, innovate or donate/contribute to the causes you care about. Eco/positive impact entrepreneurs come into business with an already slightly complicated view on profit because (in many cases) they are focused on purpose and mission - money comes with a real cringe factor. Exploring this and rationalising the need for profit in business is an important first step. Educating potential consumers and communicating the reasons behind the price of an item can be a really powerful marketing tool that can be used to communicate your brand values and allows people to be 'involved' in your cause. Choosing a legal structure for your sustainable business with Gareth Bramley and Christopher Johnstone If you're yet to commit to a legal structure for your sustainable business, this short webinar will walk through the options and the pros and cons of each structure to help you decide what works for you. Many people leave it later than they should to decide on a legal structure for their business. From those we've spoken to it's often the fear of the unknown and an assumption that it will be complicated that puts this important task on the bottom of the to-do list. There's also often an assumption that it will be a costly process but with it costing as little as £12 to form a Limited Company this is thankfully unfounded! Whether you're running a company with a physical shop like a zero waste shop, an online sustainable e-commerce store, or indeed have a service-based business, our legal experts will help you decide which structure fits your business type best: Partnership, Ltd Co, Charity or other? You'll learn about how to protect your business principles to ensure your sustainability ethos is maintained as your business grows This webinar is designed for those people at the ideas stage of their business, who are yet to commit to a business structure. Gareth is Senior Tutor at the University of Law and Christopher is from top Law Firm, Freeths LLP. Telling your Sustainability Story: Guest speaker Caroline Aistrop, Green Spark Marketing A perfect introduction to the importance of PR for eco-friendly businesses, this webinar is designed for those already running their own business who want to gain new customers, increase sales, recruit or retain staff. In this inspiring talk, Caroline talks us through the importance of compelling communication to your sustainable business. Whatever your company is doing to care for the planet, you need to be telling your customers about this. Learn about the key principles behind creating compelling communications which grab the hearts and minds of all those you want to reach and takes them with you on the sustainability journey. Discover how to compose and organise your story and the importance of wearing other people’s shoes. Caroline has over 30 years experience of running national awareness-raising campaigns, handling PR and press relations at local, regional and national levels. What's next in sustainability: Guest speaker Abigail Herron Green Springboard invites guest speaker Abigail Herron of Aviva Investors to bring us up to speed on 2020 sustainability trends, essential to help green and sustainable start-up businesses stay ahead of the curve. With only 10 years remaining to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals there's increased importance and opportunity for business owners to embrace them, whilst building a profitable yet purposeful business. This webinar is designed for those already running their own business who want a sense of which sustainability trends are gathering momentum. As we have seen with the Blue Planet 2 effect on the issue of plastics, sustainability issues are catapulted into the spotlight for many reasons. This short webinar offers insight from a long time sustainability practitioner about what the hot topics are, within companies, investors and the media as well as where the money is flowing to. What investors look for in a Green Business: Guest speaker Abigail Herron Green Springboard invites guest speaker Abigail Herron of Aviva Investors to share insights around how green and sustainable businesses can best position themselves to gain interest from conscious investors. This webinar is designed for those at an early stage of their green or sustainable business concept as well as those who are ready to scale up their business model and seek additional capital. Hear about what impresses large investors from a sustainability and governance perspective, what questions you may be asked in order to demonstrate your credentials and what keeps investors awake at night. The perspective given is from a large scale investor but many of the principles are applicable if you’re seeking venture capital, crowd funding or angel investing inputs too.