Business funding for start-up and expansion is notoriously difficult to obtain, yet an innovative entrepreneur has discovered an alternative means of raising much-needed working capital.
Michael Nixon, the 14-year-old founder of EduKits, who developed coding game The Amazing Annoyatron, was forced to look outside the box when it came to funding.
Being a minor, the Wagga Wagga resident was unable to secure a bank loan or even a credit card in order to fund development costs of his first product batch. So instead, he turned to business accelerator programs and idea pitchfests – simultaneously allowing him to publicly spruik his product, make useful business contacts and go into the running for cash prizes.
“I don’t have any money, and it would be super hard for me to get a job on top of what I’m already doing, so Pitchfest was definitely a fantastic way for me to generate some funds so that I have some backing on what I’m doing,” explained Michael.
“Last year, I won $7,500 from the Wagga Regional Pitchfest. This year, at state finals, you get $5,000 from winning first place, and $1,500 from winning community choice, and at the national finals this year, we didn’t have community choice, but first place was $7,500, so that’s quite a bit of money right there to be able to fund those Annoyatrons.”
Michael has also reinvested the proceeds from the sale of other products to further boost the amount of capital on-hand to fund new product developments.
“The Annoyatron isn’t the only thing that EduKits does. We’ve done 3D printing holiday workshops for kids. We also sell 3D printers and other electronics kits from other manufacturers and retailers,” he said.
Hear more insights from this inspiring entrepreneur on the My Business Podcast below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.