Slidedrain AS is a young start-up company with graduates from NTNU School of Entrepreneurship in Trondheim. Slidedrain's vision is to reduce the number of water leaks in the bathroom by developing user-centered drains that facilitate an easier, faster and safer installation. Stian Bongard has answered our questions about his experience with 6AM Accelerator Program.
Why did you join 6AM Accelerator Program?
Slidedrain joined the 6AM Accelerator program to gain access to resources that could assist in developing a financial strategy, a go-to-market strategy, and help us become investor-ready.
What did you achieve during the program?
During the program, we have mapped out the financial projection for the next few years, detailed the unit cost and earnings, not to mention that we have been able to complete a pre-seed round of investment from several business angels in addition to 6AM and Tidligfasefondet. Furthermore, we have made a pre-sale of 3000 products of the first product line, SLIDEDRAIN MODEL K, to Norway's largest wholesaler of HVAC and plumbing, Brødrene Dahl. Lastly, Slidedrain has been so fortunate to contact several investors, mentors, and other resources that we continuously use to discuss actions, contracts, and strategy.
Where does your company stand today (employees, customers, partners, investment, soft funding, etc.)?
Slidedrain still consists of the founders - Stian Bongard and Henning Patricksson - as the core team. In addition to the founding shareholders, Slidedrain is now co-owned by a set of business angels, 6AM and Tidligfasefondet. All of them will take part in the company as advisors, and some as board members. Right now, we are finishing up the development of the product together with Inventas AS to start developing the production tools and assembly line. In addition to equity from the investors and the revenue from the pre-sale, we are now applying for a start-up loan from Innovasjon Norge to fully finance the next 12 months. As a little cherry on top, SLIDEDRAIN MODEL K recently also received the honorable DOGA-award Newcomer from Design & Architecture Norway for our user-centered product design.
How did 6AM support you during the program?
6AM has helped us plan the financial strategy and market strategy in detail for the next 12-18 months and map out the long-term strategy for the next 5 years. With 6AM's - and their associated resources' - help, we have finalized a detailed and thorough business plan and investor pitch, as well as become investor-ready so that we could complete our very first fundraising round. Through 6AM's network, we have received legal counseling on contracts, been set in contact with relevant resources for our goals, and have attended insightful workshops.
Can you please share success factors, lessons learned, or mistakes that other companies in the program should avoid?
The accelerator program aims to help you accelerate your development and growth, so you as a participating start-up should utilize and exploit that as much as you can. You should actively seek out the help and resources 6AM can offer, and also challenge them to help you with stuff they at the time do not offer. 6AM's team is very resourceful, so if they receive such a challenge, they usually manage to deliver accordingly somehow! Moreover, in order to accomplish the desired development, you have to be very clear - both to yourself and others - what your main goal and milestones are, what resources you have at hand, and what resources you lack. If you do so, and you continuously communicate that to 6AM and the resources you come in contact with, you are much more likely to accomplish your desired development.
What are your next plans?
Next on the agenda is to complete the product development of SLIDEDRAIN MODEL K to start developing the production tools for manufacturing and the assembly line. We also have to implement our go-to-market plan so that the product line is ready for sale in fall 2021.