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Emma Veiga-Malta, CEO of Bespoke Backdrop Designs discusses Lean Commercialisation.

My software tool for mass customisation of chairs hit a problem. There were 190 million variations and I couldn’t change them. I was sure there was a better way. I entered Pitch contests in Sydney to seek money to make changes with little success. Little did I know the impact that the concept of Lean Commercialisation was going to have on my future!

I met Brian through one of the start-up associations and we reviewed ways to scale my business and strategies to pitch for investment. The turning point was when he asked: “can I scale and grow my business without external investment?”

First Impressions Count

My first impressions of Brian were that he is very English, affable, kind, analytical and measured. And he listened. I was not wrong. I saw instantly that he had a skill set that I did not have that was very appealing. He has the great analytical lens where he breaks everything down into component pieces as opposed to my big picture view of the world.  Through the small component parts, he explains how it all works together. This was a perspective that I knew I needed.

My first impressions of Brian were that he is very English, affable, kind, analytical and measured. And he listened. I was not wrong.

He had runs on the board as well, success in large corporations and has built two technical companies from the ground up. I wanted to understand more of the tech side of the business which is where I though Brian lived.  As a creative, artist and designer this was alien to me.  I had learned a lot myself going on the journey of building this software tool, but it certainly was not a space I felt comfortable in.

The Impact of Lean Commercialisation

Brian provided a safe pair of hands. He helped me understand the whole process of pitching and what a pitch deck/ presentation should look like in the eyes of an investor. His insights into the angel investment, the startup arena and what people expect from people pitching is extensive. The outcome of having worked with Brian was that within six months I won a pitch contest. That sent me to Silicon Valley to meet investors and go to of startup conferences. His help didn’t stop there, he helped me prepare me for the numerous meetings I was to have in the US.

When I met that Englishman on a warm Sydney day, I never expected that we’d examine the very DNA of my business, evaluate what I wanted and where they could go. He considered all of it on an emotional, technical and financial level – he blended it all. And it was the financial analysis that eventually pointed us in the right direction. Away from chairs and back to my zone of competence – creating beautiful artwork in the form of backdrops.

He never dismissed my creative ideas and vision but rather blended and enhanced my ideas and applied his framework around it adding technology, finance and skill sets into the picture.  This made working together most unusual and a real joy.  Every meeting brought new insights and ways to solve problems.

Lean Commercialisation works for Creatives as well as Analytics

If you are looking for someone to compliment your skills and fill any gaps in your business skills will find Brian a great guide and adviser. Creative people will enjoy working with Brian as he really understands their different approach.

Pitching, finance and running a business have been a real challenge to me but I have grown immeasurably and now run a profitable business with solid foundations.

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