July 6, 2016, by The Ingenuity Lab
Fanbytes and the future
In the Ingenuity Lab, no day is the same and every member has a different story and requirements. As a group, we support each other, collaborate and ensure we have as much fun along the day; creating a melting pot of ideas! Each week, we will introduce one of our exemplary members and their business to you!
This week it’s the turn of entrepreneur extraordinaire and Ingenuity Lab member Mitchell Fasanya. Having just finished his Second Year at The University of Nottingham, he has already taken the influencer marketing world by storm with his business Fanbytes.
What are you studying at The University of Nottingham?
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
Ultimately, it was a love of creating things. I am very passionate about building software or products that people use. I love technology and it is definitely the future so that is where I spend the majority of my efforts.
I previously sold two companies, including one for a six figure valuation: JsonWhois is a data provider which makes it easier for developers to get a hold of it in a useable format. I decided it was time to move on when I started on Fanbytes, so I could concentrate more efforts there. Koala is an analytics provider to SaaS companies and that was also sold so I could free up time for other ventures.
My previous ventures have taught me that you don’t need lots of people bidding on your company to sell it. Find a reasonable target price and then find two or three people who actually want it. It only takes two people to run up the price.
Setting up Fanbytes while still at University wasn’t really a decision, but more of an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss out on. This is one of the only times I’ll be ‘free to fail’, so why not make use of it?!
What is your business concept?
Fanbytes is a business service that connects brands with a network of social influencers. It’s fast becoming a key business in the influencer marketing world, an industry worth £156million that has become the fastest growing marketing medium in the past five years.
We are currently at quite an early stage with Fanbytes, but our clients have already included big brands such as Nickelodeon, New Look and GoPro.
What challenges have you faced during the process?
Perseverance has been key when growing my business. The biggest challenge I’ve experienced is receiving negative feedback and being able to overcome it and use it to make positive changes.
How has being an Ingenuity Lab member helped you?
The University has been so supportive and given me a great place to work. It is difficult finding like-minded entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of, so for the University to actively encourage that is great.
Competitions like Ingenuity16 and programmes such as The Nottingham Ingenuity Fund have given me opportunities to pitch my ideas in front of an experienced panel of judges.
At Ingenuity16, I received the Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship Award (£10,000), 2nd Prize (£3,000), The Shakespeare Martineau Award (£5,000) and an Enterprise Grant worth £7,000.
Ingenuity16 has not only been an exciting and enjoyable experience, but also a great learning curve. It gave us the chance to network with lots of investors and mentors and taught me to look at our business process regularly.
What are your goals for this year?
We are currently going through our second stage of funding, and I am about to embark on a year out from my studies to focus on growing the brand and ensuring it keeps up with the rapidly changing marketplace.
The money we won at Ingenuity16 will help us reach our target of £500,000 in sales as it gives us a chance to attend more marketing events and increase our exposure.
My ultimate goal for the coming year is to grow a great team, as you can’t build a company without great people behind you!
If you think you could be part of the winning formula for Fanbytes, or would like to find out a bit more about what they do, visit their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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