GIST Alumni Corner: Yakau Buta of StringersHub
StringersHub is a marketplace that connects stringers and news media buyers with real-time and viral video content from all around the world.
GIST: You have just closed a sizable round of funding. What advice do you have for startups who are looking for their first round of funding? What specific characteristics are investors looking for in a startup?
Yakau Buta: First of all, be confident in your product. Because if you're not, investors will feel it. Second, don't hesitate to talk about the weak points of your product. Don't hide it. Third, try to make investors interested in you even before your first conversation. The best option is if they hear about your product everywhere and want to speak with you. In that case, you will be in a strong position. As for specific characteristics, I would say that the best ones are people from your industry, who will be able to help you not only with their money. Expertise and connections matter.
StringersHub is doing very well, both in its mission and in its growth. When things were not as positive, what did you do to keep yourself motivated and optimistic?
The life of an entrepreneur is full of falls and rises. And I try to take it easy. It means less euphoria during successes and fewer hurts in hard times.
What role has GIST played in supporting your success?
GIST provides us great opportunities to go global faster. I participated in two programs--one in North Macedonia and another in the US. Both were perfectly organized with high-level mentors and practical knowledge. With GIST support we have a chance to find our customers on the global market. But the best part for me is a friendly atmosphere and nice participants from different countries. Many of them became my friends.
For the coming year, we see that StringersHub has very ambitious growth goals. What strategies do you use to achieve your goals?
Considering that this interview might be read by our competitors I can't be fully transparent. We have more than 10 hypotheses we are working on right now. One of them is selling user-generated videos. Before 99% of our revenue was from the freelance part of our platform where media clients are able to create a task and find a videographer for shooting all over the world. But now we also attracting content from eyewitnesses and promoting it among huge news outlets. It has already brought some positive results. So we'll keep going :)
Learn more about StringersHub here.