Outmore Living - December Newsletter
- Raise pre-seed financing round (will be completed by this winter) ⬜
- Kickoff D2C presale and B2B pilot ⬜
- Finalize Designs ⬜ and Sourcing ✅
Company Updates -
1) Outmore Living Wins Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition!
The Fall 2022 Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition was held on Friday, December 9th and featured the top graduate student startups on University of Texas' campus. We competed with fifteen UT-founded companies and won the top prize while being named Texas Champion! Beyond the excitement of receiving our first "big check," it was an honor to be selected by 33 judges as the top company among all the startups. Along with the $15K prize, we were awarded $1K for the top elevator pitch, an office at McCombs for next semester, a 1-year membership at Capital Factory, and $5,000 in AWS credits.
2) Outmore Living is Patent Pending!
As of December 1, 2022, Outmore Living has two patents pending approval by The United States Patent and Trademark Office. The two patents cover Outmore's hardware and software technology and feature 40 claims protecting our IP. McDermott Will & Emery were incredible attorneys throughout the IP process, and Alex and I look forward to continuing to work with their firm in the future.
In May, Alex and I built our functional prototype in our garages. While it proved the concept worked, it lacked the design, functionality, and simplicity that we wanted in a final product. So Alex and I met with designers and design firms from Austin to Thailand in hopes of finding the perfect partner to bring our product to life.
In August, we selected Corvus Engineering, and we could not be happier with our choice. Their team designed our power bar, which will attach and detach to the front of the frame. The power bar is the brain of our chair and will feature the battery, temperature control panel, and USB outlets. From the power bar, the energy transfers to our heated cushions via magnetic strips connecting to the front and back cushions. Next week we move into the sampling stage, but in the meantime, below are some images of the latest designs.
Areas of Focus -
Since much of the last newsletter's priorities remain in progress, our areas of focus have not materially changed since we last checked in. Accordingly, the focus areas for Outmore for the next couple of months are as follows -
1) Finalizing Design and Sourcing
It's exciting to be moving into the sampling stage of design. We have worked with the Corvus team since September, and after countless meetings and emails, Alex and I cannot wait to sample the final product. It's also a critical step where we fix any final details before moving to mass production. Personally, I have also exceeded my engineering capabilities and am ready to touch the physical product.
2) Kickoff D2C Presale and B2B Pilot
- Build D2C website
- Set pricing strategy (consumer and commercial)
- Create a marketing plan
- Finalize sales and margin goals
Funding conversations kicked off in October. We have met some amazing angel investors and VC funds and are confident that we will be able to close our round in March of 2023. In the meantime, any introductions to strong angel investors or pre-seed funds that come to mind are warmly welcomed and appreciated. Investors with a consumer focus are a plus. Also, I can share the deck with anyone receiving this note - just ping me at email@example.com.
Founder Perspectives -
Almost two months ago, I met the CEO of a well-known company in the outdoor living space while pitching my business school's board of directors on Outmore. He loved what we were building, and after a few meetings with their leadership team, their company agreed to a significant investment in Outmore.
Alex and I were ecstatic. Not only did we feel validated but we also knew that the capital and outdoor expertise this company would offer could propel Outmore's trajectory. We agreed to the deal and moved on to negotiating the final contract.
After six weeks, 99% of the deal was negotiated, however, neither side could agree on one major issue related to control. We were at an impasse, and after discussing the offer with our advisors and lawyers, we began questioning if it even made sense to partner with their company at our current stage. Then in the 11th hour, the deal fell thru.
- No deal is final until it is signed
- Always prepare your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement)
- Counsel your advisors, lawyers, and mentors who have more experience and Outmore's best interest in mind
- A bad deal is worse than a no-deal - trust your gut
Until the next newsletter...