Raising funding feels like a victory but can often be the kiss of death for a startup. You have more money than you know what to do with or you have plans to spend the money but your situation changes and you struggle to step back from the cliff. This can be an even more complicated unravelling when it’s grant funding and you feel grateful that someone has found your startup important enough to part with their money.
This is precisely what happened to Andrew Haeg and his company, GroundSource, which is a platform newsrooms and community organizations use to build and scale two-way relationships with audiences and communities via mobile messaging and voice.
Andrew managed to secure grant funding and began to scale his company in line with the plans laid out and agreed upon by everyone involved.
He told me that he felt a sense of gratitude to the organisation providing his company with the funding so when they had scaled their team and efforts in preparation for the second tranche of funding and it never arrived, he felt awkward talking to them about it, asking for the tranches and getting the necessary contracts signed.
His story is one of intense resilience and dedication to the practice of journalism that spans decades. GroundSource and Andrew are both the walking, talking embodiment of purpose-driven business which can be both a good and bad thing as we find out in this episode of It’s Not Over.
Andrew left the corporate world to start his own business and “have the freedom to call my own shots,” as he puts it in our conversation. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial twists and turns led him to $150 000 in debt trying to revive the business and keep things afloat.
Andrew and I talk about the self-imposed shame that comes with failure, the need to prove to himself and his kids that he can build a successful business and what you do when you have salaries to pay but the grant funding just stops.