Grace Century deals with start-up businesses and early growth firms. That’s all we do. Like a parent, nurturing a young child in guidance, finance, and direction; we are protectors through uncharted waters.
These new, start-up firms are hungry not just for money, but for recognition and publicity. Imagine my excitement when we were contacted through email, that our Electronic Medical Records firm, which is just launching this summer (after beta trials) was voted as “Best Innovation in the Health Sector for 2014” by a “famous company” that only gives out awards for things like this! I hadn’t heard of them, but what do I know that I am not in the media business…right?
Okay so no one, other than a handful of people, has yet to even see this EMR platform and, believe me, I know that this will be a “game-changing” product as we have devoted four years of our and our group’s lives to it. The company giving out the award told us that we were to be flown to the New York Stock Exchange and interviewed in a conference room by international news media for global distribution. Now that’s IF WE WON… after the voting… which was to be concluded that very evening! The group was even rooting for us and said if we pre-signed for a media package ($15,000) that it would bode well and would be whispered into the decision maker’s direction.
After I questioned the credentials of the person contacting us, we obviously were no longer in the running.
Fast forward two days.
Luck was back on our side. We were notified by a different firm that, this time around, Grace Century was to be recognized as one of the top private equity innovators and that we were to be featured in numerous publications. All I had to do was get my media person to deposit funds to secure the spots that we were to be highlighted on. After checking with my mother that she had nothing to do with this or influenced anyone; I once again started to ask questions. Man, I must have asked the wrong thing…we were out again!
What people don’t realize is that it is not just the money that these obvious scams are putting in jeopardy. They are stealing the time and focus from entrepreneurs that don’t have time to waste! Not all CEOs are equipped to ask questions or even the right ones. They want to believe that this could happen. Hell…I wanted to believe it! These fraudsters play into this; they play on egos and pride.
Besides time, the precious money puts at risk the company itself. The two companies we are currently helping to build now have a total of 23 people working for them. There are families dependent on the parent company they work for. One of our firms is a stem cell bio-bank. Hundreds of families have also put their future and faith into the banking of their stem cells. There are redundancies and back-ups in place if something should happen to the company, but believe me no one wants to think about that scenario.
I know and understand there is great risk in start-ups. I live and breathe it every day. It’s just a shame that a new one has now been identified.