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Interview with Acorn CEO before their ICO

1. Q: How many people did Acorn hire between the pre-sale and this moment?

A: We have 20 new team members since the pre-sale and the team is constantly growing! So much so we’ve had to move to a much bigger office since the pre-sale.

2. Q: Why did you change the token sale hard cap and how will this affect your plans on the long term?

A: The lower number of tokens in public circulation means our initial market cap will be much smaller. This benefits our existing token holders as the impact of changes in demand will be much larger.

As for Acorn, we are confident that with our new, more robust revenue model and higher company token allocation, we will have sufficient funding to develop our platforms and establish a thriving, global startup ecosystem.

And in response to community suggestions, the higher company allocation also acts as a reassurance that we as a company have a long term vested interest in the token’s value. Half of the company allocation will be locked for up to 2 years, binding the success of the token to our gain.

3. Q: How much is Acorn Collective a traditional business with focus on classic KPIs like revenue and how much is it philanthropy? Can these two things be combined?

A: I absolutely do not think the two are mutually exclusive. In fact, the best way to help communities and improve a community’s standard of living, no matter whether it’s in a developed or developing country, is to increase the commercial activity in the region. The only way of doing that is promoting businesses. A charity can only do so much and must keep relying on donations.

So to answer your question, we are very much a for profit business that must pay attention to the classic KPIs and are very business focused, but with the intention of truly adding value to communities and impacting them in a positive way. As I mentioned, the two are not mutually exclusive at all and probably the only way to achieve a sustainable improvement for many communities.

4. Q: What are the KYC requirements for participating in the ICO?

A: The KYC requirements are as follows:

– Valid Photo ID from your country of nationality

– Nationals of China and US will not be able participate

– Those contributing more then 15,000 euros will need to go through additional AML checks.

KYC will be opening soon so keep an eye on our website and social for more updates.

5. Q: What do you think is the biggest milestone you reached and the biggest one yet to come?

A: I would say that our biggest milestone so far has been selling out our pre-sale. It gave us that reassurance of knowing that thousands of people around the world support our idea and want to make it a reality.

Our biggest milestone in the future, is the completion of the platform and when we can see those first projects go live on the site. The whole team have been working tirelessly to create something that we all believe will change access to funding for start-ups and entrepreneurs around the world. We can’t wait until we can finally see people achieving their goals on the Acorn platform.

6. Q: What is the most important thing you learned since you started working on Acorn?

A: The most important thing I’ve learnt is how valuable it is to have a team that you enjoy working with and trust to get the job done. No matter what challenges there are, every single person in the office cares deeply about the project and works together to make sure that we overcome them.

7. Q: I am curious how does a regular day at Acorn look like for an employee?

A: Every employee at Acorn has slightly different jobs so it varies from role to role.

  • Our office hours are 9am-5pm (although obviously many choose to stay longer depending on the jobs for the day)
  • Each member of the team is really committed and works really hard, i do believe its because we all believe in the mission.
  • We hire on attitude and personality much more than exact skills and experience.
  • The office is divided into 3 main teams, sales + customer support, marketing and tech. Then we also have the management team that is made up of myself, the CTO, CCO and several assistants.
  • To answer your question, a typical day is made up of a meeting or two throughout the day and then working on your specific jobs the remainign time. Lunch is around 30min to 1 hour and is completely flexible.
  • Although everyone does work really hard, we make an effort to socialise a lot. We go to the pub after work almost every friday and occasionally have an office lunch during the week which may or may not involve beer =)
  • I love each and every one of them!

8. Q: I believe the difference between people who are successful and those who aren’t is how they manage their failures. What is your greatest one so far in your career and how did you get past it?

A: I would say the biggest failure in my life so far was partying too hard in high school and not getting into the university I wanted to. It was a tough pill to swallow and I was devastated at the time, but I went to my second choice uni, and actually ended up really enjoying it. The main thing I learned from it was that if you really want something you HAVE to work hard for it, it won’t just come to you. I haven’t made the same mistake since!

9. Q: When will we see the first crowdfunding campaign on Acorn?

A: We expect the Acorn Platform to be live by Late 2018 – this is when we will be able to accept our first crowdfunding campaigns.

10. Q: How will the E-learning platform look like? Do you have any partners for this or it will be built from scratch?

A: Hey! Good question – yes we will be building the e-learning part of the platform from scratch. This will be based on a mass of past crowdfunding data that we have access to, which will assist our e-learning guidance. We are, of course, looking for partners on an ongoing basis, for all parts of the platform. Please see the info below from our latest whitepaper:

Founder Onboarding & Project Readiness Loops, we hope to give founders the knowledge and skills to plan and execute their project, as well as the guidance and data to independently assess the viability of their proposition.

The journey through this process is in loops, with constant assessments, scoring and leveling as part of our platform gamification.

Our Founder Onboarding focuses on the people behind a project. Its purpose is to establish expertise in running a crowdfunding campaign and fully exploiting the features of Acorn’s platforms.

We intend to develop loops consisting of training packages, tailored to their category and location, possibly including bespoke consulting sessions, to teach aspiring founders the following:

  • Project Presentation Page creation
  • Value creation, business strategy
  • Digital marketing and sales
  • Establishing trust and building social proof
  • Communication
  • Basic legal and financial concepts
  • Our Project Launchpad focuses on the project and its proposition. With the knowledge gained from the Founder Onboarding process, she can now apply this by assessing and potentially improving it’s:
  • Crowdfunding viability
  • Commercial viability
  • Rewards and value proposition
  • Feasibility of delivery
  • Furthermore, the generalized lessons from Founder Onboarding will be applied to an individual project to help the her in the fields of:
  • Creating value
  • Providing an attractive proposition
  • Planning for successful product delivery, particularly the finances and timeframes involved
  • Setting expectations of the backers
  • Establishing trust with potential backers, building social proof
  • Setting a realistic funding goal and achievable milestones
  • Committing to transparency by opting in to using Activity Transparency Ledger for all transactions
  • Committing to frequent, regular and effective communication with potential and existing backers
  • By drawing on statistics and best-practices data from our Acorn Data Lake, we can tailor the training in Founder Onboarding and guidance in Project Launchpad to the founder’s location and the project’s category and attributes.

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