Taryn Williams, founder of theright.fit

Taryn Williams: What you need to secure seed funding

Sam McKeith

Taryn Williams is not one to rest on her laurels.

The young Aussie entrepreneur founded talent agency WINK Models in the mid-2000s after years working in the fashion and modelling industry.

These days, WINK is a multi-million dollar company with offices in most Australian capitals including the modelling mecca of New York.

Not satisfied with the status quo, Williams has jumped into a new venture TheRight.Fit, which last week secured $750,000 in venture capital funding from venture capital firm, Airtree Ventures.

Williams describes TheRight.Fit as an online platform for brands keen to lock down talent fast.

She says the platform offers a market of “influencers, videographers, photographers, models, actors, stylists and makeup artists” in one place, meaning that brands and agencies can search, book, and pay in one online transaction.

For Williams, securing seed capital was key to keep her new venture moving in the right direction, describing it as “a great opportunity for the company to enhance its in-house technology.”

She has a few tips for other start-ups looking to secure VC funding, including her big word of advice – getting the right team on-board from the get-go.

“We didn’t actually sit down and go ‘right we’re going to go out and seek funding,’” Williams said.

“What we did do, and what was really important, was to get the right advisors and strategic partners around us.

“I knew that because I had a tech product. I had a lot of domain expertise but I didn’t have a lot of expertise in online marketplaces and all the levers that needed to be pulled to make that thrive and hum.”

“Make sure you’ve cleared the space both in your head and in your schedule to allow time … because it can put a lot of pressure on you and on your team.”

She said after assembling the right team she went out to seek “advice and support” about strengthening the proposition and ended up moving quickly to secure funding.

The company sought out AirTree Ventures because Williams viewed them as a marketplace expert.

“There was no one that we wanted to be aligned with more than them in that space,” she said.

Williams says those looking for VC funding should also be very aware of the time involved.

“It is a full time job, I’m not going to lie to you,” she said.

“It’s going to be really time consuming, I probably didn’t realise how time consuming it was going to be.

“It’s something that you need to dedicate a lot of time, a lot of energy and a lot of resources to.”

Another piece of advice is to be mentally prepared for the journey ahead.

“Make sure you’ve cleared the space both in your head and in your schedule to allow time … because it can put a lot of pressure on you and on your team.”

Sam McKeith

Sam McKeith is Sydney-based media professional. He has contributed to many leading publications including The Huffington Post, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and BRW Magazine. He was previously a senior reporter at the Australian Associated Press where he covered national affairs. 

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