Techie and entrepreneur Kelly-ann Bethel was one of the first people to apply to the Planting Seeds Programme. She walked into the Planting Seeds workshop prepared and confident,ready to have her business plan reviewed and critiqued by Ernst &Young and the Planting SeedsTeam before presenting to the panel of investors on Planting Seeds, the TV show.
Her idea? A scheduling app called SKED, aimed at revolutionising the way businesses in the service industry manage appointments. Bethel’s journey with SKED began when she recognised a gap in the local market and, like a true entrepreneur, wanted to fill it. Believing in herself, and having the tenacity to follow through, she took TT$50,000 of her personal savings and put it behind the development of the app. She then gathered a team of like-minded people to start designing the app, drawing from a local pool of self-taught app designers and techies who manage to keep up with the latest tech advancements despite T&T’s limited resources in this field.
From SKED’s humble beginnings, fast-forward to Bethel walking onto the Planting Seeds set to deliver her pitch to our investors. After months of fighting for her app, it was the first time she would have the opportunity to possibly get her business financed. Needless to say, the stakes were high.
By the time she finished her presentationthe investors were awed, spurring a battle between Joseph Rahael and Sheldon Stephen, who both wanted to buy into her company. Bethel’s offer was an eight-per-cent equity stake for an investment ofTT$200,000. In response to this, Rahael made a counter offer and pushed for TT$200,000 for a 25-per-cent equity stake. Stephen pushed further and went down to TT$200,000 for a 20-per-cent equity stake. Rahael matched it.
Then Bethel had to choose, knowing that her decision would shape the future of her business.Would she go with Rahael or Stephen? She looked up at the investors, and with thoughts racing through her mind, a final decision was made: Sheldon Stephen would be the one. He had the right background in sales andadvertising, and the right industry connections to help SKED grow. And thus a seed was planted.
Today Bethel and Stephen are on a new mission: to sign 200 new businesses in the service scheduling industry. The Planting Seeds Team is about to a launch a social media campaign for SKED, called the ‘Road to 200’, and we are urging all businesses in the service industry to check outwww.skedonline.com
to see how they can use this handy app to organise client appointments more efficiently, reduce no-shows, and improve their customer-service experience.
If you are in the service industry,visit the Planting Seeds website at www.plantingseedscaribbean.com
and see why Kelly-ann Bethel is gaining the attention of investors, businesses and the mainstream media.
Planting Seeds was made possible thanks to the collaborative effort of the Planting Seeds producers, Ernst & Young, and J.D. Sellier, as well as sponsors JMMB, Caribbeanjobs.com, Beacon Insurance and Blink l Bmobile.
Be sure to tune in every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CNC3, and watch as Trinidad and Tobago’s very own up-and-coming entrepreneurs vie to turn their business dreams into a reality.