How the boss of Pizza Rossa profited from the crowdfunding revolution
If you take your business idea to the crowdfunding audience, you'll need to stand out.
Corrado Accardi's plan for Pizza Rossa gained momentum after winning London Business School's Best Business Plan award last year and going on to be runner-up in a European-wide event.
In October he took his "easy, on-the-go pizza" proposal to the web and it broke the European record for a startup.
"It's an easy concept to understand," said Corrado. "But I also think the awards helped earn me a lot of credibility. With that and its simplicity, people were keen to back it."
He raised £440,000 from 119 investors - 157% of his target. Those backers took on 40% of the equity of the company.
The Pizza Rossa idea is a takeaway pizzeria with the first opening in the City at Leadenhall Market.
Accardi wants to open 12 outlets - focused on the Square Mile - in the next five years, with three by the end of 2014.
The concept is a square slice, perfect for those on the move as it has easily digestible dough with low levels of gluten, yeast and salt.
Corrado said: "It's made from quality ingredients and doesn't make you bloated. It's easy to eat on the go and perfect for those in the City."
The Sardinian-born businessman's story is a lesson in pursuing a passion. He became a successful chartered engineer after completing his masters in environmental engineering at the University of Cagliari, a career that brought him to London with his family. But he decided to leave engineering behind to follow his love of pizza.
First he took on a course for a professional qualification in Italy and then returned to England to work at a takeaway.
"As an engineer, you can be working exclusively on a project for two to three years and I didn't like it," said the 43-year-old. "I wanted something where you talk to people from all walks of life. I love pizza and I grew up on pizza so the idea was perfect."
Go to pizzarossauk.wordpress.com.