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Main case

ONk: Dining at the Funding Buffet

By Gary Dushnitsky


The idea for ONk originated in 2012 when six-year-old Mike asked his father, Sam Ke, one night, “Can we make a computer that is simple and fun?” Soon afterwards, a team of three – Alex Bell, Joe Costa and Sam Ke – came together to answer the call. The mission: to give young people – and the young at heart – a simple, fun way to make and play with technology and take control of the world around them. At the core of the proposed offering is a hardware and software kit that can be assembled to create an easy-to-program computer. They named the company ONk to epitomise the spirit of their idea: build a computer, turn it ON and hit any KEY, so you could immediately start to code.

Learning objectives

The purpose of the case is to introduce the concept of the ‘funding buffet.’ To that end, the case shows that (a) startups today have a choice of different ‘types’ of investor, and that (b) they should therefore choose the type that provides not only money, but also the kind of support they need (which varies greatly according to investor type). In other words, a startup’s funding strategy must be mindful of and reflect its business strategy. In sum, the case offers the students an introduction to the concept of startups “dining at the ‘funding buffet’.”





Publication Date: August 2016
LBS Case Code: CS-16-018
Subjects: , , ,
Industry: ,
Geography: , ,
Pages: 9
Format: pdf