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5 tips for budding entrepreneurs who want to gain international investors’ attention, from one who’s doing exactly that


Mark Woodland (pictured), CEO and founder of Xplor has just returned from the annual Web Summit in Dublin, one of the largest technology conferences in the world. Mark brought Xplor to the Web Summit to share the benefits of Xplor for teachers, childcare providers and parents with the world.

Xplor was one of the 17 start-ups from Australia and NZ exhibiting at the Web Summit. As an entrepreneur, Mark was excited to have the opportunity to represent the Australian startup community on the world stage.

Mark spent five years developing Xplor, an app providing a platform for parents to connect with their children in childcare in real time, and it has now been adopted by over 100,000 users. His efforts have been rewarded as he received international investment offers through his presence at the Web Summit.

He has now shared his 5 key learnings to help other start-ups gain attention from investors.

1. Have a strategy to entice investors

Xplor created investor kits that include an iPod Touch and Estimote Beacon for potential investors. These generated hype on social media, creating more opportunities for investors to discover Xplor.

2. The importance of networking

The Web Summit provides an unrivalled opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to meet and reach out to investors. Mark has taken full advantage of the opportunity and has kept his networks updated through social media every step of the way and formed new connections with like-minded people across the globe.

3. Stand out from the crowd

With over 22,000 people from over 110 countries attending the Web Summit, entrepreneurs need to be creative in how they can stand out from the rest.

Xplor has used their social media presence to connect with everyone at the summit from CEOs to volunteers which has resulted in Xplor making the digital influencers list.

4. Give people a compelling reason to believe

As a blogger for the Irish Tech News covering the event wrote, “those startups with a strong story to tell seemed to be finding lots of investor interest, with some (Mark Woodland) being in the fortunate position of turning many away.”

Mark describes Xplor not just in terms of its technical benefits but that it can be “magical” and highlights the emotional connections it can create.

5. Never give up, persevere and enlist help from mentors

Every entrepreneur knows that the journey is never completely linear. Years of development and hard work can pay off but always push through hurdles and seek help from good mentors.