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Designing a better business              

After creating a “home of the future” that is attractive, sustainable and redefines the way we live, Felicity Bernstein needed to fund the project.                         

Hütt homes are cutting edge. They use the latest technology and have energy efficient features such as solar power and plug-in options for electric car charging.

The focus is on quality, safety, lifestyle, sustainability, energy efficiency, minimal if any running costs, a toxin-free environment, innovation and technology.

Felicity developed the project while running the multi award-winning Melbourne Design Studios, which offers all stages of architectural consultancy, building design and interior design, with Marc Bernstein-Hussmann.

The business takes clients from first sketches and ideas through to technical drawings, contract administration and completion in Australia and overseas.

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The studio’s state-of-the art design and innovative, eco-conscious foundations are applied to all types of dwellings, additions and alterations.

“We love to be on the forefront of future leading innovative design by creating houses that excite and inspire in a sophisticated way,” Felicity says. “Building tomorrow’s house today is our theme. We love what we do. It’s passion.”

The Hütt project involved ground-breaking futuristic home design and the need for venture capital.

Felicity had been working on it for several years and was ready to launch the brand, but wanted clarity about the best way to organise finance. After finding SBMS via google, she was matched with mentor Joss Milner.

 

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Joss is an experienced business mentor and chartered accountant with more than 25 years’ experience primarily in IT and start-ups, including commercialisation and overseas expansion.

SBMS is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business.  It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it. 

Felicity had two standard mentoring sessions with Joss over nine months, and continues to communicate by email.

The sessions largely focussed on how to fund the venture and attract investors. Joss helped frame the Information memorandum (IM) and to focus on the impact that an investor will have on the business and how any deals would be structured going forward.

Joss’s advice helped Felicity develop:

  • a far more structured approach to funding the venture
  • more confidence that the finances will stack up, not just the “invention”
  • a far greater understanding of how to fund a business
  • an understanding of how to structure an Information Memorandum to attract investors
  • more knowledge about what type of investor to approach and the consequences of having other people are involved in the business.

“They now have a clear direction as how to fund their venture and how to write an IM that will hopefully attract the right type of investors,” Joss says. “They are also better prepared to deal with the impact that investors can have on the business.” 

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Making the “Australian dream” homes a reality has been demanding but rewarding. As well financing it, Felicity had to overcome challenges including:

  • space becoming more valuable in urban settings
  • the impact on the environment becoming more pressing
  • the high cost of modern lifestyle choices
  • gadgets and technology being the foundation of modern life
  • health consciousness becoming a global trend. 

The first two European-inspired Hütt homes are fully furnished exclusive first editions and have some elements developed with leading artists. One is inspired by wine and fitted with an amazing wine cellar, and the other has a designer fashion theme.

These will be followed by fixed-price luxury and premium lines with features such as dry-cleaning technology, steam ovens and built-in coffee machines, mostly controllable by smart phone. Pre- designed configurations will range from an extension to a five-bedroom home.

Felicity says after several years of hard work it is reassuring to know they are now prepared to launch the new brand that she hopes will revolutionise the new home market.

Felicity wanted the carbon and fossil-free home to be the strongest and most desirable product on the market and is confident that it is.

“With a lot of research and hard work we are ready to launch a house that re-defines the way we live,” she says. “From smart building technology and a high performing envelope to state-of-the-art design, our houses are the most exhilarating homes ever hitting the market.

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“The best way to predict the future is to create it. We are creators and makers of houses of tomorrow. Our mission is to revolutionise the building industry.”

To download a copy of this story, click here Home by Hutt

   

SBMS is proudly supported by the Victorian Government & Small Business Victoria

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