On our way to a ‘not-so-sucky’ brand

Over the past few months, I’ve met with many different people ranging from founders, investors and potential hires. I quickly apologize when they mention they’ve been to our website, ‘Please don’t judge us by it.’ Let me say what everyone is thinking — our branding sucks.

Investopad is undergoing transformation right now, which is something we’ve kept pretty low key. As a team, we’ve talked extensively on our purpose, positioning and personality as we dive deeper into the ecosystem. The past two years have been about building our story, network and portfolio and we’re really excited about how far we’ve come in such a short period of time. What started as an idea and an empty building in Gurgaon turned into a beautifully lit office which has housed at least 100 startups. The success and interest in our model has enabled us to grow and extend our office space to Delhi in SDA Market (opposite IIT) and Koramangala, Bangalore in the past year.

So, this January we decided that we wanted to create a new brand that better embodied who we are, and what we have to offer. We provided our designer with three references and directions with how we could see our brand transformed.

I. City of Melbourne

I. The versatility within the City of Melbourne brand reminded us how technology is constantly changing. Having a simple logo that could adapt many different forms interested us as we thought about presenting ourself in new and refreshing ways over time.

II. Captivate by Mustaali Raj

II. The combination and arrangement of different modules in Captivate for Capilano University sparked our interest because of its representation of different disciplines. Similarly the tech startups that Investopad houses varies across a number of domains ranging from communication, search, social, finance, chat, IoT, wearables, energy, and enterprise.

III. OCAD University by Bruce Mau Design

III. The platform to showcase student work in the identity for OCAD University caught our eye because it pridefully displays the work of their students under their wing. As Investopad continues to grow and incubate more startups, we like the idea of showcasing our portfolio companies alongside us.

We realized there was one thing these references all had in common — they were part of a system.

From there we brainstormed all the functions that Investopad is a part of. We started out by thinking about Investopad as a funnel before landing on the idea of a moonshot. By definition a moonshot is the launching of a spacecraft to the moon. As a concept, we saw Investopad as a launchpad for startups to grow. We began to play around with the moonshot and the idea of movement, meanwhile keeping systems in mind.

Investopad as a funnel
Investopad as a moonshot

As we played around with the moonshots and visual references, we found a simple icon and threw it in place of the ‘O’ and found that it started to inform the direction we were starting to take. As a technology incubator, we hear ‘startup ecosystem’ an exhausting amount. Our interest lies within the Solar System. The idea of orbits and planets revolving around the sun began to resonate with us. Each startup, similar to planets have their own personality. They vary in domain, size, and talents, each bringing something different to the table. They grow and expand at different rates, creating their own path in which they orbit. Investopad, similarly offers different things to each startup based on need for growth. Our network and resources are diverse, and the skills of individuals we create relationships with vary.

We tried to embody this thought process into each design, some more successfully than others. After many internal discussions and opinions voiced, we have decided to open up our progress to the public. With all the options, there are a few favorites internally which overlap. However, each person on our team would like to see a concept explored more. Lets face it — we don’t have that kinda of time. Take part in our story. Be part of our brand. Become another element in our solar system.

We’ve created a poll that allows you to choose the concepts you would like to see us move forward with. Our next step will be to tweak it and start working on the details. Feel free to leave comments below and share your thoughts.