FoundersDoor 4.0 Wrap Up 😢
FoundersDoor is a six week pre-accelerator for early stage tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds in London. The programme is delivered by YSYS in partnership with One Tech as part of the Mayor of London’s Digital Talent initiative.
You can find details of our current cohort here.
As of 29th August 2020, the FoundersDoor pre-accelerator as we know it today had its final session. Yes, you read that correctly. But before we see off the cohort in usual fashion with our virtual demo, here is a quick wrap up of how the second half of the programme went down.
If you missed the FoundersDoor 4.0 mid-week update a few weeks ago then do yourself a favour and read it here before continuing on!
Testing, Marketing & Pitching
Week 4 — Testing
FoundersDoor pre-accelerator is all about proof-of-concept and in the previous week, the concept of low, mid and high fidelity prototypes were introduced by Zaisha Smith. Week 4 is usually the point around which founders have something that they can put in front of a potential customer to get some feedback on, despite how far that it may be from the idealised finished product.
Uneco went the route of doing A/B Testing of the messaging for their website, as well as enlisting some people to do UX testing of the website features e.g. how easy it is to list items or search contacts on the marketplace.
Selectaire took a similar approach by getting 3 individuals from the community that they are building to provide feedback on navigating their platform which prompted some interesting suggestions, such as a more intuitive search/filter function, which the ladies are keen to implement moving ahead.
Bridge were in a slightly more unique position in that the “experience” of using their product, at least conceptually, can be somewhat replicated in a live form. This lead founder, Elle, to put together some curated virtual workshops in which she could test whether or not the premise of cultural learning through shared images could impact the focus areas of empathy, global awareness and connection. If the Zoom call version had positive feedback, in theory, that would give confidence to the utility of a fully developed tech version.
Marketing — Week 5
In Week 5, we were joined again by Narada McKoy, founder and CEO of Bravada who spilled all on the key marketing strategies for an early-stage startup on a shoe-string budget.
In the early stages of a startup, lack of marketing budget can be made up with creativity and good community engagement. Selectaire developed the idea of producing a wig-match quiz, which their potential customers/users can use to get customised wig recommendations based on responses. The idea behind this is that value can be created immediately which prompts them to sign up to the mailing list and effectively join the Selectaire community.
Uneco also developed another idea which could work as a marketing funnel for their marketplace, which is online content creation. Many startup teams will publish blogs and articles or the occasional video but fewer develop fully fledged products to support their customer acquisition goals. On September 22nd, Uneco will launch an online course to teach people the basics of upcycling their clothes.
Week 6 — Pitching
Whether elevator or boardroom, pitching comes with the territory of creating a starutup and not only when you are actively seeking investment. In the final week, Yemi Awopetu, co-founder of Herby, went through his top pitching tips with the founders and drilled down on the tough questions that they might expect to be asked.
We also had the pleasure of being joined by a friend of YSYS, Mike Lingle, founder of Rocket Pro Forma who ran an amazing class on financial modelling from his home in Florida. Alongside a very thorough breakdown of the core accounting components and a demo of his own projection product, Mike gave some powerful insights into the importance of getting finance right in your startup through anecdotes of the tough experiences he had to go through learning it the hard way!
Join us on 9th September @ 6.30pm for the FoundersDoor 4.0 Demo to see and hear from the founders themselves! Sign up here and share with your network :)