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Alice Nell
February 3, 2016

Startup Basics 101 with Yatan Blumenthal | Validating & Establishing Sales

The word is out! You might have heard it; in March starts a brand new accelerator at ours! Who, what, where? EY Start-­Up Challenge,​ in collaboration with b​etahausX.​ Great reason to ask our Chief Accelerator Yatan Blumenthal to write a series of blogs, and share some basic startup insights.

Phase #2: Validating & Establishing Sales

In phase 1 we went over the basic to dos to set up your company. So what happens after you’ve chosen your name and set up your business plan? You’re entering a painful but exciting phase of validating your product and getting sales established

You’ve entered the initial stage of any business. Welcome to the start­up phase. Take a seat, you might be here for a while.

 

The problem-­solution fit

The first thing you want, is to find out more about your customers’ problem. You have an idea that you believe solves a problem, so now you need to find the people facing that problem, and make sure to co-­create your product with them.​ Everything will be an experiment; you will hypothesize your product as a solution to the customers’ problem, and through continuously asking and testing, you’ll build a product that actually matters. Get out there, conduct customer development interviews, pick up your notebook, and start building prototypes ­ even if it’s just on paper.

 

“Everything will be an experiment; you will hypothesise your product as a solution to the customers’ problem, and through continuously asking and testing, you’ll build a product that actually matters”

 

Ask yourself how much money you need

Rule of thumb is: the less money you take from investors in the beginning, the better your terms will be when you enter the growth phase. So The Notorious B.I.G. was not far off when he said “mo’ money mo’ problems” ­ although in the startup world you might say “mo’ investors’ money mo investor problems. Evaluate how much money you need; shortlist investors; approach, pitch and pander, but raise only what you need.

 

“Evaluate how much money you need; shortlist investors; approach, pitch and pander, but raise only what you need.”

 

Get your sales system up to speed

Sales are a science in itself, and the best way to think about your research into the problem­solution fit is as a precursor to sales. To be effective in sales you have to develop a clear pitch, such as Founder Institute’s famous “1 sentence pitch” or “the 15 word pitch”.

Next up; make a 10-­slide pitch deck where you explain the problem your target market has, how you’re planning to solve it, and in line with this; specify on your product(s).

Make sure you can explain to people in two minutes tops, what it is your product does and why it is solving a real painpoint. Look up the term “sales funnel” and check out which tools will work best for you.

 

“develop a clear pitch, such as Founder Institute’s famous “1 sentence pitch” or “the 15 word pitch”

 

Go only as fast as you can learn

Test, iterate, test, iterate: ​L​og results from all your interviews, analyse and do learning sessions daily or weekly. The same goes for After Action Reviews. This is paramount to you losing as little time as possible in getting a kick-­ass product out there. Implement appropriate accounting systems and make sure to keep it simple; you don’t want to spend more time on this than you have to.

This second phase ​o​f validating & establishing sales will prove to be a make-­or­-break for your startup. Without it, you won’t have the knowledge nor mindset necessary to pivot quickly and adapt to the market. With it, you’ll have the pre-­requisites to develop something important and the leeway to get to the next level of growth. Enjoy the ride.

 

“Test, iterate, test, iterate: ​Log results from all your interviews, analyse and do learning sessions daily or weekly.”

 

Wanna learn more and get all right from the start? Applications for the ​EY Start­-Up Challenge are open until February 14th. Worried about travel expenses because you’re not in Berlin? Travel expenses up to €7.5 K are covered!

Find more insightful information here

From 8pm on, we'll open The Club where the DJ booth and the dance floor will turn into our playground. We've invited hip hop and pole dancers to open the dance floor and have a friends-only crazy-cool lineup planned for the night. We'll be mixing botanical cocktails with Fritz Cola and inviting you into our Photo Booth Room so you can take home some silly photos from the night. In The Club, you will also find The Balloon Room and The Zen Zone which will be our chill spot for the night. Check out the timeline in The Club and learn more about The Zen Zone below.

The Club
20:00 - 22:00 Dj Niggo
21:00 - 22:00 Hip-Hop Dancers
22:00 - 22.30 AinTheMachine
23:00 - 01:00: Michal Vagner
01:00 - 03:00: Asia

The Zen Zone
(to be announced): Cacao Experience with Moruga Cacao
19:00 - 21:00: Tea Ceremony with Thirsty Moon

Make sure to join our Facebook Event and RSVP on Eventbrite, so we can put your name into our Happiness Jar. This birthday bash is all about our community, and together with our partners we've prepared a special Prize Draw.

Throughout the whole night, you will find the rooms of The Basement filled with art pieces from our favorite Berlin-based creatives. From illustrations to paintings to wooden sculptures and installations - we've made sure to host an inclusive Berlin-like mix of all things art. Let us introduce to you to some of the artists, who you will meet down in The Basement:

Have you met .. the Softblobs? Since moving back to Berlin from the US, Gesine Krätzner has been making strange creatures out of fabric that she calls Softblobs. They are cute, random, and they'll be waiting in The Basement if you want to try playing around with them.

From toys made of fabric, we’re moving onto wooden sculptures. Matt Danko knows how to bring wood to life and does it amazingly in his free time. In The Basement, he’ll show his latest furniture pieces and sculptures.

In the same room as Matt, you’ll find Lisa Büscher, who has prepared for us a hyper realistic sculpture presentation that gives it the touch of the extreme, surrealistic and absurd. She de- and reconstructs and reorganizes human bodies like Utopia does society.


In our Photo & Video room you will find works from Collette Pomerleau and Ocean.Now.

Colette is a Berlin-based creative working in photography, art direction and set design. Through her visuals she explores intimacy and anonymity. The space that falls somewhere in between.

Ocean. Now! is a collective that accelerates ocean protection. They work with different types of art to motivate our society to protect the Ocean -Now!

In the early afternoon, based in The Garden, you’ll meet Amaury BOUQUET. He’s a Berlin-based French artist from Saint Maur des Fossés, who has a background in social innovation and loves to play with symbols in his works. At 10 Years in beta, he’ll do his special Humanist Tarot readings from 4-6pm.

Parallel to him, also in The Garden, Sebastian Olivares will be painting live a special Mandala created for betahaus. Sebastian is a Berlin-based visual artist who specializes in painting mandala murals and has painted murals in Germany, Chile, Australia and Thailand.

Throughout the day ilan katin will be putting the party vibes onto a mural, specially created for betahaus. He's a Neukölln-based artist with experience in visual work, both static and performative, graphic design, illustration, comics, installations, animation and live video.

We think this one speaks for itself. If you need a little glitz or glitter to get you into the party spirit, come early and we'll do the rest.



Last, but not least, special thanks to our lovely partners who are helping us making this event happen.
Pilsner Urquell and Fritz Cola for the drinks, Emmy, Drivy, FrameRight, CoffeeCircle, Dream Facilitation, Moruga and BioWine for supporting our Prize Draw and our media partners from Silicon Allee, ASK HELMUT, Creative City Berlin and TechCode.

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