Starting a new business venture can be an exhilarating yet challenging journey. To navigate the path from zero to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and beyond, every startup needs a clear roadmap and actionable strategies. In a recent Enterprise Ireland moderated panel at Fintech South, Stephen Walsh, CEO of Keeper Solutions, shared some invaluable insights into this transformative journey. Here are five top tips from Stephen Walsh to help startups on their path to success.
- Sprint to Clarity
One of the first challenges that startups face is sorting through a whirlwind of ideas. Stephen recommends adopting a Design Sprint approach to streamline these ideas, focus on impactful features, and create a clear roadmap for the MVP. This modified version of the Google Ventures Design Sprint typically runs over four weeks and helps startups define crucial aspects like User Personas, User Journey, Product UX Design, data environment, and key AI-driven features. Once these are clarified, the technical architecture for the product can be defined, providing a clear path to development.
- In-House vs. Software Outsourcing
Startups often grapple with the decision of whether to build an in-house team or outsource certain aspects. Stephen advises startups to assess their core strengths and know when to leverage external expertise without overextending internal resources. Having both business and technical founders is crucial, with Product Management playing a central role in controlling the Product Road Map.
- Financing Your Vision
Raising capital is essential for startup growth, but it can be challenging. Stephen emphasizes meticulous preparation for seed rounds, understanding financial needs, and aligning with investors who share the startup’s mission. Running a Design Sprint before meeting investors can be particularly helpful in presenting a compelling pitch.
- Data: The New Oil
In the modern digital landscape, data is often referred to as the “new oil.” Stephen highlights the importance of a comprehensive data audit for fintech startups. Startups should systematically identify potential data sources, including permission data like Open Banking, paid APIs, internal data, and consumer behavior databases. With the right data, fintech products can harness the full potential of AI.
- User-Centric Feedback Loop
Engaging with users is vital for product success. Stephen suggests incorporating user-behavior and analysis tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar in the product. Startups should aim to get user feedback early to understand which features resonate and which don’t. Launching an MVP early allows startups to collect feedback and pivot their product to better serve their target market’s needs.
Stephen Walsh’s insights provide startups with a solid foundation for navigating the challenging path from ideation to MVP and beyond. By adopting a Design Sprint, balancing in-house and outsourced talent effectively, preparing for fundraising, prioritizing data, and maintaining a user-centric approach, startups can increase their chances of success. The journey may be challenging, but with the right strategies and guidance, startups can turn their innovative ideas into thriving businesses.
For more information on innovative Irish fintech companies that can transform your business, reach out to Maria Gagic.