Startup Playbooks

Idea to MVP

Steps that Univation Startups follow to start building their ideas

You have this idea you can’t stop thinking about, but you’re unsure how to make it a reality.

The startups in the Univation program are following the steps to convert ideas to real MVPs (minimum viable product) and start building momentum.

1. Create Accountability by joining the Univation program

  • Join the Univation Hub program and meet the other founders
  • The program's events will push you to get your idea off the ground
  • Mentors keep track of your progress and keep you accountable

2. Create a landing page

  • Create a landing page with a sign-up form, so you have a page you can share with others.
  • Start collecting emails and details of people who are interested, with Tally or Airtable forms
  • We use Webflow, but umso, Dorik, or Typedream can build an awesome landing page in a day
  • Design your logo and graphics in Canva and Logo Maker for simple designs and in Figma for more advanced ones

3. Add value in targeted communities

  • Hopefully, you’re already a member of communities you’re interested in - if not join them (Discord, Slack, Facebook, Reddit, etc.)
  • Give to the community by authentically posting, sharing, commenting, etc.
  • Share what you’re working on and see if others are excited about it as well

4. Interview 5 targeted potential users

  • Identify a very specific group you want to build for (eg. health tech fanatics, enterprise sales leaders, etc.), with unique needs and problems
  • Find these people in your network or the targeted communities (LinkedIn, Slack communities, ProductHunt Projects, Online Events) and ask if they have a few minutes for a quick interview
  • Use principles from The Mom Test to ensure interview results are valid
  • Record the interviews (Grain, Dovetail, or loom) for review afterward
  • After ~5 interviews, start looking for patterns or interesting tidbits

5. Find a partner

  • Find a co-founder from your circles or, if you're a student, from the university community
  • Join the Univation program to find your co-founder

6. Build an MVP

  • Use the  learnings from your user interviews to create a scrappy MVP
  • The goal of the MVP is to advance your learnings, not to produce a perfect experience
  • This could be as simple as a form with some manual work on the other end - to test your product on real users' needs
  • The second version may be a no-code app, but first optimize for speed + learning - we use bubble, for our platform, but simpler and faster tool is

7. Generate traction

  • Improve the MVP by repeating steps 2-6
  • Update the landing page, share your learnings in communities, interview more targeted people, and improve the MVP
  • Create a Slack or Discord community and let the users chat and post openly about bugs, suggestions and questions
  • Best traction = getting paid users
  • Other traction options → get into an accelerator, get an established advisor, etc.

Join the Univation Program

Minas Marios Kontis
May 7, 2022