Becoming an investable startup in east africa the pivot east criteria - april 2014
Becoming an investable startup in East Africa:
The PIVOT East Criteria
A startup is an organization formed to search
for a repeatable and scalable business model
- Steve Blank
A startup is a human institution designed to
deliver a new product or service under
conditions of extreme uncertainty
- Eric Ries
A business model describes the
rationale of how an organization
creates, delivers, and captures value
A. Osterwalder et al.
Useful Reading material from Ash Maurya
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(1) Problem and Customer Segments
○ What top customer pains have you identified?
○ What customer segments are affected by the
problem ? Early adopters identified ?
○ Is problem big enough for a viable business case?
○ $100m+ annual turnover in 5 years?
2) The solution
○ How are you solving the customer's
○ What special features of the solution that
directly address the customer’s pain?
○ How can you confirm that your solution
resonates with customer’s problem
○ High-level concept pitch - ie “new product
X”: “Y for Z” eg. “MkulimaMax”: “Oracle
ERP for smart farmers”
(3) Revenue Streams Envisaged and Tested
○ How will you make money by providing the solution
given the nature of the current market place?
○ Have you conducted experiments to test any of the
revenue streams? if so what lessons have been
learnt so far?
(4) The Technological Advantage
○ Why is the technological solution and
revenue model expected to work?
○ What unique technological
approaches or platforms have you
opted for that make it workable and
(5) Analysis of Competitive Landscape
○ What are the existing alternatives to
your solution? Show thorough
knowledge of competitors /
○ What differentiates you from the
alternatives? We can - they can’t, We
can’t - they can
(6) Customer Acquisition & Channels
○ What customer segments are early adopters?
○ How will the customer segments become aware?
○ How will you achieve customer activation? (first
instance of gratifying experience)
○ Does product have viral characteristics?
(7) Team Composition & Commitment Level
○ What skills & experience does the team have?
i. Team member complementary strengths
ii. Additional skills required? self diagnosis ..
○ Commitment & motivation of the team
i. Co-founder, employee, advisory roles?
ii. Existence of founders’ agreement, vesting
(8a) Market Traction and Secondary Achievements
● Growing Revenue
○ # of paying customers,
○ # Gross monthly revenue
● Growing / Sticky User-base
○ # of Downloads / Pageviews / Requests,
○ # of active / repeat users
(9) Projections for Milestones and Key Metrics
How’s the roadmap for growth within the next 12
months for :-
● Customer discovery / development
● Key partnerships & Investments
What does it take to achieve desired milestones?
(10) Pitch Video
● A video (max 5 minutes) that demonstrates :-
○ Passion among founders / key employees to
pursue the startup’s mission
○ A clear call to action on what the startup is
pursuing at PIVOT East 2014 - ie Visibility,
Networks, Partners, Funding etc
Basic video quality is acceptable. Professional
shooting or editing not necessary
(11) Demo Video or ScreenShots
The Demo video should showcase :-
● Key features of the solution
● How intuitive the user experience is
● How well polished the user interface is
General Competition Notes
○ Competition portal - startups.pivoteast.com
○ Minimum number of team members is two (2)
○ Tag startup entries in a maximum of two (2)
○ Team members to update personal profiles on
their key skills and include a LinkedIn profile
○ The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
○ The art of the start - Guy Kawasaki
○ Running Lean - Ash Maurya
○ The Founder’s Dilemma - Noam Wasserman
○ Brad Feld's blog - feld.com
○ The Four Steps to the Epiphany - Steve Blank
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