The first week of the program gave an opportunity for ubi i/o entrepreneurs to get a acquainted with their new surroundings. Second week on the other hand was purely business focused with B2B meetings, pitching events, investment talks & networking opportunities.
— Anne-Sophie Faivre (@AnneSophieFvr) April 25, 2016
In San Francisco, we kicked off the week by inviting over Mattieu Lhoumeau, CEO of Concord and fellow ubi i/o alumni. Here are three takeaways that you should always keep in mind according to his experiences:
1/ Finding talent can easily be done outside of Silicon Valley. As a founder, you will enjoy a much more affordable workforce by doing so.
2/ When recruiting, finding the right marketing profile is very tough. A good marketer is someone that understands figures and grows the company using specific metrics and various methodologies.
3/ In the U.S., you don’t exist without marketing. Growth is something you buy.
“Outsourcing will make you go faster”
Our conversation with Mathieu Lhoumeau was the perfect intro to our Thursday afternoon workshop: Deploying U.S. operations. Matthieu Blandineau, Trade Advisor at Business France moderated this session with our guest speakers Hervé Laumonier, Founder and CEO @ONE2TEAM and Olivier Poissonnier, CFO @Algolia. One of the main discussion theme was about outsourcing. This practice allows young startups to stay focused on their core business while avoiding making bad hires. Hiring the wrong profile can be very damaging for any startup, you can’t build a great company without great people, so always approach your recruiting processes with caution.
Software Product Management was another tackled topic this past week. Frédéric Bidot Trade Advisor @ Business France invited Margaret Francis, Senior Director of Product Management @Heroku, Regis Bectarte, Director of User Experience @DocuSign and Shekar Hariharan, Director of Product Marketing @SugarCRM. Out of this discussion, three main pillars stood out to efficiently manage your product:
1/ Users: Listen to your users and adapt the product to their needs. One of the many roles of the product manager is to gather, listen and implement the feedback he/she receives and adapt the product roadmap accordingly.
2/ Money: Your dollars should be allocated to building the best features, these features should have one objective: satisfy your user’s needs in order to increase adoption.
3/ Expectations: In the never ending race for innovation, product teams have to meet objectives and deadlines. Allocating your workforce and budget accordingly is one of the tough roles product manager have to deal with on a daily basis.
The rest of the week was dedicated to generating new leads & preparing for the first public pitch session. On Tuesday, Famoco, Codingame & Lima gave a two minute pitch at VC TaskForce. An opportunity to get their first feedback from American Angel investors. Honorable mention for the Lima team who finished in second place!
On Thursday, the first PitchForce event was held at the Galvanize Center. Each startup had to network with the attendees and present their product in order to gain votes. The 5 startups with the most votes then had their shot at delivering a 4 minute pitch in front of a panel of investors.
— ubi i/o (@ubi_io) April 29, 2016
A big round of applause to Redbird who ended up taking home the win! Famoco ended up in second place due to their sharp pitch and impressive international growth. This event allowed ubi i/o entrepreneurs to gather feedback from a tough panel who did not care to sugar coat their opinions. Although it can sometimes hurt, panel members all agree, honesty is the best policy.
The Big Apple
Back in New York City, ubi i/o CEOs are running back and forth from one business meeting to another. Slowly but surely, they are getting used to the rhythm of the city that never sleeps. On Wednesday, Florence Tison invited Dana Poleg from Kaltura to talk about Demand Generation. Dana thoroughly explained the ten steps to build an effective demand generation machine:
Step 1: Focus your go to market strategy
Step 2: Set $ targets
Step 3: Design your lead funnel & determine your KPIs
Step 4: Invest in lead acquisition and build your database
Step 5: Engage your leads with content
Step 6: Always think from your customer’s perspective
Step 7: Your website is your most important asset
Step 8: Qualify the leads
Step 9: Track your performance, tweak the strategy if need be
All set to present marketing strategies and automation tactics to French Startups. — Raj Suvarna (@rvsuvarna) April 28, 2016
According to Raj, the role of the VP of marketing operations, no matter the size of the organization is to grow the company. Some of the first steps to implement marketing automation are:
– Make the right technology choices early on
– Focus on people you hire & processes
– Be patient. It’s going to take some time, you won’t see instant revenue as soon as you plug in Pardot.
To finish off the week, our 8 startups had the chance to meet with Andy Saldana, Director of Operations at New York Tech Meetup. Andy spent 20 minutes with each startup and gave them feedback on their product and how to properly demo it to American Prospects. And if that wasn’t enough, Andy will be selecting a few of our startups for them to present their product at the New York Tech Meetup!