As Kilo Health annually invites experienced entrepreneurs to launch or lead their digital health products through the Co-found Program (a startup acceleration program), many are familiar with the approval process. But what occurs after your idea is accepted?
Let’s take a peek from the inside with some insights from co-founders.
Funding Startups often find it hard to get funding. One big challenge is explaining clearly what makes their idea valuable.
The initial phase following the approval of your idea, especially when developing a new digital health product, involves getting the necessary funding. This financial support is essential for creating a prototype and advancing the product’s development smoothly.
As Vitalijus Majorovas, the co-founder of Pulsetto, explains:
“In our case, the first stage was the funding/investment phase. Hardware development typically spans around 3 years and demands several million euros, making securing funding an absolute necessity. In this context, I dedicated 3 months to convincing Tadas Burgaila, the CEO of Kilo Health, that our product was worthwhile. After the tenth presentation, I successfully convinced him, leading to getting a funding for the prototype. We promptly and effectively developed the prototype, leading to additional financing. To sum up, funding and prototype development plays a crucial role in this stage.”
A well-functioning team is necessary to improve communication, creativity, resources, and even motivation.
No successful product can be developed without a team of committed professionals. While co-founders may begin individually or with a partner, they will eventually need to assemble an existing team or hire entirely new professionals for roles such as research, development, marketing, engineering, and more.
“Building a successful product is not a journey you take solo. It’s a productive collaboration of dedicated professionals. As co-founders, we start with a vision, but the development truly takes flight when we bring together a talented team, each contributing their unique expertise to shape and help our ideas turn into reality,” says Mantas Kondratavicius, co-founder of BoomeranGO!.
This stage is when you start to finally create the product. It involves various mechanical, engineering, electrical, and customer testing iterations.
Even though you should have already prepared a business plan and determined your target audience in theory prior to this stage, the development phase really makes things clearer. During this time, you dig in and figure out an even more detailed plan for your startup. That means highlighting what makes your product special and who you’re making it for.
“Looking back on our journey, the development phase was a mix of excitement and challenge. We were in constant edit mode, adjusting our prototypes based on feedback from our crew of experts, beta testers, and potential customers. It was tough, but all those edits paid off, shaping a product that we are proud of and exceeded our vision,” shares Mantas Kondratavicius.
As many may feel, launching is the most exciting part of it all. It’s when your idea finally comes to life and is now in the hands of the world to test out.
However, according to a report by Small Business Trends, only 2 in 5 startups are profitable, and other startups will either break even (1 in 3) or continue to lose money (1 in 3).
“Then comes the product launch, which typically isn’t super successful right away. That’s why we had to try out all sorts of funnels, test 9 pricing models, marketing campaigns, messages, and so on. A lot of startups crumble at this stage, but it takes patience and having backup plans — B, C, D, and E — until you find your customer,” explains Vitalijus Majorovas.
Finally, the growth stage arrives (hopefully). However, the hustle continues even at this point. This is when you’re focused on ramping up marketing efforts and exploring new channels, sales points, effective and ineffective ads, and more.
Majorovas concludes with a dose of reality that you may encounter even during the growth stage:
“There might be issues with production, backorders, and unsatisfied customers. While selling is no longer a challenge, managing the entire production process becomes demanding. This is when cash flow becomes crucial. As a startup, working capital is essential because, without it, retaining profits becomes tricky. Sales are no longer the sole focus, and it’s all about operational management.”