Week 8 of thoughtbot Startup Incubator: Senga Matriculates!

Jordyn Bonds

We’re here in the thoughtbot Incubator reporting to you about the last week of our first session! Curious how we got here? Check out last week’s post about Week 7

It’s bittersweet to be wrapping up — no surprise, I’m both nervous and excited to start going it alone.

  • Senga Founder, Agnes Malantinszky

Don’t forget to check out the Founder’s Journal at the end of this post for more insights from our startup CEO, Agnes Malatinszky. ⬇️

Interviewing Customers… Forever!

We continued to test our assumptions with freelancers sourced through userinterviews.com, and got Agnes set up to continue this practice forever! If there’s one thing we want our founders walking out of their incubator experience with, it’s this: Talking to your customers is fundamental to building a successful company and it should happen every week for the duration of your business.

Market-Message Fit

It was especially satisfying to see customer conversations come together around the themes we’d been honing in all over the course of the program. This is the signal that we’d reached market-message fit: We had sufficiently narrowed our target audience and tuned our messaging to the point where every conversation felt like they were reading to us from our own script!

Future Planning & Hand-Off

We wanted to send Agnes off into the world with as much as possible, so our last week together involved a ton of future-forward planning and hand-off.

Technical Roadmapping

Our developer on the team walked Agnes through what she needs to know in order to make good decisions about the MVP. What platforms and frameworks should she consider building on and why? What are the various database options? This really was a crash course in app-making!

Design Guidance

Our designer on the team put the finishing touches to the prototype and sent Agnes off with a style guide she can used to iterate on the prototype, marketing site, or early brand identity work.

Investor Strategy

We continued to cover the finer points of raising pre-seed capital – who should Agnes talk to and when? What information will these folks expect to see and hear?

Founder’s Journal

This was the final week of the incubator. My two priorities were to complete a basic technical plan with our developer, Jimmy, and to make sure I had the reins on all the work streams, accounts, and other collateral that we had created during the incubator. It’s bittersweet to be wrapping up — no surprise, I’m both nervous and excited to start going it alone.

The technical plan for Senga has two tracks. First, for this summer, Jimmy set up all our accounts so that they had the capacity to host the v0 of the content, create a gated membership section on the site, and collect analytics through GA. He also mapped out v1 technical recommendations and talked me through each piece — more for my benefit than a future CTO or lead developer. Even this high level understanding of hosting, tooling, db, auth, analytics, etc. gives me peace of mind that I’m not going to be fumbling around in the dark.

As for the project handoff and wrap-up, the thoughtbot team ran my offboarding like a well oiled machine. I can’t imagine a more supportive startup incubation or launch, and I’m immensely grateful to thoughtbot for giving me this opportunity.

Next up

Are you a founder who’s ready to explore and validate (or invalidate) a new business and product opportunity? Applications for our Summer ‘23 Incubator are now open! Apply through June 7th at thoughtbot.com/incubator to begin work on July 5th.