Get a contact, insist on a meeting, catch a flight and do an interview!

Day 19. November 2014 posted Stanislava Vabšek

Connect, search for contacts, arrange a meeting, get on a plane for London or to wherever your key market is, and do an interview with a potential customer. That was the central message of the first educational module on the topic of the “get-out-of-the-building” philosophy, which took place today as part of the programme of accelerator Start:up Geek House. It was intended for those who received an investment through the SK50 tender, and was led by Matej Golob from company 30Lean.

The “get-out-of-the-building” philosophy reveals approaches for discovering actual customers and preparing a concrete plan for carrying this process out (scenario, interview, table of contact information of potential customers etc.). As part of the get-out-of-the-building philosophy, the entrepreneur has to clearly define their vision, mission and strategic goals while at the same time set and check the main client-related hypotheses, their problems and potential solutions. The basic tool in this approach are interviews with first beta clients and the so-called “early evangelists”. These aren’t as much classic interviews, but more of a simulation of the sale-purchase process with an incredible feeling that there is no actual selling going on. Instead, it’s all about discovering the problems that the customers face.


How to get contacts?

When including customers in the product development, an entrepreneur may quite quickly discover that their assumptions were completely wrong and that a pivot is necessary. However, the prerequisite for carrying out the entire process are contacts of potential customers with whom entrepreneurs can do interviews and find out whether they’re on the right path. Today’s module was intended for those who received a convertible loan in the amount of 50,000 EUR through the SK50 tender. It was carried out for the accelerator Start:up Geek House by the lean and agile mentor Matej Golob from company 30Lean. The module thus mostly focused on actual instructions and procedures for getting a sufficient amount of contact information of potential customers you can invite to an interview.



Warm lead

Let’s look at some practical examples. Matej first prompted all participants to enter their contact information into a joint shared document – information like name and surname, e-mail address and a direct link to their LinkedIn profile. All participants connected with each other on this business network, and then personally stepped up to each other, shook hands, exchanged a word or two about their business ideas. “This is how we establish the so-called ‘warm lead’ – the connection with a person who can later on use their LinkedIn contact network to help you get to the right people, to the best marketing and development directors in companies that are potential customers of your product,” was the short and concise point from Golob. This is also an important message for all other entrepreneurs, reminding them that they have to actualise things as soon as possible and get into contact with the real business world.


The necessity of networking and the LinkedIn treasury

The programme classmates then helped each other find contacts via their LinkedIn profiles, while we also opened a closed Facebook group for all programme participants, where the communication and support in searching new business connections with potential customers will continue. Thus, a lesson for entrepreneurs – network as much as possible and everywhere, take advantage of each and every moment to expand and develop your business.


The practice of Y Combinator

All the most respected accelerators in the world share the same practice, which was also confirmed by Matevž Petek, alumni of the Y Combinator accelerator. One of the most valuable advantages of this accelerator is exactly this access to the community of accelerator participants of all years and generations – on the YC intranet as well as on Facebook, where members continue to communicate and help each other with their knowledge, experience and connections even after they had completed the educational programme. In short, what’s incredibly important for entrepreneurial success are community and systematic programmes, so we kindly invite all entrepreneurs to join national programmes of the Initiative Start:up Slovenia.

Just go for it!

And the final advice of Matej Golob: “Once you get the contact information – Just go for it! Insist on a meeting, book a date, catch a flight to London and do an interview. You’ve competed for this investment through the tender SK50 and I don’t want to see you spending it on Slovenian pizza, for salaries, for “development” and extra features, but rather for getting out – out of the building, out of Slovenia. This is why it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea to pay out some of the money next year in vouchers for plane tickets and hotels abroad, so that all these meetings we set up today would actually happen,” adds Matej, partly joking, partly serious.     

Start:up Geek House Bootcamp is sponsored by... 

Program sofinancirata



Geekhouse Bootcamp SK50 Start:up geeek house accelerator
Communications and PR Start:up Slovenija
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.