Why is the Raika Tech Startup Program necessary?

Several times a week I have the following conversation (almost word-for-word every time):

Caller: I want to be part of your incubator and give you equity to build my project.
Raika: Great! We use our Startup Program to evaluate potential incubator projects. Have you looked into the program and are you ready and willing to participate?
Caller: I don’t need that, I already know what I want to build.
Raika: Ok, and do you have the market research and product-market validation work done that we can review?
Caller: … *silence* …

You see, without the research that we do in our Startup Program, we can’t possibly invest in a project. From the program, we learn whether there’s a viable business in your idea or project, who your target market is and how big that target market is, and what kind of ROI you and we can expect over what period of time. If we don’t go through that process, all we’re doing is building free software. No business can win at that, and more importantly it actually does NOT serve our clients.

In the same way that it doesn’t make sense for us to invest in something we don’t have numbers and facts about, it doesn’t make sense for you either! Building software or an app is NOT THE SAME as building a successful business. Building a successful business based on a piece of software or an app is a time- and money-intensive process, and you shouldn’t want to go down that path based on only your own view of your idea.

The Startup Program is designed to test the market. We build a prototype based on conversations, white board sessions and user personas that we develop with you, and then we test our assumptions and what we think the MVP (minimum viable product) should look like with real users. We craft the interviews in such a way as to elicit answers that are authentic and honest, because that’s the only way to get real data about how your software or app will be received and used and how much people would be willing to spend on it. We are careful to design these validation session questions so that they do not assume that our validations are correct, but rather that we are getting the insights of our target users about the problem we are solving and the way we are solving it.

The bottom line is that if you don’t have an idea that resonates with your end users, there is not a viable business there. And if that’s the case, you AND we would be crazy to invest any more time and money into it than the Startup Program requests of us. Protect your precious resources (your retirement, savings, home, and relationships) by putting a little bit of time and money into finding out more about your idea before you jump in with both feet. We promise that no matter what you find through the process of completing your program, you’ll be glad you did.

By: Cynthia Delaria, CEO/COO @ Raika Technologies, LLC.