Introducing Spark: Our New Early-Stage Launchpad for Startup Founders

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@sam-dickieSam Dickie

Lead Product Manager @ucreate_ | Fintech nerd | Founder @nocodetech (acquired)+ @getBetaTesta

This year we have been quietly developing and launching our first micro-incubator programme at ucreate. Since 2015 we have been working with talented founders as their tech partner across a variety of industries and technologies.
During this time we noticed founders were overlooking a fundamental step before partnering with us - validation. Prior to starting the development phase and launching their MVPs many founders had undertaken little to no market validation or customer development.
One of the biggest risks with missing this critical phase is, ultimately, you build the wrong solution and waste months or years creating something no-one needs or wants.
So, how can we reduce this risk and rapidly validate the problem prior to validating the solution?
That's where Spark comes in. Spark ultimately wants to reduce the likelihood that you build the wrong solution. In a matter of weeks Spark can fundamentally reduce that risk and provide you with further certainty you are on the right path to solve a problem people are willing to pay for, using our unique evidence-driven problem validation framework.
In creating the Spark programme, we distilled all our research of current incubators and accelerators, together with our insights and learnings centred around validating and building tech products, with input from our advisors, investors, partners, and other key stakeholders within ucreate, into a condensed, rapid 6-week validation programme called Spark.
Spark is a 6 week, rapid, early-stage launchpad for passionate startup founders
Spark equips founders with the tools, skillset and mindset to ideate, validate and monetise online technology platforms.
With Spark we help accelerate the learning process through a series of deep-dive workshops centred around problem validation and customer development.
We teach our founders how to create simple experiments that allow them to quickly start interacting with their potential users and begin validating their core assumptions.
We don’t need another incubator — we need a new approach
Despite there being hundreds of incubators and accelerators in the UK alone, the vast majority are geared towards full-time founders with a technical team, expertise in the sector they are trying to disrupt, and based in major cities across the UK.
Spark aims to challenge that approach; we want to create an inclusive programme for the masses, provide everyone with a fair opportunity to solve a real problem and build a sustainable business around it.

What if there was another, better way?

What if:
  • we offered a programme UK wide instead of just major UK cities like London?
  • we provided the ability to undertake the programme remotely via video?
  • we created a rapid repeatable framework to run future features or new business idea through?
  • we reduced your reliance on marketing teams, developers, and designers at the beginning of your validation journey, saving you time and money in the process?
  • we provided you with a support network, giving you the best possible opportunity of success?
  • instead of large cohort groups, we offered a variety of delivery methods suiting various ways of learning, including fully remote, 1–2–1 guided sessions, or small group sessions?
  • we offered real face-to-face time with a dedicated team of experienced product managers, mentors, growth professionals and investors?
  • we provide savings on some of the best software tools around to run your business efficiently?
  • instead of dated academic lectures, we provide real actionable and up to date advice with weekly practical tasks?
  • we provide post-programme support, we don’t treat our programme as a conveyor belt of startups to churn out the other end, we want to continue to support each of our founders well after the 6 weeks are over!and lastly, given the recent covid-19 virus and the governments social distancing advice, we have re-engineered the programme to be fully remote for the duration of the pandemic to ensure we can continue to support founders despite these unfortunate circumstances we are all facing

Applications are now open 🚀

To date, 5 founders have graduated from the programme since the start of 2020 and we are now ready to open up the Spark validation programme to the masses.
Don’t waste time deliberating and meaning to execute on your idea — the hardest part is starting!
Want to learn more about Spark? visit our website and request a copy of our comprehensive Spark Intro Deck 👇
Previously published at https://medium.com/@samdickie/introducing-spark-our-new-early-stage-launchpad-for-startup-founders-8b2615872ae
Author profile picture

@sam-dickieSam Dickie

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Lead Product Manager @ucreate_ | Fintech nerd | Founder @nocodetech (acquired)+ @getBetaTesta

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