Over the years we have met some imaginative founders whose ambition exceeds their pockets. Often they have an embryonic idea, some starter slides for a pitch, a lot of energy and some [limited] personal capital to invest.
Rather than remortgaging / maxing out personal credit we recommend putting ideas to the test with seasoned investors. The rationale is that if an idea passes muster with Investors this offers partial mitigation of the risk of bootstrapping and allows the tapping of more substantial funding for scale (as opposed to winding up homeless!).
To improve your chances of winning seed capital we recommend creating a static interactive prototype to demo an approximate simulation of the user experience of your app idea.
Notwithstanding, before a prototype can be produced it is important to properly articulate the product vision:
• Who are the users and customers?
• Why would they use and buy the product?
• What makes the product special? What are its key features?
• What are the business goals the product should deliver and how are they met?
Ideally there should be a clear picture of who the users are (their personas), their needs and the benefits this product will deliver versus existing competitors, or if there is no competition – then exactly which “pain-points” this product addresses?
The following resources are also useful for creating pitch decks:
When your vision is articulated User Stories are also very useful for briefing an Interactive Prototype.
As Product Owner(s) you should then prioritise which user stories comprise the MVP (ideally only the minimum features for proof of concept). At this point you might consider a rudimentary attempt at some wireframes.
Uizard is a really great tool for non-designers to create wireframes
Rough wireframes make it easier for designers and developers to realistically assess the effort and budget to create your app.
With user stories and rough wireframes in hand you are now in the position to brief an agency (including us) to produce an Interactive MVP design prototype using Sketch and Invision.
Click the links of this Invision desktop prototype get an impression of the interactivity.
Please be aware that Invision is not real code (its a design file simulating a UI) – but if executed well, can produce a much deeper level of understanding of how the product works.
Alternatively, responsive prototypes can also be produced in Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch – which may prove useful if you feel the views should be simultaneously demonstrated on desktop and mobile devices.
Benefits of an Interactive MVP prototype:
I) Much lower cost (and risk) than coding a prototype
ii) Interactive “demo” for investors (of course, a perfected pitch deck is also important)
iii) Based on a real backlog of user stories (“shovel ready” for build)
iv) Backlog and prototype can be used in briefs/ RFQ’s to developers
The above just some practical ways to get started – please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirerments.