Stargate's New Venture Development domain provided end-to-end technology development support to BellBoy, Inc, a Silicon Valley based Internet of Things startup, enabling it to matriculate from idea to MVP to successful Seed Round stage.
BellBoy, founded in 2014 by one of the founders of Stargate, is enabling retail brands to use innovative technologies and the Internet to provide personalized customer service to their target customers. It acts as the technology bridge between telecommunication networks, retail brands and consumers, enhancing value to each stakeholder by leveraging data and technology.
BellBoy has raised over $1.5 MM of venture financing and has developed, with the help of Stargate, it's own in-house development team. The Company marked the inception and first success of Stargate.
BellBoy needed to build an MVP of its product with (i) high quality and (ii) quick turnaround, to win partnerships with key stakeholders (telecom companies and retail brands). Ability to establish these initial partnerships was essential to raise a seed round of $1MM, which was required to scale the business.
Stargate's team worked with BellBoy to define a 6-month product development and support scope.
The 4-P Program
||Mobile iOS and Web
|Project Management Tool
||JIRA and Basecamp
||New Venture Development package:
- 1 Senior Web Developer (Part-time)
- 1 Senior Mobile Developers (Part-time)
- 1 UI/UX Designer (Part-time)
- 1 Junior Developer (Full-time)
- 1 Quality Assurance/ Testing (Full-time)
- 1 Product Management (Part-time)
- 1 Market and Competition Researcher (Part-time)
- 1 Project Manager (Part-time)
To establish Stargate's working model and set a precedent for the processes to be followed, we decided to use takeaways from lean startup methodology and HBS cases to structure the development. The project was divided into 4 phases for best results.
Phase 1: Developing the Vision 2 weeks
- Product Manager worked with the Founder to plan out target customer surveys and interviews, market research and UI & UX research and prepared initial wireframes.
- They met regularly to sort the feedback to prioritize the next action steps.
Phase 2: Translating the Vision into hypothesis 4 weeks
- Product Manager liaised between Founder and market researchers to create and test multiple hypotheses. The hypotheses were around refining Customer Value Proposition; Go to Market ("GTM") plan, and the business model (initial estimates of Customer Lifetime Value, Cost of Acquisition and size of Total Addressable Market).
- Tests included reaching out to target customers and conducting interviews.
Phase 3: Specifying and building the MVP 8 weeks
- Project Manager facilitated interactions between Founder, Product Manager, researcher team and developers to define the scope for MVP.
- Separate teams of web and mobile developers worked on each product to build the MVP for each.
- Each rendition went through a quality check process to ensure quality.
- Founder employed a design agency to develop the look and feel of the website and app.
Phase 4 Testing MVP and developing post MVP action plan 8 weeks
- Founder conducted MVP tests and gathered feedback from target customers, potential investors, retail and telecom industry professionals.
- Founder consolidated the data and decided on a small pivot in its launch strategy (GTM strategy).
- Stargate's development team helped define technology changes in the product for launch.
Founder used the next 4 weeks to develop the investor deck and showcase the results of MVP to potential investors.
Scalable and high quality Product
In addition to standard development requirements, BellBoy's MVP required a variety of specialized skillsets to make the product scalable, including radio/sensor engineers, data scientists, and server infrastructure sizing engineers, etc. Stargate's 10,000+ engineer database helped find these consultants on demand.
BellBoy raised $300,000 from a world renowned venture investor in the Valley within two months of its inception, @ a $7.5 MM valuation.
BellBoy, based on the strengths of the product and revised GTM strategy, has won partnerships with 4 large telecom companies (serving 650 MM subscribers), retail brands (owning 6000+ retail stores) and filed a patent.
Most importantly, BellBoy has raised $1.5 MM in venture financing post MVP.