Summer Venture Award winners receive $10,000 to work on their startups over the summer. We asked the 2017 recipients what they achieved this summer.

Timothy Blomfield, GEN’18, WG’17, Founder of Incidnt

What did you set out to achieve this summer with the Summer Venture Award, and did you do so? If not, what changed?

Broadly, yes. Our ambition was to have a full product launch at the end of August, and we have achieved that. Ideally, I would have liked to have been in contact with more potential customers and parallel process the business development, however our efforts were better invested in developing the product, completing the back end and building out the payment platform, to ensure that, if customers ask for an immediate implementation, we are able to do so. Based on our initial plan, we achieved the following:

  • Mapped user experience
  • Developed 100-day plan
  • Developed data strategy
  • Completed soft beta launch in 1 school (not two as initially hoped)
  • Built out back-end in preparation for scale up
  • Built out payment platform

We were also able to refine our pitch, and continue to develop our pitch assets, including videos. Our long-term ambition for next year is to apply to Y-Combinator. We are now well positioned to successfully attain a position in the program.

Describe a great startup moment from this summer.

Working in the Toronto BCG offices on weekends was a hilarious moment. The snacks in these offices were of top notch quality, and the vibe was awesome. Given that, for a large part of the summer, the team worked remotely, across Canada, Australia and New York, the time we spent in the BCG offices provided some much-needed team bonding, as well as the opportunity to achieve a significant amount of progress in what was a shorter period.

The Incidnt team, Timothy Blomfield, GEN’18, WG’17, Clint Boal, and Helen Quirke. Picture not taken in Canada.

How has your Summer Venture Award mentor, Mike Kijewski, MMP’10, WG’12, helped you?

Mike was incredibly valuable early on in two aspects:

  • He helped the team initially think through the specifics of the challenges of interfacing with legacy systems within the education sector. His valuable experience as a teacher provided us with thoughtful guidance on how to develop the back end of the product so that it would more effectively be able to interface with these systems.
  • He opened his network to us, which was incredibly generous. Through this, we had a fantastic chat with Dave Kootman, who, as well as being involved in school administration, was an ed-tech entrepreneur and industry stalwart. This relationship further allowed us to test our concept and sales processes.

What comes next? How will you work on your startup over the coming school year?

We are now in a position to launch aggressively. We have a fully operational product with a built out back end, a suite of marketing materials. Whilst we are still working through the minutia and specifics of the rollout plan (we are meeting in Toronto for a strategy session on 10/14/17), the immediate next steps are as follows:

  • Complete the incident intervention protocol materials, to support academic institutions
  • Undertake reach-out plan
  • Achieve “first ten” schools as customers

Furthermore, we will look to apply to Y-Combinator for the January – March 2018 funding cycle. This will ideally be our next major milestone. We will be spending the next three months gearing towards this.

Posted: September 29, 2017

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