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Problem Sprints for the Small City Segment
For Founders: 4-week sprints to define and validate a Small City Segment problem
TL;DR: we are going to run a series of 4-week Problem Sprints to help founders define and validate the problem they are working on. It’s open to anyone interested in building for the Small City Segment, free, virtual, and asynchronous. We will consider anyone that completes the problem sprint for further and deeper support through our Studio and/or Fund. You can sign up here.
Problem Sprints for the Small City Segment
We’ve written a lot about our process of defining and validating a problem fit for a startup at INVANTI:
We’ve tried to strike a balance between writing where our frameworks come from and practical tips on how to implement it yourself and evaluate how you’re doing. However, there’s nothing quite like trying it and getting direct and personalized feedback.
That’s why we are running Problem Sprints. Open to anyone interested in building for the Small City Segment, we will facilitate our problem definition process over a four-week period and give feedback along the way.
Who is it for?
This is especially geared toward existing and potential founders who are:
Excited to take a problem-first, MVP-second approach, and are interested in problems that show up in Small Cities
Already convinced they want to take the entrepreneurial journey - but don’t have confidence in their problem definition
Pre-company: you have an area you’re interested in (and maybe even a contradiction!) and an itch to start something, but haven’t taken the steps toward starting a company yet
Pre-MVP: you are already on the path of starting a company, but haven’t built an MVP and feel your problem could use some more definition before you start
Pre-pivot: You already tried one solution or MVP and it didn’t work like you thought it would. You have some time, resources, and energy to go back to the drawing board on the problem you’re solving, but want to be systematic in your approach
Willing and able to dedicate time over 4 weeks to doing the work and be held accountable to a weekly pace and deliverables
Business and impact orientated - you want to build a company that improves lives and is financially healthy enough to scale sustainably
Working toward a software or software-enabled service company
Why would you participate?
The goal of this problem sprint is to take a maximum of 4 weeks to reduce the risk of one of the most common startup failure modes - “no market need”. With a systematic approach, we will help you:
Week 1 | Opportunity Statement: Define your target customer, the need they have, and why the current solutions aren’t meeting that need well (based on Unlocking better tradeoffs)
Week 2 | Economic Value Statement: Define the economic value you could create for your customer if you are able to meet the need better than the current solutions (based on Stick to Value)
Week 3 | Problem Size & Trends: Define the overall size of the problem and the current trends that make it an attractive opportunity to pursue (based on Big Enough, Small Enough)
Week 4 | Problem Pitch: Package these statements into a sub-1-minute pitch that you can use with customers, teammates, potential investors, and others
We will also consider anyone that completes the problem sprint for further and deeper support from INVANTI through our Studio and/or Fund.
How does it work?
The sprint will be virtual, asynchronous (except for the optional 1:1 office hours), and free. Here’s how it works:
Sign up for the next monthly Problem Sprint
Starting the first week of the month, every Friday morning at 8am EST, you’ll receive a weekly challenge in your inbox based on the above 4 steps
You’ll work on that challenge throughout the week, with the help of our workspaces in Miro, video and written guides, Substack explainers, Slack Q&A channel, and weekly 1:1 office hour slots
Before 8am EST Friday of the next week, submit the deliverable of the challenge to receive personalized feedback
Repeat for four weeks until you have a clear sub-1-minute explanation of the problem you’re solving, why it’s interesting, and the evidence behind it
If you’re interested or know someone who is, you can sign up here. If you have questions, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see some of you in the next sprint!
For future updates, sprint announcements, and further writing on the Small City Segment, subscribe for free below.