We have a pre-seed and seed-stage investment fund, a venture studio, and an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program at Human Ventures. We have learned a lot about how different entrepreneurs complete their customer discovery and product-market fit journeys because of our work. One of the most difficult decisions for pre-seed and seed-stage founders is where to begin: There is a ton of stuff to do. At each level, what should you do?
We spoke with three of our portfolio entrepreneurs, each of whom conducted discovery experiments to determine their product-market fit at various phases of their company’s development. Tiny Organics is at the pre-MVP/customer discovery phase. Tiny Organics is a plant-based infant and toddler food company on a mission to mould children’s palates early on, so they would choose and love vegetables.
In 2021, the company raised $11 million in a Series around and growing at a rate of over 500 percent each year. Founders Sofia Laurell and Betsy Fore worked as EIRs in our venture studio for a six-week exploration sprint. They knew they wanted to construct something to make parents’ lives simpler, so they threw many ideas against the wall, from the Finnish baby box 2.0 (Sofia is Finnish) to an easier way to create Instagrammable baby images, as Sofia explains.
They went through a series of exercises to see if the immediate and urgent demands of new parents could meet:
- Perform a “Begin with Why” activity
- Define the “To-Be-Done-Jobs”
- For each (feasible) concept, create a lean canvas
- Create user journeys
- Use platforms like pollfish.com and 1Q to conduct consumer surveys (instant survey tool)
- Customer personas must identify and defined
- Conduct consumer interviews and compile the results
- Make concept prototypes
They also conducted a focus group of 10-15 moms to meet potential clients. When the founders requested them to text them what they were feeding their children for a week, along with images, they saw there was a scarcity of healthy finger foods on the market, which inspired them to create Tiny Organics.