ProductSavvy provided product management services for a startup accelerator.
Program Director, C5 Capital
Name: Mike Ravenscroft
Product Management for Venture Capital Firm
Custom Software Development
$10,000 to $49,999
June 2018 - Ongoing
"The reviews after the sessions were always great."
ProductSavvy provided product management services for a startup accelerator. They ran sessions for startups, developing curricula and materials for the sessions.
Their work has been a resounding success, with many of the startups they worked with flourishing and going on to achieve high levels of their own success. They were efficient, professional, and highly expert throughout the sessions, providing startups with the best possible service.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the program director at C5 Capital, a venture capital firm based in the U.K. We run and host a program through C5 Accelerate and we’re one of the founding partners of the PeaceTech Accelerator.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with ProductSavvy?
Many startups don’t understand product management and don’t understand how to develop
processes with an eye to adhering to what their customers want.
What was the scope of their involvement?
I’ve worked with them across three different accelerator programs. I started working with them
through an accelerator called Smart City Works. Then I worked with them at MACH37 with
cybersecurity. After that, I’ve been working with them with the startups in my PeaceTech Accelerator.
Often the team would run sessions for a couple of startup companies. It focused on helping them with how to do different discovery, how to do it well, and how to be nimble in product development through agile methods.
They developed a pretty robust set of one-on-one materials: they have a mini-curriculum that they developed and provided to our startups.
What is the team composition?
I typically worked with Jonathan (Founder & CEO, ProductSavvy). He’d come in and run sessions for us and most of the boot camp. When he ran it for my most recent cohort, he brought Evan (Senior Tech Strategist, ProductSavvy) with him. They did some more one-on-one mentorship with the companies that we brought in.
How did you come to work with ProductSavvy?
I first got involved with them through colleagues of mine who had worked with them for a number of years. Given what they do and how well, and the price point they do it for, I’ve never looked anywhere else. I have a lot of good experience with the team. They’re very high performing. I’ve always received very good reviews from those who have worked with them.
How much have you invested with them?
Over $10,000. He did a free session for me as a favor in June 2018.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in June 2018 and the work is ongoing. Prior to the current company, we had worked together from December 2013 until Fall 2017.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The work they did for us wasn’t measurable in terms of physical milestones as its mentoring and coaching. The reviews after the sessions were always great, which is why we’ve brought them back year after year. They ran their workshop for every single cohort that my previous accelerator did. It’s been a core part of our curriculum.
The challenge for their team was how to use content that’s relevant across different startup lifecycles, which they're fantastic at. They’re comfortable talking to any team, from those in the pre-product, ideas stage to a team of professionals. They’re nimble and able to work with them regardless of what stage they’re in.
The measure of success is in the entrepreneurs and startups. One company that worked with them extensively was in one of our cohorts about four years ago. They worked to build out their customer base and product line. They got to the point where they’re so successful that they don’t need ProductSavvy anymore—they're now at a million-dollar run rate, with a got a big customer base and an extremely robust product line.
How did ProductSavvy perform from a project management standpoint?
I give them 10 out of 10. The contracts we had with them were in the $10,000–$15,000 range. We had about six sessions in person and one additional session later in the program. They were extremely efficient, knowledgeable, and highly reviewed by our company. We worked entirely in-person.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re aware of how valuable people's time is. They're very direct in terms of helping you get to success. I appreciate their ability to synthesize complex ideas and take lots of different things that may be working, and pull them into something that’s more cohesive. I continue to go back to them with questions from my entrepreneurs because I know that they’re in a better position to answer than anybody else. The content they deliver is solid, which is why I haven’t changed anything in the last five years we’ve been working with them.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
They can only help you if you’re honest with them. Be honest and upfront about the challenges that you have. Give it to them straight and they’ll give it to you straight. The best thing you can do is put your cards on the table when you’re working with them. They can help in ways that you wouldn’t have thought possible.