MACH37 Cyber Accelerator

Product Savvy provided an educational curriculum for early-stage tech companies. They provided instruction on developing and deploying a product to market.

THE REVIEWER

Former General Manager, MACH37 Cyber Accelerator

Name: Dan Wooley


THE PROJECT

Multiple Product Management for Cybersecurity Accelerator


THE REVIEW

"Their work consistently proved to be successful and was one of the best expenditures we ever

made."


Project summary:

Product Savvy provided an educational curriculum for early-stage tech companies. They provided instruction on developing and deploying a product to market.


Feedback summary:

Product Savvy's work helped create 161 new jobs and increased the growth 70% of companies in the program. They provided a well-defined methodology that consistently delivered tangible results. This, and their ability to understand the needs of early-stage startups were exceptional.


BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was a general partner at MACH37 Cyber Accelerator at the time of the project.


OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Product Savvy?

We needed to teach our earlier-stage cybersecurity companies about product or program management. We needed to teach them how to define customer personas and how to build out the product plans necessary to the deliver a general release from product to market.


SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Product Savvy was part of our regular curriculum to set companies in a position to build up their products. They educated them on the entire lifecycle of developing and deploying a product to market. Over the course of 14 weeks, their team conducted eight-day instructional phases on how to define customer personas; how to present their message; how to understand their competition was; why their product was being made; and what key features their product needed to be. Sorting through customer discussions and product details, they helped build out roadmaps and milestone plans.


What is the team composition?

We worked with a team of four employees.


How did you come to work with Product Savvy?

We reviewed seven different vendors and gave them an opportunity to conduct sessions with our companies. We asked our participants which vendors they received the greatest value from, and Product Savvy was noted as the most satisfactory.


How much have you invested with them?

We invested $75,000 in total.


What is the status of this engagement?

We started in October 2013 and ended in July 2017.


RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Their work helped create 161 jobs in the state of Virginia, generated 19.5 million dollars of additional funding, and 70% of the companies that participated in our program created a stable environment and were starting to grow. While we had a hundred different speakers involved in the program, Product Savvy was one of our core pieces and critical to our success. They even worked with our companies after our program to help them evolve into self-sustaining companies. Their team was always rated as one of the top vendors in our participant evaluations.


How did Product Savvy perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was phenomenal. Their methodology was extremely well-defined, and their skills in improving program management were one of the best I've seen in the industry. They were easy to work with and used Slack to communicate with us and our companies.


What did you find most impressive about them?

They had a good handle on what it takes for a company to get a product in play. They work exceedingly well with early-stage entrepreneurs and are incredibly good people. Their work consistently proved to be successful and was one of the best expenditures we ever made. Their methodology perfectly matched our model of program management and product management to get these companies up out the door. We're planning to use them again to help a health accelerator company and three venture investment companies.


Are there any areas they could improve?

I wish I could've used them more.


Any advice for potential customers?

Define specifically what it is you want to get accomplished and clearly communicate your

expectations.