In the summer of 2020, our team took part in the world’s top accelerator 500 Georgia by 500 Startups. The venture fund of 500 Startups has supported several unicorn companies globally: Canva, Gitlab, Talkdesk, Knotel and Udemy are among them. Raccoon.World is one of the 15 startups that participated in the first batch of this program in Tbilisi. 500 Startups is an accelerator with American origin that aims to help the most talented entrepreneurs to create successful companies at scale and build thriving global ecosystems. Here are my favourite takeaways from this accelerator.

500 Startups meeting
Source: 500 Georgia

Lesson 1. Product market fit can be proven only observing customers and creating value for them.

The main reason why products are developed is client satisfaction. I am sure that everyone heard about the concept of buyer personas with their needs, values and pain points. However, it is not enough to be successful. The goal of any company is not only to understand customers but to motivate them to choose its products. The customer relationship starts with the first measurable touchpoint and reaches the last stage of the customer journey – loyalty.

Value is a key point to appeal to during the conversation with potential clients. According to HBR, there are 30 elements of the value pyramid that address four kinds of needs: functional, emotional, life-changing, and social impact. In general, the more elements provided, the greater customers’ loyalty and the higher the company’s sustained revenue growth. The challenge is to figure out the most powerful one and use it in communications.

The most convincing value elements for Raccoon.Recovery users are the following:

  • Our platform provides access to telerehabilitation: Patient management, course building, and progress monitoring can be done fully remotely.
  • Thanks to the automated reporting system and digitized tests, physiotherapists save time up to 25%.
  • Raccoon.Recovery helps physiotherapists to earn more by reducing the time needed for one patient and treating more patients.
  • As an all-in-one solution for physiotherapy, Raccoon.Recovery simplifies the therapists’ work.
  • We support therapists to achieve their primary goal, namely they want patients to recover properly and fast. It becomes easier as Raccoon.Recovery motivates patients through gamification, so they don’t drop the rehabilitation course, while monitoring helps to exclude incorrect execution of exercises at home.
Things that customers care about
Source: 500 Georgia

Lesson 2. Analyze user flow to make your customers delighted.

The key point of successful onboarding is to bring the user to the WOW moment. For example, the WOW moment for a graphic design platform Canva is the creation of the first design piece and for Raccoon.World is a set up of the first rehabilitation course. To delight customers, we need to understand the user flow in the application. That is why we analyze each user step through a period of time:

  • Actions: What the user needs to do to move onto the next step.
  • Questions: What the user should know before they move to the next step.
  • Positive moments: Positive, enjoyable things that improve the experience.
  • Painful moments: Frustrations and annoyances that spoil the experience.
  • Opportunities: Opportunities to improve to address any of the problems identified.

To build a rehabilitation course in Raccoon.Recovery, a therapist assigns exercises to the list, sets start day and frequency of training. (S)he might ask her/himself whether it is possible to add her/his own exercises to the course. The positive moment is that it is possible to leave comments for the patient. The painful moment (addition of own exercises is unavailable) brings an opportunity for us to create this feature. This feature is already in development.

Actions / Questions / Positive moments / Painful moments / Opportunities
Source: 500 Georgia

Lesson 3. Generate ideas, prioritize, test, and implement learnings to boost growth.

The last but not least lesson is about metrics, tests, and insights. In product development and business growth, we need to focus only on 3-4 primary and secondary metrics that matter. A sample of the primary metric for Airbnb is nights booked. For Raccoon.Recovery, the OMTM (one metric that matter) was defined as the conversion rate from trial to subscription.

To raise key metrics and improve customer experience, we need to run tests. Tests that are also called growth experiments are good both for acquisition and retention. For example, to test UX design, we regularly ask up to 10 people to complete a series of tasks in our application and watch them do it. The findings can be extremely surprising. After the first UX test, we have figured out that it is worth renaming the button from “Assign an exercise” to “Create a course”. Such a small change makes the flow super clear for our users.

We use the ICE method to prioritize new features that we are going to add to the application. The ICE model stands for:

  • Impact: How impactful do I expect the solution will be?
  • Confidence: How sure am I about the results?
  • Ease: How easily can I implement it?

The values are rated from 1 to 10, with one being the worst and ten being the best. Let’s go back to our samples with the button text and import of rehab exercises. The ICE score for the change of button text might be 22 (5 Impact, 8 Confidence, 9 Ease). The ICE score for the addition of own exercises might be 17 (6 Impact, 5 Confidence, 6 Ease). As we see, it makes sense to start with changes in the button text because this option has a bigger ICE score. We are also confident about the results, and it is easy to implement.

ICE - Impact / Confidence / Ease
Source: 500 Georgia

The 500Georgia accelerator was beneficial for our team and me in particular because of valuable practical knowledge on how to scale and achieve global leadership. Hope these insights were useful also for you!