BUILDING THE FIRST SOFTWARE PLATFORM FOR EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS
Base CEO Paige McPheely explains how High Alpha became part of the Base team in order to build a new category of software.
FROM IDEA TO EXECUTION
The High Alpha team is purpose-built to conceive, build, and launch new software companies from scratch. We’re experienced founders, product leaders, marketers, engineers, and operators. Meet the teams behind our studio services.
Startup Design Studio Resources
What I’ve Learned Working at a Venture Studio
A reflection on two years working at High Alpha I’m coming up on my two year anniversary at High Alpha, a…
Why High Alpha Is a Venture Studio
And why we think it’s going to work Traditionally, venture capital’s purpose has been to simply assign capital to a business…
Are you interested in building a B2B SaaS startup? If so, you may know that building a startup from scratch is a significant challenge. However, there are also plenty of successful startups out there so there is no better time than now to get started. What is the difference between successful startups in the ones that fail? Below we share our insights on startup design and how to succeed in a competitive B2B SaaS environment.
All successful startups start with an idea. This typically develops from researching and brainstorming opportunities across different markets and industries. We recommend starting with a significant problem in the marketplace. That way, you can identify a specific audience who would pay for the benefit from the products and services you offer. Instead of focusing on what your product is going to be, focus on why you think your product is going to help. Then, you can build a successful business with a product that helps as many people as possible.
At High Alpha, we are a venture studio that specializes in developing ideas for stand-out SaaS companies. We use a process called Sprint Week as our forcing function for new business creation. Each quarter, our team runs three to five business ideas through a four-day process known as Sprint Week, compressing the amount of time it takes to identify, validate, and launch a new enterprise software business. At the end of Sprint Week, we decide whether or not to start and launch those companies.
Aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs with an idea for a B2B software business should consider partnering with a venture studio to scale quickly. As a part of High Alpha, our co-founders are embedded into our network of experienced operators. In addition to mentorship and access to studio services, our co-founders are also introduced to potential investors, partners, world-class talent, and more. They also have the opportunity to build and expand their business at our office in the Bottleworks District of Indianapolis, eliminating “find an office” from their to-do list.
As a venture studio, we could also be considered professional startup designers. Since our launch in 2015, we’ve created 30 new companies—and counting—and invested in over 60 world-class founders that are changing the landscape of B2B SaaS. As a venture studio, our model for entrepreneurship and startup design combines company building with venture funding. This allows our studio companies to compress time, iterate quickly, and scale.
As an early-stage startup, you will need funds to get your business off the ground. But you can not do it with funds alone. By working with a venture studio, your company will be surrounded world-class design, marketing, go-to-market, finance, and talent teams from day one.
By the time your company is ready to raise your first significant round of funding, your idea has already been validated several times. You have probably gone through countless interviews with industry experts, and you have talked with potential customers to make sure your idea is viable. If you already have established paying customers, you will have an easier time accessing the funding you need to grow your company to new heights.
If you work with a professional venture studio that can design tech companies, you can separate yourself from the competition, building a successful startup company from the ground up.
Product Design for Startups
If you take a look at the best design startups, you will see that developing a great brand and well-designed product is critical in building a successful B2B SaaS startup. Ultimately, you need to have a trusted product design team. As a venture studio, we have a team of 8 designers and have developed 30 SaaS companies and counting.
We recommend finding a partner who knows a proven method for helping product design strategies get off the ground. At our studio companies, when working on early product design for startups, and find it critical to talk to as many potential customers and industry experts. You need to conduct countless interviews before you really begin to build your product. That way, you can figure out what elements you need to include in the product design strategy, what elements to consider in the future, and if your business model should alter slightly based on the demand. Nothing is worse than designing a product that no one wants to buy.
Visit this page to learn more about the best product designs.
Website Design for Startups
Clearly, there are a lot of factors involved in building a successful B2B SaaS startup, but it is impossible to overstate the importance of having a strong website. Our design team has built countless websites using their tried and true framework. To get startup website ideas, below are a few startup website examples that we built for our studio companies:
We hope that the sites above provide you with inspiration. It can be helpful to look at a startup website design template so you can model your website off the best tech startup websites out there.
When building your first website, you need to think carefully about your company’s website content. This is going to be the digital storefront of your business and likely a potential customer or employee’s first impression. If you have a strong website, you will make a positive impression on potential employees, business partners, and customers.
Tech startup websites need to publish high-quality content, be easy to navigate and include plenty of product images and videos. Nobody wants to read a wall of text, and an image is worth a thousand words. You need to combine the requirements of your visitors with those of search engines. You might offer the best products and services in the world, but this is not going to mean anything if people cannot find your website. That is why you need to work with someone who specializes in search engine optimization as well. At High Alpha, we partner with our studio company Demandwell to develop SEO strategies for our new companies.
Similar to a startup branding agency, we also help develop the first brand identity for our startups. Before digging into the website, we work with our studio companies to develop a minimal viable brand (MVB). During the first six months of a companies lifecycle, our design team will spend a lot of energy helping founding teams design and build a product that elicits valuable feedback with little effort. This MVB also informs our initial website content to help our new companies stand out from the crowd.
Maybe you’ve fallen in love with technology or have the grit it takes to scale a startup. If either of those statements is true, then you may be interested in tech startup jobs. The best tech companies for designers have openings for talented professionals who are interested in bringing amazing products to market. As you are looking for startup jobs, you might also be interested in looking for remote startup jobs. The good news is that you do not necessarily have to live close to a major technology company to work at a startup.
If you decide to work for a technology startup, you have the opportunity to participate in something new, intellectually challenging, and that could benefit millions of people all over the world. Therefore, this could lead to a fulfilling career with lucrative opportunities for upward mobility. At High Alpha, we are always looking for new, talented employees to join our team or our portfolio companies.
If you are smart, curious, and hardworking, consider taking a closer look at some of the career opportunities available at High Alpha.