Services For Entrepreneurs
Venture to Market helps startups in the cleantech industry find the best entry points to large markets, by identifying the narrow market segments that represent the most attractive near term sales opportunities. Narrow market segments refer to small groups of 10 to 15 companies selling products or services that directly compete with each other for a well-defined customer base. For example, while there are over 200 brands of shoes, only about 13 brands sell basketball shoes in the US. Similarly, although there are hundreds of international airlines in the world, less than 15 offer competitive service between Denver and London.
Why Market Segments Matter
By definition, each narrow market segment will have a different level of interest in a startup’s offering, and one segment will have the most interest. The 10 to 15 companies that make up the segment with the most interest represent the startup’s easiest sales opportunities and will likely be a startup's fastest route to revenue. VtM works with startups to find this and similar segments that together form a sizable sweet spot for entering a new market.
The advantages of entering a market through the right segments go beyond accelerated revenue generation. The right customers in the right segments are also the most likely to have a positive experience, act as good references, and help establish a good reputation for the startup. This is critical for sustaining revenue growth over time, and is often overlooked as entrepreneurs rush to make any sale they can.
In Cleantech, Finding the Most Promising Target Market Segment Is Hard
Entrepreneurs frequently rely on conversations with potential customers to guide them to their best sales opportunities. While close engagement with this group is obviously critical, potential customers in the cleantech industry rarely have an incentive to help a startup identify its most promising market segments. In the best case scenario, a startup’s offering will provide a significant competitive advantage for its customers. Why would those customers then help the startup sell the same solution to their competitors? On the contrary, many of a startup's customers will be active in multiple segments, allowing those customers to hide how they use specific technologies and slow the dissemination of those technologies to competitors.
In cleantech, therefore, finding the right segment quickly often takes more than just conversations with customers. It requires extensive interviews with industry insiders, painstaking web-based research, and the development of detailed case studies and models that evaluate the startup’s solution for different segments. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for an entrepreneur to focus on this challenging and time consuming task while building a company.
The Role of Venture to Market
Venture to Market addresses this challenge by partnering with startups to identify the narrow market segments that offer the shortest path to revenue. VtM works closely with entrepreneurs and their existing advisors to develop a comprehensive understanding of a startup’s offering, then carries out the legwork necessary to find the group of customers that the startup should prioritize. Entrepreneurs are closely engaged throughout the process in order to ensure alignment with their existing activities, but VtM does the work, which frees entrepreneurs to carry out the day to day activities of running their companies.
Please contact VtM to learn more about its services for entrepreneurs.