We have joined Overkill VC in November 2019 and it was a life-changing experience for us. Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.17.39 PM We first met Overkill VC at Tech Chill 2019 in Riga.

Early days of Therapify (pre-MVP & no knowledge about the startup world).

Quick, friendly chat at the queue for conference snacks. The next day we headed back to Krakow by early morning plane. We have decided to stay in touch. They reach us again after seven months and we set up the call, then Skype, then one meeting in person in Riga. It all took like 1 week. That was it. We were in. Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.17.11 PM Overkill Acceleration Batch 3 started in November 2019. On the first day they cut the chase and go directly to three core points of the program which are:

  1. “Narrow your target” – so-called BEACHHEAD (the philosophy here is that as a startup you don’t have enough resources to reach anyone so you have to focus only and only on the people who seek for your product desperately);
  2. “Learn your problem/solution statements very clearly” – in a perfect scenario in just one sentence, because as a co-founder you will have to pitch your employees, clients, and investors constantly (and it has to be bulletproof);
  3. “From now you are in our Club, so here is our Network, which you can use” – they have really interesting contacts especially in Baltic countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia but also in Denmark (for example a lot of Accelerace Network also play important roles here at Overkill) – and they share it with you honestly and really successfully teach you how to sustain it.
In my opinion, it is all that acceleration should take. Those three things were everything we needed at our stage in late 2019. And our stage back then was pretty much like:

  • pre-seed;
  • pre-revenue;
  • no-product-market-fit.
In fact, they say up-front that they are only really into those kinds of cases. Which is so wonderful in this world of numbers & excel sheets. And it’s very important especially when you do something more ‘crazy’ than the next marketing automation tool — and especially when you build the new market – like us. This is a different story but there are only several tools supporting psychotherapy worldwide (and first in the CEE) and — in our case we have learned that it may take more than several months to introduce a new mental model to the market. For example, it took more than 4 years for Canva and more than 3 for Airbnb to have product-market-fit. On the other hand, a very small % of the industry knows how to handle this kind of high-risk “mental model” case. They are not afraid of it. They get it.

David & Peter are really inspiring guys – they both have a lot of experience working with the best worldwide – Accelerace & TechStars. They know how to Think Big — during our interview, we were totally honest about our situation but also about our vision — and I remember that David wrung his hands and said: “It will be super hard, guys — and the market is extremely ambitious here — you know it, right?”. In less than 24h we have received the info that we are in. Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.16.48 PM But to the point. Therapify has gained & learned a lot from Overkill VC acceleration. These are the outputs and the most important – results from it:

  1. At the beginning of Overkill VC, we felt exactly like Bob Dylan singing this song 

    We were basically trying to treat the world. And you will not do that with a 4-person team and less than €100k budget. You have to focus on one group of people who you can help the most with your super-powers.

    So, we have successfully narrowed our customers’ target group – OUR BEACHHEAD from now one is mental health professionals working with particular disorder patients with the CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy approach) approach📍

    Thanks to that — finally, we were able to distinct main pain our users (because now we know who they are):

    Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.16.30 PM
  2. With the substantial problem statement and by talking with the right people you can start solving the problem efficiently. So we have stopped working on many things at the same time (especially on our product roadmap) and focused only on THE BEACHHEAD. Here are the results – after 60 days of pivot (1st of Nov – 31st of Dec 2019), we have started saving up to 8 hours monthly for single psychotherapists on preparing visits with patients — but also due to the fact that we provide support for the patients, 1 in 3 of them have started to come more prepared for the meetings. It’s basically the win-win situation with many referrals for us from the beneficiaries of our improved service: Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.16.10 PM
  3. Finally, we changed the way we distribute our product. Narrowing the target helped us when it comes to setting the key points not only on our roadmap — but also in communication, marketing and the way we approach our clients and how we position Therapify as a product. We cleared our users the way to start using our product and to gather value from it. You can add the referrals from point 2) to it and far better pitching (in this case – clients) and the results here is that we have onboarded more specialists in the last 30 days than in total combined from September 2019 to January 2020. Here is a mental health professionals registration peak from the last 30 days (by the way on 15th of March it was 45 not 28): Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.15.54 PM
One more thing about pitching like a pro – with the results and ability to present your thoughts, actions and aims clearly (this time investors) we have learned how to attract them and work on their feedback. We have also doubled our professional network in CEE and right now we are using both things for fundraising but also to get business advice from the most successful entrepreneurs around you. It’s truly crucial to learn fast. And you need to learn fast for your startup to stay alive. Screen Shot 2020 03 17 at 11.15.26 PM 1 Most importantly though, all those things helped us to understand the problem we are working on and to serve our clients better every day. It stays with you forever. And right now we definitely feel like we are going directly to the product-market-fit. It’s just a one (big one — but still one) big step to get there. There is a lot of Overkill VC input in where we are now and basically — who we are now. Bless you, guys! 👏

I totally recommend it especially if you are out there without product-market fit totally alone in the darkness. It’s their specialty.

Thank you Overkill VC for the last 3 months!

PS1. If you would like to apply — here is the link: https://www.overkill.vc/ 📬

PS2. This article was not sponsored by Overkill VC — even though they are our mentors and investors — what’s more, qualified and decent ones. So, if you are a startup at the stage we were in October 2019, I think this article will be useful for you and for our friends from Overkill. Win-win. Have fun – Cheers!        

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