GSD Portfolio Company Zemplee $2m+ run rate in less than 12 months

Zemplee is a B2B AI powered SaaS company that is aimed at improving quality of life for the elderly, something that is direly needed in today’s world. Strategically placed smart-sensors allow for AI to track daily living activities thus helping caregivers monitor their health and well being remotely.

These are the five strategies we implemented to take Zemplee from 0 to 1 million in 12 months.

Make Investor Materials a Priority

“It takes money to make money and it takes stories to make investors excited.”

Investing in the early stages is heavily reliant on personal trust. As a founder, the first step is to build a solid team. At the start, you don’t have much, if any historical data to show so the material you share with an investor should convey that you have a world-class team that is strong enough to drive the company to success.

Finding the right investors that are relevant to your startup is also key. You’ll want to research the investors that are interested in and understand your industry and the stage your company is in. With Zemplee, we were able to connect them to the right investors at the right time making the investment deal a no-brainer.

Since investors get so many requests per year, it really is all about who you know.

“Warm introductions trump cold pitching any day. Making mutual connections a priority will increase your odds of being taken seriously by a landslide.”

Finding the Right CTO to Build Your Software

For tech companies looking to outsource their software development, it is imperative to have a CTO on board.

“As a startup you have a long path ahead of you so finding the right CTO that aligns with your vision is another important step.”

Teaming up with someone who doesn’t see your vision could result in conflict and clashing later on. Finding the right co-founder is even more important than an investor because you’ll be working with them on a daily basis. A CTO’s main objective is to ensure that your business needs are reflected in the product through the best possible use of technology.

Determine what the ideal candidate will look like. What tech talent do they bring to the table? What soft skills do they have? Ensure that the candidate is a culture fit and is capable of wearing the many hats required for startups.

Use Warm Connections to Find Your First Customers

What I will tell you is that startups take off when founders do whatever it takes to spread the word about their product especially in the early stages.

“Tapping into and leveraging the networks of your team, partners, co-founders as well as industry organizations is what leads to early adoption.”

Early adopters play a crucial role in scaling growth. Your first 20-200 users are the critical mass that helps you take your startup to the next level. Additionally, they help you to establish product-market fit.

Investing in Sales to Continue Rapid Growth

Sustainable growth is essential for your startup. As a founder you should have a pulse on when sales are getting to the point where it’s too much for you to juggle along with all the other moving parts of your business. You want to have a clear understanding of the entire sales process - converting a lead into a paying customer.

“You’ll need to think about your customers, your industry, and the specifics about your products or services to determine what type of sales reps to hire.”

Do you need outbound or inbound sales? Internet or phone sales? Each of these require a different set of skills and sales approach.

Having previous startup experience is always a plus because they already understand the nature of business and the environment they will be working in. Some of the top qualities to look for in a sales rep would be a great communicator, natural sales abilities, results-driven and adaptable to change.

And lastly, you’ll want to have a clear and proven sales process for your sales reps to follow. For them to be able to hit the ground running, you should have a basic plan laid out from your own experiences in finding initial customers. This could look like a customer journey, sources for lead generation, outreach channels or a roadmap from initial contact to customer signup.

Between knowing what to look for in a good sales rep and outlining a solid sales process, you will be giving them the support they need to take your business to the next level.