In my visit to New York this summer, I met a pair of incredibly bright and ambitious entrepreneurs Zee & J (one of them was an investment banker) who were looking to build an equity crowdfunding platform to help some early stage biotech and pharma companies get funding. During our discussions they exemplified about one particular biotech company that was developing a pair of robotic legs used for rehabilitation purposes – focusing on paraplegics, stroke victims, and other diseases that resulted in walking difficulties. The best part: their product would cost a third of their current competitors in the market allowing for more insurance companies to offer coverage. However, they were having a hard time finding the right investors given their early stage. They needed $1M to begin the FDA approval process – too little of an amount for investment bankers to care but too high for another round of family and friends financing.

The idea was to pool together doctors or smart money individual investors with enough health care experience to quickly understand the impact/risk/reward – to invest. The goal was to help promising healthcare companies connect to investors who easily understand their offering, so they can close their investment rounds faster – and get their life changing products to the market faster. Zee & J, vetted the company and tested their investor hypothesis by targeting orthopedic surgeons. Now, they wanted to build the platform to use this first funding opportunity as a proof of concept and bridge this gap in this industry.

The challenge QuicSolv had was to build this market place in 8 to 10 weeks without compromising on Quality or Value. As an organization, we were prepared for this. There are some secrets listed below when it comes to delivering an MVP.

1. Prototyping:
Requirement Analysis using a tool like Axure can speed up the process of building a quick but dummy application. Even a non-programmer can build a working prototype of the application. Axure allows an analyst not to focus on code but on the bare minimum functionality that needs to be there in the application.
The tool allows spitting out a word or pdf file once the requirements are frozen, which can be used as an artifact for the SOW (Scope of Work) document

2. Manual Viable product:
MVP is also often called the Manual Viable product and if there is anything you can do manually instead of wasting a lot of time programming it, feel free to just do it.

3. Solution Architecture:
Deciding on the Technical Stack, reusable components or RAD (Rapid Application Design) tool sets is what happens at this stage. The Solution Architect understands the need for urgency, value and quality and asks questions like what will be the peak load on the application? What are performance requirements? Any special security need or encryption logic requirement etc. This activity typically takes a few hours.

3. Application Architecture and Project and Resource Planning:
By this time we have an idea on the technology stack and the kind of resources required. While the application architecture is being built by the application and security architects, the project manager must be able to build an end to end project plan so that the coders, the testers and the designers know what needs to be done when.

4. Continuous Integration
Traditional ways of coding and giving a build to the testers to test doesn’t work on the MVP model. The continuous integration process helps testers to test the application in the live environment.

5. Change Management
One thing certain is there are going to be changes and here the analyst plays a very important role in identifying which changes are absolutely necessary and why. Doing a proper impact analysis and incorporating the change will allow a smooth delivery.

6. Put it out on the World Wide Web
While the application is being developed, build the website and put analytics and heat maps in place, making it possible to see how many people came to the site, how many actually clicked the sign up button and how many of those users then ended up giving their emails for possible notification.

If you would like to know how QuicSolv can help you with your business, do drop us a line.

image source: fakecrow.com

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