Recap of Futureworks Incubator Manufacture & Scale Summit at 1776, sponsored by UPS
On Friday, we convened Futureworks Incubator Manufacture & Scale startups for an all-day summit at 1776 in Brooklyn Navy Yard. Led by collaboration agency SecondMuse and sponsored by UPS, the summit invited company founders to share their biggest challenges with each other. Over the course of the day, startups split into four groups – Marketing & Storytelling, Retail & Distribution, Finance & Fundraising and Talent Development – where they presented their challenges and then fellow startups and mentors strategized solutions. Explore photos from the summit below and look out for the upcoming video recap as well.
Some of the lessons from the day:
- When calculating what to sell your product for at retail, pricing should be five times what it cost to make.
- Before you roll out a marketing campaign, A/B test different messages across social media ads. This will give you a great and inexpensive sense of what consumers react to.
- Pick your position: It’s difficult to present your product as both an outdoor good and a home design product. Pick one and run with it.
- When thinking about bringing on third-party sales reps, consider partners who have deep relationships in a specific industry.
- If you’ve created an innovative product, get it in the hands of college and university professors so that they can evangelize to the next generation of workforce for you.
- If you make a sale, brainstorm what “lookalike” companies might also want your product. For instance, if one school district buys from you, it’s likely others will.
- There’s no perfect fit when it comes to hiring – it’s all about your network and finding the right person.
- Social and sustainable startups have to present intrinsic value before, and besides, altruism when explaining their value proposition.
- You don’t have to go global right away!
- Do less and do it better.
- Manufacturing costs have an outsized effect on product pricing and positioning decisions. Being able to lower manufacturing costs over time is a defining element in being able to effectively compete and drive profitability.
- Spend a lot of time on market research; do not be emotional about your product. Be ruthlessly efficient about why you’re making it.
- Poll your Kickstarter backers to gain insight about price points, messaging and positioning – before you go to market and after product launch.