Today we’re excited to announce that we’ll be joining the Winter 2021 class of Techstars Boulder — virtually of course!
Our decision to join the program came after meeting Andres and the Techstars team. We examined where we are as a company and what our goals are over the next 12-24. We came to the conclusion that Techstars would help us achieve those goals much faster.
We applied to Techstars in the fall of 2020. We had several rounds of interviews, and ultimately were told we were accepted in November. Serendipitously, the Techstars program, which runs from February through April, aligned with our timeline for public launch.
With a product currently in beta, we had and continue to have, several milestones and goals that mark our path towards general availability. Of course, when we started out 5 months ago we needed users, which meant setting an initial goal of onboarding 20 companies so that we could garner feedback, fix bugs, and implement new features. Since then, we’ve onboarded well over 20 companies. Additionally, we’ve tracked several other product growth metrics that you can see below.
We want to continue making this graph go up and to the right. We believe that joining Techstars, and truly taking advantage of the program, will help us do that.
As noted in a recent blog post, we raised a pre-seed round of funding last summer. As with any round of funding there’s a date by which you must achieve some goal. That goal could be profitability so you don’t have to raise money again. Or that goal could be some other growth metric that then allows you to go out and raise more money. For us, this round of funding was entirely focused on getting out of beta into a generally available product. Which circles back to why we are excited to be a part of the Techstars Boulder class and what we plan to accomplish in the next 3 months.
1. General Availability
There is a critical mass of features we plan to deliver for our generally available version of Haekka. All of these features will be anchored on our Slack app — which will include the following product tiers:
> Haekka’s mission is to minimize human risk by empowering every employee with education and tools.
We had conviction when we raised our pre-seed round last summer. We spent a lot of time talking to the market before raising. We also had previous funding experience under our belt, as Ryan and I spent 6 years leading a startup in a regulated industry. Along the way, we saw and felt the pain of privacy training, compliance audits, and helping employees make the right security decisions.
Despite that conviction, at that stage, we were still early — pre-product. Now, with 100s of users, boatloads of documented feedback, and organic growth metrics during our beta, we have even more conviction about our differentiated approach and the timing (why now). We want to accelerate not just to our launch, but our path to predictable growth.
We plan to raise a seed round of funding coming out of Techstars this spring. Techstars has a strong network of funds and investors. Perhaps more importantly, Techstars has as much experience as anybody helping startups like Haekka achieve fundraising.
Ryan and I have worked remotely together for over 6 years. We have created relationships, managed teams, built products, and grown a customer base remotely. We consider the virtual aspect of Techstars Boulder an asset for Haekka. Additionally, we hope our previous remote experience will help the other teams joining the program.