Innovate, Iterate, Elevate: Our Startup Studio’s Pathway from MVP to Growth

Jim Stefanakis
4 min readOct 25, 2023

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Our mission at Senec is helping founders build products that disrupt industries. We provide a complete founding team for your next startup. At our core, we are a team of entrepreneurs that found out along the way that the thing we do best is building startups. We saw the opportunity and now work with amazing people, including: other entrepreneurs, startups featured on the Inc. 5000 list and others!

Understanding startups

Before deciding business plans, tech, or any of that cool stuff, we need to understand what kind of startup we are dealing with.

  • Are they bootstrapped or VC backed?
  • Do they have an existing product requiring iteration?
  • Are they in the midst of a pivot?

All of these are critical questions we need to analyze before we decide our partnership terms or even if we want to partner up at all.

If a startup exhibits any of the following traits, we usually steer clear:

  1. Includes hardware components that bundle with the software.
  2. Is in an industry we don’t specialize in (ML, VR, blockchain, agriculture, streaming, and a few others).
  3. Has too small of a vision.

We also need to understand their current stage of development. One common scenario is working with startups who don’t have an MVP at all. In that case, it’s common for us to significantly cut back on our charges but ask for a small equity share.

After due diligence, we agree on terms and get to work!

Our process

At the initial stage of our partnership, we sit down as a team and figure out what we have, what we don’t have, and what we need.

  • An MVP already exists — In this case we do a codebase analysis and look for any red flags. Specifically, we check for bad tech debt and scaling issues. I know, premature scaling issues is not something we should worry about initially, but building fast is important and in order to build fast we need to make sure that we don’t get any snowballing effect from old code mid-cycle. that slows us down.
  • MVP doesn’t exist — This scenario is relatively straightforward, we are free to decide the tools and tech stack we use (which will be the stack that helps us build faster) then build fast, iterate fast and ship fast.
  • Are there any components that we don’t have experience in? — There are a lot of startups that are built around specific external tools or APIs. For example, if a startup heavily relied on the Shopify API we’d make sure to prioritize hiring engineers that have experience using the Shopify API instead of navigating the learning curve independently.

Notice that I used the word fast a lot of times, that’s not accidental. Well, that’s because working fast is the one huge advantage startups have over other competitors. Being quick and agile makes us able to ship features 10x faster than any well established company, meaning, we get faster feedback, faster results and faster growth.

After starting development, we make sure to keep up with the founder's vision but also provide consulting and helping them refine their ideas. This usually looks like this:

  1. Founders want to build new features.
  2. We provide feedback based on our experience, build time estimation, scope and predicted results based on data.
  3. We devise a strategy — whether to minimize the initial scope for quicker, smaller iterations, or to undertake a more ambitious leap.
  4. Post-launch, we monitor the data, continuing the iterative process in a lean manner.

Support beyond MVP

We don’t do one-offs. We build relationships with our founders, and we want to see them growing, so we don’t stop our partnership after launch.

  • Continuous Engagement: Unlike a traditional development firm that may disengage post-project, we remain actively involved. Through regular check-ins and strategy sessions, we ensure that the product continues to evolve in alignment with market demands and the founder’s vision.
  • Growth Strategy Consulting: We offer growth strategy consulting based on our experience in diverse startup ecosystems. This includes market analysis, customer feedback loops, and scaling strategies tailored to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in each startup’s journey.

Want to work with us? Let us turn your vision into reality and build something great together. We provide you with a complete startup founding team so you don’t have to go through the hustle of searching for committed engineers. Book a call on our site or shoot us an email at jim@senec.ai

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Jim Stefanakis

Entrepreneur in the tech industry 💻 | 10+ failed products | 1 successful startup development studio | Living in Greece 🇬🇷