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GCV Labs

Lean Startup Methodology

At GCV Labs, lean startup methodology is embedded into the way we work.  It's a core part of our Venture Builder framework.

A process that helps us create, launch and scale businesses.

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Position & Position, Company

What is Lean Startup Methodology?

A scientific approach to creating, launching and scaling startups.

The Lean Startup provides the GCV Labs team with a scientific approach to creating, launching and scaling startups and helps us get the desired product to customers' hands faster. The Lean Startup method is instrumental in helping us to determine how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new product development and a core part of the GCV Labs ethos.

We've seen too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don't care about the idea, the startup fails. At GCV Labs we want to avoid this at all costs.

The Lean Startup methodology guides us on how to drive our startups forward, how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere - and most importantly how to create, launch and scale our portfolio maximum acceleration.

Craig Peterson
Chief Executive Officer

Norman Peterson
Chief Executive Officer

Craig Peterson and Norm Peterson - GCV Founders

Eliminate Uncertainty

Just do it... or is there a better way?

The lack of a tailored management process has led many startups to abandon all processes. Some take a 'just do it' approach that avoids all forms of management. But this is not the only option. Using the Lean Startup approach, companies can create order, not chaos, by providing tools to test a vision continuously. Lean isn't simply about spending less money. Lean isn't just about failing fast, failing cheap. It is about putting a process, a methodology around the development of a product. It's a process that the GCV Labs firmly believe in.

Using the Lean Startup approach, our startups create order, not chaos, by providing tools to test a vision continuously. It's a critical part of how we build startups at GCV Labs.

Tony Short
Programme Director

Tony Short - GCV Programme Director

Work smarter... not harder.

Should this product be built? Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?

The Lean Startup methodology has as a premise that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question.

The question is not "Can this product be built?"

Instead, the questions are "Should this product be built?" and "Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?"

This experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it is the first product. If it is successful, it allows the GCV Labs team to start shaping the project: enlisting early adopters, adding employees to each further experiment or iteration, and eventually starting to build a product. By the time that product is ready to be distributed widely, it will already have established customers. It will have solved real problems and offer detailed specifications for what needs to be built. This approach gives us the foundation to build sustainable businesses that transform industries.

By the time the product is ready to be distributed widely, our goal is always to have established customers on board. We want to ensure the product is solving a genuine problem and providing real value to our customers before we scale up. Lean startup methodology provides the GCV Labs team with the foundations to build sustainable businesses.

James Drew
Chief Technolgy Officer - GCV Labs


Develop an MVP.

Figure out the problem to be solved then build the MVP

A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the 'build-measure-learn' feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible.

Once the MVP is established, a startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect questions.

The Five Whys.

Question to help us maintain a true North

The startup will also utilize an investigative development method called the 'Five Whys' - asking simple questions to study and solve problems along the way. When this process of measuring and learning is done correctly, it will be clear that a company is either moving the drivers of the business model or not. If not, it is a sign that it is time to pivot or make a structural course correction to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.

Find out more about how to use the Five Whys here.

Validated Learning.

A rigorous method for demonstrating progress

Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high-quality goods. The unit of progress for our startups is validated learning - a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when we are faced with extreme uncertainty. By embracing validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially. When we focus on figuring the right thing to build - the thing customers want and will pay for - we don't need to spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company's direction. Instead, we can adapt our plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute.

Feedback loop. Build. Measure. Learn.

The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.

Craig Peterson
Chief Operating Officer

Craig Peterson - Co Founder at GCV

Building Ventures. Together.

A multidisciplinary team with experience across a number of sectors including technology, financial services, media and property. We also team up with entrepreneurs and companies to build and launch ventures in areas where, together, we have complementary skill sets and deep sector knowledge.

From idea to revenue generation in 7 months. Working closely with the GCV Labs Venture builder team, we've managed to take n-gage.io from a concept to a business with a proven value proposition and a proven revenue model in a rapid timeframe.

Bryan Hoare
CEO and Co-Founder at n-gage.io


Bryan Hoare Co-Founder at n-gage.io

Lean startup. Proven Results.

Lean Start up FAQs

Find out more about Lean Startup Methodology

Lean startup is embedded in the way we work. 

  • The three steps that make up the lean startup methodology are:
    1. Build
    2. Measure
    3. Learn
    Think of the lean startup approach as a loop. As you learn and go through each step, you’ll return to the first step to update your products and services.
  • By creating a simple version of our businesses and testing it with customers, we quickly find out if it’s really a good idea. The lean startup method can prevent wasted time and help reduce risks when launching a business within GCV Labs.
Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong.
Risk Summary

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Due to the potential for losses, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers this investment to be high risk.

What are the key risks?

  • You could lose all the money you invest
  • Most investments are shares in start-up businesses or bonds issued by them. Investors in these shares or bonds often lose 100% of the money they invested, as most start-up businesses fail.
  • Checks on the businesses you are investing in, such as how well they are expected to perform, may not have been carried out by the platform you are investing through. You should do your own research before investing.

You won't get your money back quickly

  • Even if the business you invest in is successful, it will likely take several years to get your money back.
  • The most likely way to get your money back is if the business is bought by another business or lists its shares on an exchange such as the London Stock Exchange. These events are not common.
  • Start-up businesses very rarely pay you back through dividends. You should not expect to get your money back this way.
  • Some platforms may give you the opportunity to sell your investment early through a 'secondary market' or 'bulletin board', but there is no guarantee you will find a buyer at the price you are willing to sell.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

  • Putting all your money into a single business or type of investment for example, is risky. Spreading your money across different investments makes you less dependent on any one to do well. A good rule of thumb is not to invest more than 10% of your money in high-risk investments. Learn more here.

The value of your investment can be reduced

  • If your investment is shares, the percentage of the business that you own will decrease if the business issues more shares. This could mean that the value of your investment reduces, depending on how much the business grows. Most start-up businesses issue multiple rounds of shares.
  • These new shares could have additional rights that your shares don't have, such as the right to receive a fixed dividend, which could further reduce your chances of getting a return on your investment.

You are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong

  • Protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), in relation to claims against failed regulated firms, does not cover poor investment performance. Try the FSCS investment protection checker.
  • Protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) does not cover poor investment performance. If you have a complaint against an FCA-regulated platform, FOS may be able to consider it. Learn more about FOS protection here.

If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, visit the FCA's website here.

For further information about investment-based crowdfunding, visit the crowdfunding section of the FCA's website here.

Driving Growth.
Creating Value.
Delivering Impact.

Backed by

Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) is backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s leading private equity and alternative asset managers.