How to grow your business by being helpful - a primer for Lean Startups

Kevin Dewalt, Beijing, China

Kevin started developing the ideas for Helpful Marketing from working with startups worldwide who understood Lean Startup but were struggling to put it into practice.  He will talk about how you can find customers to develop them and how you can get insight from being helpful.  We will explore case studies as well.

Kevin has been part of the startup ecosystem as a founder (4 startups), an Angel/VC (25 startups) and mentor/advisor (a lot) for nearly 20 years.

An advocate for Lean Startup from its beginning, he has worked with Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Ash Maurya, and Alex Osterwalder to help entrepreneurs discover opportunity. He founded the DC & BeijingLean Startup meetups, taught startup workshops worldwide from Manila to MIT, and was one of the keynote speakers at the 2013 Lean Startup conference. As an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the National Science Foundation (NSF) he helped NSF rollout the iCorps program with Steve Blank at Stanford.

Currently he's bootstrapping SoHelpful from his home in Beijingand gives free help and advice to entrepreneurs worldwide over Skype or Hangout. He created the Helpful Marketing™ strategy through which he helps entrepreneurs find more customers and build closer relationships with them. Recent Angel investments include DC-based PowerSupply and Singapore-based Collabspot.

A philanthropist and an advocate for regenerative medicine, he also serves on Aubrey de Grey’s SENS Foundation’s board with members of the Peter Theil Foundation and philanthropist/entrepreneur Bill Liao. He graduated #1 in his US Coast Guard Academy class and received his Master's in EE from Stanford University in 1995.

Although his dream of becoming a professional golfer was cut short - at birth by an utter lack of talent - he still loves golf and plays the game worldwide with his wife.


Lean Startup Seattle is for anyone interested in the application of Lean Startup Principles and the Customer Development process developed by Steve Blank and refined by Eric Ries.  We are bringing the Seattle Lean Startup community together in a variety of formats to learn from each other.



6:00 - Registration

6:30 - Start w/ Intro & Scope

6:35 - "15 Second” Spotlights

6:45 - "15 Minute" Networking (Pizza Included)

7:00 - Presenter and Discussion

8:00 - Closing Remarks

8:15 - Networking Hour


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  • Loren K.

    If anyone would like a consultation on any of your business processes, let me know. Establishing a culture of continuous improvement (aka Lean) early on in your business will payoff in many ways in the long run. Trying to change culture later is also difficult.

    July 15, 2014

  • Cathleen P.

    Awesome meeting last night! Engaging and direct conversation about the challenges and opportunities to build a business.

    July 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks a bunch everyone. I apologize for some of the audio quality. Please blame me and not John or Chris. I'll stop by in person for the next one.

    Hussein: you rock. GREAT conversation afterwards, I'm really impressed with what you're doing, you should be proud and you're on the path to success. Stay at it, I hope Shane and others are helpful.

    July 8, 2014

  • Jeremy

    I really enjoyed Kevin's presentation - it helped frame up a way to cut through a lot of noise and the avalanche of material and to-dos. "First, be helpful" - an straightforward goal and path forward.

    Also, new format with Google Hangout worked really well; easy enough to find new building location.

    July 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    July 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you can't make it tonight you can watch my part live on the Hangout,

    Though not as fun as being at the event, I'm sure.

    July 7, 2014

  • Chris M.

    Please enter on 2nd Ave. We will make sure someone is at the door.

    July 7, 2014

  • Chris M.

    Hey everyone.. we are in the NEW SURF SPACE Kitty Corner from the OLD One! Wells Fargo Building.

    July 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey all, Looking forward to it. I've "pivoted" my presentation to "How to get your first 100 customers by being helpful" based on what we've been learning from the startups we're helping. Hope to see you there.

    1 · July 7, 2014

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