How to approach investors with a Lean Startup project​

A ​group of investors will share ​their ​perspectives on how to approach and work with them when​ ​projects​ follow the Lean Startup methodology. ​We cover ​topics ​like ​how to pitch, how to show progress, ​etc.​

18:30 Doors open​ and Networking
18:45 ​Introduction into the Lean Startup methodology for Newcomers (optional)
19:00 ​Discussions with investors: ​ Fredi Schmidli, Board Member,, (confirmed); more tbd: please let us know if you know a "lean investor"
   - Investment criteria ​ for investors: Fredi​
   - Questions from moderator​: Carlos Morales​
   - Questions from audience​ (you can also send us your questions via meetup) ​
    - Conclusions
20:15 Presentation of Minimal Viable Products​ (MVP)​

​     - Lukas Eppler -

​     - Jeremy Chatelaine -

21:00 ​Networking until 10pm

More info

Lukas Eppler presents the file-sharing service Ourfolder has been in the works for some time. It has viral potential but hasn’t taken off (yet).

Jeremy will present, his Saas product that automate outbound emails (reaching out and following up with predefined templates) to get more responses with less efforts.

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  • Milan S.

    Who asked the first ‘provocative’ question, does lean, iterative, proof-oriented approach makes some kinds of innovations impossible? The discussion strayed away into a false dilemma - the genius way vs a disciplined approach, there’s place for both, a brilliant insight followed by excellent execution. I wanted to to the the person who asked the question but couldn’t find him afterwards, so if you’re reading this: can you give us one example of an innovation which is impossible to do in an iterative-lean kind of way?

    July 23

    • Milan S.

      Thanks for the clarification. I was just trying to ask for a single innovation which cannot be validated (in a lean way), that cannot be shown worth building, when it is worth, which we can know only in retrospect, after the fact.

      July 23

    • Roger H.

      Would it be possible to write also a German version, because your Biz/tech/legal language/thinking/acrony­ms are not familiär or even not to understand for Swissies!

      July 23

  • Patrick S.

    Just read up on Dropbox. As it turns out, they built a product before they talked to investors. Their first round was $15'000 from Y Combinator (a US startup incubator), after 4 months of development. Months later they landed a $1.2 mio investment (!) and that's what kicked them off to get to 200'000 customers 4 years later (!). Is the "all we had was a video of how dropbox works, and that's all you need, too" an urban legend? Would European investors and business angels have spotted the Dropbox opportunity if they had started here? The questions are by me, the source of the summary is

    1 · July 23

  • Milan S.

    8. the closer to ZH HB your AG is the better (1hr travel time is about the limit) :)
    9. the probability that an investor would invest in a IT startup is inversely proportional to his age
    10. don't show up unless you've proved you can sell

    July 22

    • Patrick S.

      can I suggest rephrasing 9. Make sure your investor understands that software in general, and apps in particular are more than the prototypical 2-day let's-hack-a-day mockups. Sure you can sell a mockup, but you can't deliver on your promise without a working solution (<== note the words 'viable' and 'product' in MVP), and that notoriously takes time...

      1 · July 23

  • Chris R.

    As an investor, I want to know from a startup:

    1. What is the customer pain you are solving?
    2. How many customers do you have?
    3. How many customers are out there?
    4. How much are customers willing to pay?
    5. How much does it cost to acquire and satisfy a customer?
    6. How much money do you want and how much equity do I get?
    7. What do you need the money for?

    An important question that the startup and I have to answer: Can we work together enjoyably and productively?

    4 · July 23

    • Milan S.

      This is basically the first two steps from the "4 steps to the epiphany": problem-market fit and a repeatable sales road map (demonstrated by a number of early sales).

      1 · July 23

  • Milan S.

    what was the conclusion on "should i even bother to engage with a non-lean investor"? Writing an MVBP (minimum viable business plan) just marks the beginning of troubles?

    July 22

  • Dominik W.

    Sehr lehrreich — grau ist bekanntlich alle Theorie: es ist oft genug die Umsetzung in der Praxis, die die Theorie erst anschaulich macht. Das ist aus meiner Sicht genau der Zweck der Lean Startup Meetups

    1 · July 22

  • Patrick S.

    very useful and interesting advice. Thanks to Fredi and his investor friends. I jotted down some quick notes - any additions?
    1. make sure your startup is solving a real pain (=> validated in experiments)
    2. have a list of customers/prospects,
    3. show they are ready to pay,
    4. demonstrate acquistion experience: what does it cost to get a customer,
    5. show your ability to commit and execute lean (experiments, if necessary pivot),
    6. demonstrate that growth is working.
    7. Formally, you need an incorporated AG to get investors on board.

    1 · July 22

  • Lorena

    Thanks for sharing your personal stories and experiences with us! Very interesting as always ;-)

    July 22

  • Sam

    Inspiring as always, thank you for organising!

    July 21

  • Hal T.

    Aargh - this falls right in the middle of my vacation. :-(

    July 15

  • dacian

    unfortunately I'm not in Zurich but it sounds really interesting.

    July 11

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