Étienne GarbugliI Help Innovators Build Products Businesses Want

Customer Development: I help entrepreneurs define and validate their businesses through customer development. Serial Entrepreneur + Author of Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want. The Lean B2B Methodology is used by thousands of entrepreneurs & innovators around the world to quickly find traction in the market.

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Here you go. Hope this helps:

Accel Partners: VC firm investing in early-stage B2B startups, Accel Partners has one of the most impressive portfolio out there. Companies like Dropbox, Slack, Atlassian, Braintree and Cloudera were all backed by this firm.

Bessemer Venture Partners: Creators of the Top 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS, Bessemer Ventures is one of the most respected VC firm. When Bessemer decides to invest, other firms typically follow.

Emergence Capital: One of the oldest enterprise-focused VC firms in the US, Emergence Capital made its first investment in Salesforce.com. They’ve since invested in Success Factors, Yammer, Veeva and Box.

In-Q-Tel: In-Q-Tel is the CIA’s investment arm. Over the last few years, it has become the stamp of approval for technologies secure enough for government agencies. It’s never a bad idea to get In-Q-Tel to invest.

Matrix Partners: VC firm affiliated with SaaS economics expert David Skok who creates the annual SaaS survey (with over 300 startups). Matrix Partners invested in Zendesk and Boston-based startup Hubspot.

Scale Venture Partners: Recommended by many B2B entrepreneurs, Scale VP has an impressive portfolio ranging from Hubspot to Box and Exact Target.

Great question. I wrote the book Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want to help entrepreneurs get from idea to MVP to Product-Market Fit. I also built a few B2B startups (Flagback, HireVoice, etc).

There are a few things that make this a challenge:

1) MVPs are typically much further along the process in B2B than in B2C. In B2C, entrepreneurs find a market, identify the problems and build a MVP. In B2B, entrepreneurs find a market, find the stakeholders, identify the problems, validate a solution then build a MVP. Customers are less accessible; it takes time to get on their agenda.

2) Investors typically don't want to fund early sales and MVP development in B2B. It's "too risky"; they'd rather come in when the company has a wee-bit of traction.

3) The whole process from inception to early traction and MVP can easily take more than a year. You need sufficient runway to survive.

Although I agree with Jeff, Shaun and Suresh that you can build early MVPs on the cheap, it's important to remember that your initial objective is to convince 5-6 businesses to commit to purchase your solution when it's ready.

To that end, a vision and early mockups can be enough.

If you need money to get to MVP, I suggest finding angel investors, but don't expect your MVP to be the actual product. Everything will change.

Feel free to reach out if you'd like to talk about this.

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