The Story of Megna Murali
As a “startup newbie”, Megna expected the SydWest Accelerator Program to be like a university course: with lectures, assignments, and maybe an assessment at the end. However, what surprised her most about the program was how it suited every kind of early-stage startup.
“From those at the idea phase as myself to those that are already in the market – this program suited everyone,” explained Megna.
For Megna, this 6-month program dispelled the myth that successful startups are all about that beautiful product. “Without product-market fit, it doesn’t matter how sleek your app is, or how beautiful your product is. It won’t be successful,” she further elaborated. “If you have product-market fit, even that imperfect product can be successful.”
The Launch Pad accelerator program started by emphasising the importance of customer research. This was not something Megna had realised was critical for startups to do.
“Like many others, I was really keen to get in and just start building my product. But, by following the methods taught by Launch Pad, I iterated my idea. I validated the problem with real customers and also validated the solutions. Only then did I move on to development, which I think was a great approach. It saved me a lot of time and money.”
Her #SydWest2021 Moments
In one of the monthly Launch Pad sessions, the SydWest 2021 cohort had a few minutes to come up with and pitch a novel COVID-19-related startup as a brainstorming exercise. They then pitched their idea to the group. Some of the ideas were so funny that everyone was all “just in stitches the whole time”. Megna proudly mentioned her team’s specific idea about “socially isolated parties delivered by drones”.
“It was a really fun exercise, and it really broke the monotony of being stuck in lockdown and not being able to meet in person.”
Megna came into this program with just an idea on a page. Now, 6 months later, she received the NSW Government, MVP Grant. She has actually gone to build the MVP for her product Convert Dial, which has been thoroughly validated in the market as well.
“The one-on-one mentoring and structured 6-month framework is personal and tailored to each founder. Unlike other programs that are short-term, in 6 months you can achieve significant progress. There were plenty of opportunities to connect with the cohort and the mentors and I have made great friends through this program.”
“Just do it. Having a 6-month extended program with access to the mentors and materials that you get in Launch Pad is just invaluable. And especially if you’re an early-stage startup, I would highly recommend it.”