The Canvas Story: From Digital Product Idea to Seed Funding (Part 1 of 3)

This is part one of a three-part series outlining the partnership between Innovatemap and Canvas.

Think about everything you are able to do with the simple touch of a smartphone screen: Call a ride, pay your friend for dinner, even start a relationship. If we are able to do so many things from one swipe, why is finding a job still such a headache? Why do we still spend so much time dancing through the inevitable phone tag only to end with an uncomfortable phone call?

These were the questions Aman Brar found himself asking when he came to Innovatemap with the idea for Canvas, the first enterprise-grade text-based interviewing platform that enables recruiters to screen more job candidates and market employment brands.

Problem

Canvas founder Aman Brar had this idea for a way to drastically simplify the recruiting process but needed an easy, compelling tool to articulate this idea in a way that would appeal to investors. Aman Brar needed to be empowered with everything necessary to communicate his vision while also establishing the legitimacy necessary to assure investors that he had a clear idea and strong business model.

Solution

Canvas’ crucial fundraising step involved offerings from all four of Innovatemap’s core disciplines: product marketing, product brand, product design, and product management.

The product management team first performed market and competitive research to identify trends, opportunities, and potential competitors in the space that Canvas was planning to join. This research built a strong foundation and provided context for their upcoming digital product decisions.

Aligning this research with the goals and vision of Canvas, our product design team got to work building digital product concept screens to act as visual support to help other people see the idea that Aman had for Canvas.

The product marketing and brand teams were also hard at work with the Canvas team to establish a brand identity and clear positioning, which were critical components to add legitimacy to Canvas’ presence in the market. They also took the new brand identity and positioning to build a splash page to start building marketing buzz around the new Canvas product.

All these efforts, including the research, concept screens, brand identity, and positioning were combined into a pitch deck that painted the vision of Canvas in a succinct, compelling way that Aman used to tell his story to fundraisers.

Result

Armed with a strong foundation and a clear, compelling pitch deck, the Canvas team got to work communicating this vision to investors, and within a matter of days had secured most of Canvas’ seed round of $2 million. This round of funding would be used to activate the foundation that had been set for Canvas, and our engagement would continue into part two of the startup package: Activation.

Tips

  • Research might feel like it slows down a fast-moving startup pace, but it builds the critical foundation that you can look to when making important product decisions.
  • When you’re starting out, things like a visual identity or foundational positioning may not seem like a priority, but giving it sufficient attention allows you to build credibility in buyers’ minds.
  • Pitch decks should paint the vision you have for your idea, but it is important to “stack the deck” (literally) with things that help establish your credibility: research, concept screens, and foundational positioning.

Continue on to part two of this Canvas spotlight: From Funding to Activation.