Managing your way through the Gap Stage: The time when a startup births a business.

by Tim Bates | at MinneBar 11 | 11:45 – 12:35 in Gandhi | View Schedule

In this session, we’ll discuss the importance of the Gap stage, when it occurs, how to plan for it, and how to work your way through it so that you can get on with scaling your business.

Today, there is a lot of discussion about customer development, product/market fit and scaling a company. However, there is little discussion about that period between product/market fit discovery and when you press the gas pedal down in order to scale the business. This middle state is a messy time in a startup’s life. It’s a hard but transformative time. Done with the right thought and planning, it is during this period that you really birth your business and put your company on the tracks to success and an exit.

This period is called the Gap Stage. It is called this because there are gaps in your market and customer knowledge, gaps in your product and service capabilities, and gaps in your team that once filled will make scaling possible. The Gap Stage is where you refine, polish, re-polish, reposition and re-learn what you know about your sales process, the market, the product and target customer through repeated sales and customer engagement.

Tim Bates

I run the Exponential Group, a fifteen-year-old company that works with young early-stage technology businesses in the US, Europe, and Asia developing and bringing to market product and services in the areas of mobile, digital imaging, SaaS, big data and IOT technologies. I have a BA in Mathematics from St. Olaf College and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

I started as a software engineer and was the inventor or co-developer of a number of leading-edge computer graphic software systems. I then moved on to managing, running, and starting technology companies that pioneered digital cameras, SaaS services, advanced database systems and e-commerce solutions helping them develop and build markets in the US, Europe, and Asia.

In addition to running the Exponential Group, I currently am a board member and advisor to young technology companies as well as work with others as a mentor through MESA.