GroTru Case Study

Introduction

In June 2022 I met Mecca, an aspiring entrepreneur who was very passionate about helping to improve the lives of Black & LatinX in America but wasn’t entirely sure how, had no way to execute, and no business experience. 

With my background in business management, finance and marketing, I was confident in my ability to turn her vision into a reality and we became business partners. 

We agreed that I would help her create the foundations of the business in exchange for equity, and then I would step aside and pass over my responsibilities to Black & LatinX professionals to continue building on the foundations I set.

Developing the Business Idea

After exploring many different options and conducting market research and gathering feedback on business ideas, we settled on creating a startup resource platform. It would provide access to grants, accelerators, investors, software solutions, networking opportunities and educational courses to help more Black & LatinX founders start a business and secure funding. 

We followed basic investor criteria to ensure there was a significant problem and need for a solution, a big enough market and a gap in that market that would allow our platform to be successful. 

Financial Modelling

Once we had our idea set, we had to ensure that it was financially viable and what our revenue model would look like. To get the best results, I created different variations of revenue models and financial projections hand in hand and compared the outcomes at the end of a 5 year period. 

The main options explored for the revenue modelling were typical for SaaS products and included premium, free trial premium and freemium. While the financial outcome of the premium model surpassed the others, consideration needed to be made for our ability to generate traffic in the absence of funding. With this in mind, we opted for a freemium model for the platform and would also have a focus on building partnerships, both corporate and affiliate.

To generate financial projections I focused on our ability to attract users considering digital marketing industry standards, partnerships, SEO and word of mouth, and what impact they would have each year. I also included all general expenses as well as staffing costs over the 5 year period. 

Building the Platform

We had a landing page set up from the very beginning to build an email list of interested users and collect feedback while exploring different business ideas. Once we settled on the approach and had ensured the financial viability of the business, it was time to start building the platform.  

The process began with developing the branding and messaging, ensuring it resonated with our target audience. The next step involved a lot of data collection to ensure we had the content we needed to fill out the platform. Once we had a significant amount of data, I started to build the platform. To build this, I used WordPress, Elementor and MemberPress. 

Moving Forward

Now that I have fulfilled my end of the agreement, I’m beginning to phase out while Mecca focuses on securing partnerships and investment. 

At this stage, there are two problems GroTru faces. The first is a lack of grants & accelerators dedicated to Black & LatinX founders. To overcome this, we have created a strategy that focuses on securing corporate partnerships that offer grants to our demographic, while also helping us to gain exposure.

The second problem faced is securing an investment. GroTru is built on this issue – that only 2.4% of VC funding goes to Black & LatinX founders. With our founding team being 50% black, this is a hurdle we need to overcome to help create more opportunity for Black & LatinX founders that follow.