More Traction is a Product Strategy consultancy, helping climate tech startups test and commercialise their ideas, to get to scale faster. More Traction's approach will provide actionable data to course-correct your business model towards success, and their vision is to help you succeed in finding practical solutions to the Climate Crisis.
Leo Cerda, founder of More Traction, is an active supporter and mentor within the Climate Salad community, and is a proud Industry Report Supporter. We sat down with Leo to chat all things growth in climate tech.
Q. Why is it important to foster growth in the Climate Tech ecosystem?
Given the scale and urgency of change required to achieve net zero by 2050, we need to place as many bets as possible on the people and businesses who are searching for and building solutions to the climate crisis. Growth is not only about more customers and revenue. Growth also comes from crucial - yet harder to measure - metrics like impact (increasing adaptation, mitigation, natural capital, or reducing the green premium), from soft benefits (improve mental health and CX), and importantly; learning.
Q. How can climate tech startups ensure they are on track for growth?
Climate change is a huge problem and founding a startup is a huge undertaking, so the combination can leave many “like a deer in the headlights” wondering where to start or what to do next. My advice: in the beginning focus on learning from your customers to uncover problems worth solving before you jump into building solutions.
For early-stage startups it is critical to focus on discovering what customers actually want and prioritise learning over sales. They often don't have a product to sell, so they need to learn what to build before they commit the resources to building. They need to prove that there is demand for their value proposition before building a product.
Many assume that their product will solve a customer problem, but have failed to understand the needs, behaviours and attributes of their ideal customer. They often make the mistake of defining their audience too broadly in hopes of keeping the addressable market large. The unintended consequence is that their value proposition becomes too vague and they end up targeting everyone which means they target no one.
- It's a downward spiral:
- without a good understanding of your customer, the value proposition is unclear
- with an unclear value proposition, conversion is weak
- without decent metrics, it's hard to raise funds (unless your investor is a gambler)
- without funding, they can't grow and scale
- if we don't scale climate techs, we won't reach net zero by 2050
Q.Give us a brief overview of More Traction, what is your north star?
We don't have time to build climate techs that nobody wants, so I started More Traction to help them get aligned and ready for investment. The more startups succeed, the sooner we’ll remove GHG and achieve our net zero targets.
Q. What is the problem that you saw, and how does More Traction help solve it?
We realised that a lot of startups had rushed to build and were now trying to find customers whilst also trying to raise funds. We learned that lots of them had tried things haphazardly to see what sticks and were now reaching the end of their current funding.
We help these businesses get aligned behind a plan, define a customer-centred product strategy and execute the activity required to demonstrate traction to investors and secure funding for growth. We’ve spent the last 15 years doing this across industries and are now focussed on helping climate techs succeed.