03. Incubation

Incubation Sprints Mentoring

Build the right solution for your customer before you launch it.

6 months (12-18 sprints)

After achieving problem-solution fit during the Corporate Start-up Accelerator, teams must aim to achieve product-market fit before launching their offering. It is very tempting to launch into building out the solution and disregard collecting continuous customer feedback and experiments, which can lead to the project failing upon launch. Teams must continue with lean start-up principles, testing proposed product features as they go.


To help teams navigate the Incubation Phase, the Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship (AfCE) has developed a sprint mentoring approach where a tag-team of AfCE mentors effectively become product owners in the team and guide a sequence of lean experiments using a combination of in person workshops and virtual support for the team. This allows teams to achieve 2-3 sprints per month whilst putting the customer at the centre of their development activities.

Over a typical 6 month Incubation Phase, these sprints mature through 4 stages (as much as possible) to gain a full understanding of the solution:

Win customers

Increase # of active users / customers

Make it sticky (increase # of returning users / customers)

Find the funnel formula (increase conversion rates across AAARR metrics)

The Value

     Increase number of real beta customers

     Prove your conversion metrics

     Avoid bias and only build what the customer needs

    Aligns with AfCE Incubation Development Fund

Client Success:

South Africa Allianz aimed to launch and test a new business model in South Africa in order to build a locally hyper relevant and globally highly scalable digital insurance product. The Munich based team started working with our incubation mentors who were experienced in the German as well as South African and international markets, to help them lay out a series of Incubation Sprints. 100+ critical business assumptions were prioritised into a workable experiment backlog of sprints to de-risk the business model. Empathy work in South Africa together with ongoing hypothesis-based online experiments including a highly converting Marketing Funnel via Facebook + Google Ads, websites and Minimal Viable Products (MVPs) allowed the heterogeneous team to quickly A/B Test various value propositions in the market.