Heimplanet
Design and business development strategy for a start-up

A great idea will stay just an idea forever without the strategy to bring it to life.

Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product

NEW START-UPS CAN FIND THEMSELVES QUICKLY RUNNING OUT OF RESOURCES IF THEY DON’T HAVE A STRONG DESIGN AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY. FOR HEIMPLANET, ONE SPARK OF INSPIRATION BECAME A SUCCESSFUL OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE BRAND BY UTILISING A LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

When Stefan Clauss and Stefan Schulze-Dieckhoff approached us with their innovative and revolutionary design idea for an inflatable tent, they were as wild and courageous as any new start-up. Unfortunately, they had already exhausted half of their budget on an intensive R&D venture with a group of engineers who had given them the news that their product just wasn’t ready for mass production.

Heimplanet had almost been squeezed out of the market before they had even begun. What they needed was a reliable partner to help grow their business and manage their product development process as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

„During the search for an experienced design partner for the journey from idea to a market-ready product, we were lucky enough to come across Noto. Together, we developed the DNA for Heimplanet tents, the external inflatable support structures which represent the perfect symbiosis of technical function and aesthetic appearance wonderfully.“

Stefan Clauss, Co-Founder & CEO / Heimplanet

Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product
Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product

LEAN START-UP PROCESS IN ACTION

There are thousands of great ideas that get stuck in the early stages of development, whether that’s due to pure bad luck, no investment, or the absence of solid, valuable guidance. When Heimplanet came to us, we knew how to be of the greatest value.

Leveraging both our product design expertise and our experience with start-ups, we got the process flowing again, creating a minimum viable product prototype in order to immediately gain user feedback. For the first tent design, we stitched the first prototype ourselves to test its feasibility and, conscious of our client’s limited budget, constructed small-scale models to test the concept. The design began to attract attention as an effortless, cool and functional proposition for outdoor adventurers.

Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product
Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product
Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product

CLOSE COOPERATION IN THE LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT FOSTERED A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Our trusted relationships in Asia and connections to Chinese manufacturers also allowed us to expedite the prototyping process – the manufacturer we collaborated with specialised in the specific style of inflatable construction were looking for. By adding the development costs to the product’s purchase price, we reduced its financial risk – an incredibly helpful method for Heimplanet’s team. Our partnership with Heimplanet enabled the company to conserve their resources and avoid acquiring debt or further investment, as they had only sourced their capital from family and friends. In addition, we implemented a revenue share business model in return for our services, in order to take on some of the risk ourselves.

The result was The Cave, an inflatable tent that was truly unique to the market and forged the way for Heimplanet’s continued success.

Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product
Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Today, Heimplanet is more than six years old. Following the launch of The Cave, we continued to play an integral role in their team, providing both strategic and practical advice on product and business development moving forward. We helped develop a further two tent designs and lay the foundations for how the brand would operate into the future. Heimplanet is now a leading and respected outdoor lifestyle brand with a growing collection of products, all rooted in a shared approach, that we are proud to have helped instil from the very beginning.

Design and business development strategy for a start-up venture - Testing hypothesis with a minimum viable product

FURTHER READINGS:

You can read more about the lean product development process for Heimplanet here.

Read more about our cooperation with Heimplanet.

Founders-Interview on Innovation Stuntmen.