CircleUp is a platform that helps early stage consumer products entrepreneurs raise growth capital from value-add investors.
As Director of Product Design, my role encompassed a wide territory. Starting as the first non-engineering product hire, I lead design and user research across the entire product line. In conjunction with my peers in Product Management and Engineering we built a product development process that integrated team members based in California, Wisconsin, New York, Oregon, and other locations around the US. I sourced and hired designers and established processes for evaluation and advancement. As a member of the senior team I was involved in establishing company strategy and roadmap, and evaluating results.
Marketplace for Equity
“Helping entrepreneurs thrive by providing them the resources and capital they need”
Much of the activity on the platform takes place in and around CircleUp “Deals” Marketplace. The marketplace provides a showcase of currently raising companies and allows investors to perform initial diligence and begin engagement with entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur & Investor Information
Between 2014 and 2017, entrepreneurs raised $300M in investment capital with CircleUp’s help.
Tools for Entrepreneurs
CircleUp offers an array of online tools for entrepreneurs to facilitate their fund-raising efforts. In addition to an assisted, step-by-step raise setup sequence it includes outreach & communications tools, performance analysis, and CRM features.
Investor Insights – Leveraging Data
The Universal Marketplace was a prototype exploring how to bring CircleUp’s consumer products company data set to bear, allowing investors deeper insight in to early stage opportunities.
A key component of product design is process facilitation to drive desired outcomes and results. This is particularly important when drawing together stakeholders with varying areas of experience and expertise, and when working to simplify complex or arcane processes.
A highly effective method that I utilized was a modified version of the Design Sprint. The core techniques were leveraged in a redesign of the Company Raise Setup process, a key component of the overall entrepreneur workflow.
Previously, the team participated in a sprint at the Google Ventures offices while the GV design partners were developing their process. Our session was featured in an article on Techcrunch and a video capturing key highlights.
UI Patterns Library
Balancing quality and expediency is a tension that exists within many organizations. At CircleUp, design and engineering collaborated to create a reusable pattern library, cutting down dev time and increasing quality and consistency of experience.