After a stellar first year, Miro’s startup program is going deeper

Miro has not forgotten its startup roots. The unconventional ideas, agility, and optimism that come from the startup community are the building blocks for all business innovation. So it made complete sense last year when Miro committed to helping other startups by launching its program.

Jaïr Halevi, Startup Program Manager at Miro, explains: “Miro wants to invest in startups because they are the innovators of the future, the ones that will shape our world.”

Before launching the program, Jaïr and his team hosted events and interviewed countless startups to better understand their pain points. It soon became obvious that Miro could help in a myriad of ways, especially around ideation, collaboration, and product development.

The startup program includes $1,000 of Miro credits, access to community events, resources, and a vast library of Miro templates (Miroverse). It officially launched in September of 2020 with a goal of 3,000 applications. Jaïr quickly learned that attracting applicants would be the easy part. To date, there have been over 4,000 applications.

The focus of the program quickly pivoted from getting applications to delivering more value and support to each startup in the program. How could the team go deeper to help startups get the most out of Miro?

Why Miro loves startups and vice versa

Startups move fast and are always looking to gain a competitive advantage by innovating their processes. They are early-early adopters of technology. The tools that work well for startups soon end up in larger, established organizations.

Startups love Miro because it’s extremely flexible. Each startup can use it differently and still get results. As they invent and discover these new use cases, the Miro canvases become part of the Miroverse for others to try.

“Another whiteboard solution? I gotta say, with so many services out there, I was a bit disillusioned at first. But boy, oh boy did Miro deliver. It’s simple, granular, and completely essential for a small dev team.” – Jeremiah Costello from Gamma Minus UG
Jeremiah Costello, Owner, Gamma Minus UG

Startup founders love to talk about their experiences (good and bad). So if a tool works for them, they enthusiastically share it with the world. This motivates the Miro team to ensure that startups are using the canvases and seeing measurable results.

The secret sauce: Startup Partners

One of the bigger surprises of the program’s first year was the enthusiastic support from startup partners. To date, there are over 400 partners who help promote Miro to their networks.

Startup accelerators like TechStars, 500 Startups, and Y Combinator team up with Miro to offer the same program benefits to the hundreds of companies in their programs. In addition, Miro conducts several events with different partners to spread the word and educate startups.

Over the past year, Miro hosted 10 partner events that attracted over 1,000 startups. These workshops are very interactive and give startups valuable guidance that they can apply immediately.

The startup partnerships have been the catalyst for the program’s fast growth, and there are exciting (soon-to-be-announced) plans to extend some of these relationships even further.

How startups are using Miro

If you take a stroll through the templates, you’ll see hundreds of use cases that startups can easily apply to their business and see immediate results. From business model canvases to customer personas and value propositions, there is a canvas for every startup scenario.

We asked some of our startups in the program to share their Miro story.

INDX: Collaboration on the go

“We’re a startup that is focused more on output rather than when and where you work. Miro helps us collaborate while we’re on the move. Team members can join product development brainstorming sessions on their mobile Miro app and the experience is awesome! We’re continuously iterating on our product based on customer feedback and tweaking our roadmap. The Miro mobile app allows our team to work from anywhere in the world where they have cell phone service. This is valuable to us because it helps keep our team satisfied while also contributing to our forward momentum.”

Quan: Team-centered product development

“The most critical way Miro supports Quan’s growth is for our product! As an early-stage startup, every Euro counts. So before our Engineering team builds anything new in Quan’s employee well-being solution, the Product team uses Miro boards to run UX research sessions to test new feature ideas. We use the user feedback captured on Miro boards to make better product and development decisions and then easily present these findings to the rest of Quan in sprint demos.

This approach allows team members outside of the Product team to reflect on new feature ideas from their perspectives before they go into development, which has inspired some innovative improvements to new feature ideas. The interactive and collaborative nature of using Miro for these sessions ensures that we build the best features and launch them for our customers from a place of close internal alignment.”

Playnnovation: Product immersion and play

“Our mission is to encourage innovation through play! We use Miro to host interactive virtual sessions, which are hands-on game experiences based on the theory of fun. Miro boards enable us to deliver highly productive and engaging sessions. Participants improve their understanding of the innovation process, act upon targeted innovation mindsets, develop strategic planning, and vision generation.”

BHyve: Miro might even help you get more funding

“We brainstormed a sales process for our internal use only. During a review, an investor said, ‘your sales process needs to be more robust.’ We explained that the sales process was robust and we used Miro to make it easy. He was curious, so we showed him the process in Miro. And he went, ‘WOW! This is great. Please, can I invest more in your startup?’ And he did!”

Going deeper and expanding the startup program

Attracting thousands of startups and partners in the first year is an amazing accomplishment. But Jaïr and his team see this growth as just the first step in a longer-term vision of driving engagement.

Jaïr puts it this way, “How can we make that thousand-dollar Miro credit go farther for each startup? We want to guide them to get the most out of Miro and see it more as an investment in their growth.”

The program expects even more applications than last year. As the Miro startup team grows, they will be able to add more events, resources, and partnerships to achieve their ambitious goals.

Finally, Miro is launching a new program specifically for scale-ups. These are mid and late-stage companies that have found their market fit and are growing fast. Scale-ups are experiencing different challenges from early startups, and Miro can help solve those unique pain points. Stay tuned for more information!

It’s going to be an exciting year two! Who wants to join the fun?

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We encourage all startups and scale-ups to check out the program and apply. 

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