How do you get a community to rally around a platform, contribute and participate to help drive a thriving startup community?
Make a digital platform that will help startups in the city of Richmond find the resources they need.
Richmond has all the right ingredients to be the perfect place to start a new business but the community is too fragmented to properly connect.
Rally RVA offers a digital platform that modernizes the talent acquisition process to make it more efficient for startups and more motivational for potential talent.
Who makes up the community:
Incubators & Accelerators
Advisors & Mentors
Startup Ecosystem Focus Areas:
Facilitating network building
Simplifying access to relationships
Identifying and filling needs
“If you don’t have the talent… entrepreneurship just isn’t going to happen.”
And that brings us to Rally RVA
Breaking down the key features
Allow founders to profile their startups and detail their needs, efficiently showcasing their vision, culture, and skills the talents can develop working at their company. It also serves as a way for funders to see what is in the pipeline.
Instead of a job listing, Rally RVA platform introduces "need" cards for talents to efficiently see what area they can help them with. Depending on the funding stage, startups might need mentors or partners, and these need cards reflect the broader needs of the founders.
Instead of featuring traditional benefits like healthcare or 401K, the profile page introduces skills the talent can develop working for the startup. This is to give startups of any size the opportunity to showcase their company vision without being intimidated by competing with the larger corporations.
As the founders create profiles, the platform generates an index of them. Both talents and funders are able to see what kind of startups are in the area, and also can filter by category, needs, and size in order to get faster access to the startups they are looking for.
Instead of sending a resume and waiting for a call, talents view the need cards on a startup profile then send an e-business card to start a casual conversation with founders in the area.
Brand awareness is a big part of Rally RVA's success, and we thought about physical deliverables to help to get Rally RVA out in the startup community. Richmond, Virginia is known for its food and craft beer scene, and a lot of founders and talents already spend their time in local coffee shops or breweries when either working or networking. What if we make coasters and distribute them locally in order to introduce the Rally RVA brand non-intrusive way?
Also, Rally RVA is powered by a local organization, Activation Capital. They host an annual conference for the startup community called DownRiver and UpRiver, and mocked up a photo wall with step and repeat logos and t-shirts to distribute during the conference would be a good opportunity to introduce the brand as well.
In the discovery phase, we interviewed the startup players in the Richmond region, including accelerators, founders, and talents to pick their brain about what current startup ecosystems look like, and the needs of the users. Through reading articles about the Richmond startup scene, and with a competitive audits of other cities like Austin, Raleigh, we found patterns that defined a problem. "Richmond startup scene is lacking talent acquisition."
After we defined a problem, we sketched out a few feature ideas and rough user flows for those features. We then narrowed down to three flows we want to focus on and started building a design system so that as a team what we build is cohesive.
We used Figma to collaborate and build a high-fidelity prototype for Rally RVA.