Seeding Labs

Photo Courtesy of Seeding Labs

Articulating the vision, business planning and coaching to hire the right people lead a start-up to exponential growth

In 2008, a young woman founded Seeding Labs, turning an all-volunteer-run group into a fully incorporated nonprofit. In the first business plan she wrote, is was presumed that the organization would continue to rely almost exclusively on volunteer labor.

By the end of that first year, the organization had already outgrown these plans. It was clear that they needed more professionalism, and that change had to start with the planning process itself. This is when she discovered ESC. Her first team of two ESC consultants helped write a three-year business plan that focused specifically on fully realizing the transition from volunteer effort to a proper, professional business. The ESC team demystified many aspects of business planning for the founder, a former molecular biologist. Together they built in a new revenue model, mapped out the staff and infrastructure that would be needed, and made the case to the Board for the transition. By encouraging the founder to put her aspirations down on paper, the ESC team also made it easier for her to notice opportunities to realize those dreams.

One of the goals, they considered a “stretch” to achieve within the three years of the plan, actually came to fruition almost immediately. By having clarified and codified it in writing, the founder was prepared three months later to successfully pitch it to a prospective funder. Four years later, when a new funding opportunity developed, she came back to ESC to help write another three year plan to secure a grant that has since transformed Seeding Labs. Six different ESC consultants helped her flesh out different aspects of the plan based on their considerable expertise in very different areas from marketing to impact measurement. When Seeding Labs received the grant, two more ESC consultants prepped her for the considerable amount of recruiting, interviewing and hiring she would be required to do to expand the organization.

With a relationship since Seeding Labs’ inception, ESC helped create a business plan, craft a funding proposal for explosive growth, and hire more people.  The result?  Staff has grown by 900%, revenue by 578%, and clients served by 1000% across 20 different countries.