We enabled iSono Health to raise a multi-million dollar seed funding round by conducting a 8-week market validation campaign that tested 11 different customer acquisition channels to get evidence of market demand, identify early adopter customer segment and plan a go-to-market strategy.
iSono health is San Francisco based pre-seed venture-backed medical technology startup formed by Y-Combinator alumni and PHD graduates from Stanford University.
Supported by Johnson and Johnson, iSono health allows early detection of breast cancer by bringing together automated ultrasound with artificial intelligence and cloud based computation.
The patented compact ultrasound scanner automatically captures 3D images of whole breast volume in just 2 minutes. The scanner attaches to a positioning accessory for accurate and repeatable imaging, and the machine learning algorithm is able to identify abnormal masses to assist health care professionals with diagnosis.
iSono’s fully functional prototype was promising a paradigm shift in the way breast cancer is currently diagnosed and monitored around the world, with the potential impact of saving million of lives once deployed.
However, the company lacked any commercial validation requested by VCs to provide a seed funding round to start manufacturing and commercialisation.
iSono Health asked Studio Zao to conduct a market validation campaign to help present a compelling case to investors and raise a seed round of investment. Moreover, they wanted to get a view of their early adopters customer segment, and insights to plan a go-to-market strategy.
We designed and delivered an 8-week market validation and acceleration campaign that tested 11 different customer acquisition channels to gather evidence of market demand from an early adopter segment, and test acquisition costs – and relevance – of marketing channels.
We provided iSono with an entrepreneur in residence who has been managing the project alongside the startup founders, coordinating a team of domain experts that we had sourced to deliver the campaign.
Given the fact that the device lacked any FDA approval, we could not test willingness to buy through a pre-order. We identified a number of proxies able to provide investors with confidence regarding the level of commitment of the early adopter segment.
Here’s the campaign structure.
The validation campaign included:
- Direct Email Marketing to prospect customers via existing email Database and partner associations (e.g. Doctors societies)
- On site visits by founders in case a demo was requested
- A brand new iSono landing page optimised for customers conversion.
- Marketing assets and collateral to support face to face meetings at networking events and industry exhibitions.
- Online advertising campaign on Twitter, Linkedin and Google Ads, targeted to prospect customers
- We secured commitment for a clinical study with 8 top US cancer research institutions to conduct a clinical trial providing validation to the technology and the concept itself
- We secured a pilot with early adopters from a target segment of clinicians – 88% signed up to have priority access to trial.
- As a result, the client over achieved Multi-Million dollar Seed funding (undisclosed amount).
”It is great to see how far iSono Health has come and we couldn’t have done it without Studio Zao’s input. Not only did they help us over-achieve our Seed funding but they also helped us to learn more about our customers. Through their informative coaching and expert resources we now know how to effectively market our product and have a structured deliverable to show for evidence. It was great to work with a knowledgeable team. We now look forward to expanding the team and receiving our FDA approval’’