On the media player above, you can listen to Arnaud‘s elevator pitch that he presented yesterday, Wednesday 23th November, in front of two investors and fourteen other members of his startup cohort at Founder Institute Benelux.

Founder Institute, just like TechStars or Y Combinator, is a global startup accelerator that organizes four times per year and per region something called a cohort, or group of startup founders that are together provided with mentorship and education in various aspects of entrepreneurship and startups during 3/4 months, until the demonstration day or demo day culminates in each company pitching itself to investors and attempting to secure financing.

When it comes to Employee Monitoring Software, employers must often choose between cumbersome solutions (with rich interfaces and clicks everywhere), and privacy-invading tools (such as keyloggers or permanent screen recorders).
Elevator Pitch part 1/5.

Arnaud joined Founder Institute

Upon paying his place, Arnaud has decided to join the Benelux 2022 cohort which started on Wednesday, 8th October 2022. If he wishes, he may write a blog post for discussing and reporting about his experience; however, here I have asked him to share his final elevator pitch, audio content, and transcript with us.

It is a little accomplishment that deserves to be recognized, that has required some training and some hard work on his part, and could serve as a useful reminder once he has graduated or not from this startup program.

Smiling Young Businessman And Businessman Shaking Hands Near Elevator, illustrating timeNough Founder Institute's elevator pitch

The term elevator pitch refers to a short speech that outlines a concept for a product or service, or a project. In the context of an elevator ride, the name derives from the idea that the speech should be delivered in a brief amount of time. The ideal elevator pitch should last approximately 30 seconds, with a maximum of 60 seconds.

The current providers haven’t done anything to promote corporate social responsibility, or to mitigate the risk of a toxic work-place.
Elevator Pitch part 2/5.

In order to make the process more challenging, each week, the cohort managers ask him to update and improve his elevator pitch by adding one ingredient or topic. The pitch can vary from week to week. In this pitch from the third week, the following requirements were stated:

  1. Exposing the big customer problem,
  2. Presenting a new innovative solution called the “secret sauce”,
  3. Explaining why he is uniquely qualified to pursue the idea,
  4. And finally, including an ask or a demand

It was Arnaud’s intention to begin by addressing the following issue: the current time tracking software and employee monitoring tools offered are simply too complicated in terms of interface to use, and if the issue is not on the interface, there are tools which conduct extensive surveillance on employees’ machines without the employee being aware of it. There is a need to take action.

With an internal bot system, plugged into the mailbox, Slack or Teams timeNough intends to reduce: the feeling of micromanagement, the sense of distrust, anxiety and causes of burnout among the work-force.
Elevator Pitch part 3/5.

Keyloggers are intentionally mentioned as the worst instance of employee monitoring software in terms of privacy, according to him. Often, employees are unaware that such a system exists on their corporate computer, so every key they press is recorded and their employer can review a log at any time. In some organizations, screen recorders are also used to demonstrate abusive practices.

Team of employees gathering in meeting room. Woman writing on whiteboard with smile. Colleagues looking at her with interest, illustrating timeNough Founder Institute's elevator pitch

During his pitch, he denounces the competition and what they do not deliberately do. As part of corporate social responsibility, employers should treat their employees in a more ethical manner, while being aware of the fact that spying tools result in a toxic working environment. In his view, things should be more fair and providers should take action.

By experiencing myself all the pain points of time tracking apps when I was a Full Stack Developer, I propose a life changing tool that can redefine the future of work and preserve employees desire to stay in their companies.
Elevator Pitch part 4/5.

A brief description of timeNough is provided, followed by information on recent integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams, as well as the goals and missions of the main start-up’s product: eliminate negative feelings on the employee’s side caused by such applications, such as the feeling of being micromanaged, spied, distrusted, and pressured until being terminated upon the first indiscretion.

During his time as an IT professional, he experienced a number of pain points using timesheets. This topic has also been discussed there on Product Hunt. Because of this, he believes he can use this experience to develop a better product, a better solution, and to be more positive and fair towards his employees. timeNough is aimed at improving work well-being and climate in the organization, which is something employers want, and therefore employers should be the ones paying for it.

The point is to improve Work Well-being. So, I made a working prototype and invited decision makers to test it. But I’m in need of a B2B sales specialist, to help me close deals more efficiently.
Elevator Pitch part 5/5.

Finally, he summarizes the current status of the project: a working prototype has been released, however, we will need the assistance of a B2B sales expert to assist us in securing agreements and partnerships. This is Founder Institute’s exercise “ask”. This pre-revenue stage can be very challenging for a start-up.

Young man meditating at table in office, illustrating work well-being in the timeNough Founder Institute's elevator pitch

Obtaining access to an organization’s infrastructure and connecting with the appropriate individuals for the entire sales or procurement process can be extremely time-consuming and energy-intensive. There is only a demo hosted on our servers, but the next step is to move to a POC, then to a pilot, and finally to a stable version. We have a long journey ahead of us and Arnaud understands this well.

Thank you for listening to and reading all of this. Please feel free to share any feedback you may have in the comments section below.