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  • 🧨 Clever Idea the OnDeck Founder Wants You to Build

🧨 Clever Idea the OnDeck Founder Wants You to Build

Get the background, market validation and GTM plan to make it happen

Hey Founders,

☕️ Welcome back to our Friday newsletter: the deepest dive on startup ideas that doesn’t require a scuba mask 🤿

📰 Latest tech news: Adobe's new Generative fill tool is hype. Meta’s done another round of layoffs. Google’s CEO is spinning up an AI pact. Dua Lipa dropped a new jam. Times are tough for VC’s fundraising. It’s the last Friday of May. And you still haven’t booked that patio reservation for Sunday night.

🤫 Some Kernal Gossip: We’re mixing up our newsletter today so hold onto your horses. It’s not because we went 3 whiskies deep last night. It’s because we wanna dig more into:

  • the nitty-griddy of big ideas

  • the data validation on why they’re valuable to solve

  • and the GTM plan you can steal to make them successful

If you like the new style, reply at the end and say “cool beans”. If you hate it, let out some cortisol and reply with “miss the old stuff”.

Let’s rigidity-roll 🎶

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🍽 Today's Menu:

  • 🔑 A clever idea the founder of OnDeck wants built

  • 🐦 Tweets to back up the startup idea

  • 📝 GTM plan if you wanna chase it

🛠 The Idea Erik Torenberg Wants Built

Meet Erik Torenberg: a prolific entrepreneur, ideator and investor. Some things you probably know about him are:

  • he co-founded On Deck (Series A led by Founders Fund)

  • invests in smart founders with Village Global

  • has a pretty good Twitter game

Let’s open a few more chrome tabs on facts you likely don’t know about Erik:

  • 1st employee at Product Hunt and wanted to work with Ryan Hoover when it was just a side project

  • Co-founded Village Global in 2017 with Ben Casnocha which is a $270m early-stage fund focused on IT/SaaS

  • The fund is backed by word class names like Zuckerberg, Bezos and Gates, Sara Blakely and Reid Hoffman

  • His first personal angel deals were Scale AI ($7B), Rappi, ($5B) Lattice ($3B), and Nurx ($1B).

  • He’s a freestyle rap enthusiast and saw it as a way to build his confidence when he was younger

Now you probably wanna meet him for coffee. Well, we’ve got the perfect alley-oop. Help him with his startup idea👇

As you can imagine, Erik’s probably reference-checking folks lateeeee into the night:

  • he’s reference-checking talent to hire at On Deck

  • he’s reference-checking founders to back at Village Global

  • and he’s reference checking 100s of cold emails, Twitter DMs he gets after speaking on a podcast etc

Solution: “reference checks as a service”

And Erik’s not just talking a big game. He’s game to toss some $$ behind this.

Eyebrows raised? Keep scrolling.

Here’s a few riffs that prove Erik could be onto something:

Auren (GP of a $200m firm) is even on board to see an MVP 💸

More peeps that love the idea:

Questions the builder should validate:

  • Would people actually give detailed references for money?

  • Is the end product for talent hires or qualifying founders to back?

  • Should the data marketplace be private or public?

  • What’s the amount of time/$$ you’d save a company th this service?

Some similar ideas have stirred up attention:

🐦 Tweets to Back Up the Idea

We did a walk down Twitter lane and found lots of smart investors, founders and product geeks that share a similar pain for reference checking. Give them a skim.

And tell us there’s not a hell of a golden opportunity in the world of reference-checking 💸

GTM Napkin Notes on How To Build This:

  • Build a landing page on Yep.so lining out the strategy

  • Claim this Kernal idea and tweet it out to see who’d pay for it

  • Spin up a Google sheet list of potential customers (funds, recruiter firms, folks named in this newsletter), share it with a few highly connected folks to get their input

  • Whip up a list of top reference givers (VPs of HR, People & Ops etc)

  • Develop an incentivization ladder around # of quality references given

  • Spin up a list of 50 top-class reference checks Q’s (steal Amanada’s)

Got a better plan?

Leave a comment on the idea.

We’d love to hear how you would build this startup idea.

If you’re reallyyy sold on Erik’s big idea reply to this newsletter and we’ll forward your contact info to Erik.

He’s looking for a builder and said we could spread the word for him.

💚 The Kernal Fam

P.S. Liked the newsletter? Let your joy loose below.

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