Launching a Software Startup With No Code, Just Prototyping: Benjamin Stanley and SureVX

High interactive fidelity prototypes like those you can create with Axure RP have a variety of uses, from user testing new product features to creating interactive design specs for developers. But what about building a minimum viable product to get a startup off the ground?

That’s exactly what SureVX founder Benjamin Stanley did: He used the Axure platform to make his idea a reality without having to invest crucial early-stage capital into software development.

SureVX is a fintech startup doing collateral management on blockchain. At the pre-seed stage, the company needed to generate traction with potential clients to secure investment and bring its product to market without the cost of full software development.

Their goals were straightforward:

  • Validate the mission of SureVX
  • Generate buzz and sales prospects
  • Do it all without spending too much time or money on software development too early on

The challenge was that they couldn’t accomplish these goals without building something. According to founder Benjamin Stanley, “talk is cheap in blockchain world, so we needed to get something real in front of customers without risking our precious capital on building a full product.”

They found their solution in high interactive fidelity prototyping with Axure RP. SureVX chose Axure as their prototyping platform for three main reasons:

  1. Axure RP lets you build complex interactions without writing code.

    “SureVX is a complex B2B fintech solution, so creating simple stylized forms would not have achieved the credibility and traction with our clients that we needed.” Ben knew they would have to prototype realistic workflows in order to accomplish their goals, and Axure RP enabled them to do that with a graphical interface that the team found “very accessible” even for beginners. (No code required!)

  2. The Axure platform supports fluid collaboration between UX, design, and development teams.

    Ben worked with just one other collaborator, a remotely based visual designer, to build the SureVX MVP. Ben built out an interactive wireframe to the project’s requirements, and the designer gave it the visual polish needed to make it look professional and engaging. “All of this was done directly on the Axure platform.”

    Ben and the designer were able to work together on the prototype through multiple rounds of rapid iteration before finally handing it off to a software developer once UX validation was done.

  3. Axure Cloud makes it easy to share prototypes with potential clients.

    Once the team was ready to show the SureVX MVP to potential clients, they published it to Axure Cloud and distributed its share link publicly to cast a wide net.

    “We took the prototype one step further and added a link to it from our website. This staging of the MVP meant we could market SureVX online and reach many more potential clients via Twitter and LinkedIn.”

    This strategy allowed interested parties to give themselves a self-guided tour of the product in its current form and to request additional information by clicking links right inside the prototype itself.

The results of these efforts were big wins for SureVX:

By creating and deploying the MVP on Axure, we were able to reach 5x more clients than one-to-one interviews. We had performed around 20 meetings with potential clients in the month before the product went live. We captured almost 100 email addresses the following month by leveraging the online MVP. The traction we generated allowed us to move to the next phase in SureVX’s development.

All that with a team of only two people and a net spend of just around $500.

The next steps for Ben are to raise funding and turn the SureVX prototype into a fully realized software product.

Like Ben, many entrepreneurs and designers — from individuals to fortune 500 teams, from Axure veterans to UX beginners — use Axure RP to create high fidelity prototypes. This helps them save time and money as they test out new features, products, websites, and even new ideas for companies. When the costs of experimentation are low, innovation can thrive.

Benjamin Stanley: “I was extremely impressed with Axure. It helped us get traction and present a credible MVP to our clients without the usual headaches of software development.”

Benjamin Stanley is a Franco-British entrepreneur and an alumnus of Accenture, BNYM and FiS. He created SureVX to help organizations secure their trades from default by leveraging the awesome power of blockchain.