Often, startups and entrepreneurs lack the necessary support and insight that could help them overcome challenges and eliminate manual processes to get their product or offering in-market quicker. This is where the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator, made possible with the help of Highline Beta, comes in. The program aims to give startups a collaborative platform to help address growth challenges and build better products for their customers.
Jesse Abrams, CEO and co-founder of Homewise, a tech-powered mortgage broker company, was one of the participants of the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator. We chatted with him about what he got out of the program, from the challenges to the surprises that occurred along the way.
What attracted you to apply to the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator?
Abrams: When we came across the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator, it interested us primarily because it looked different from the other accelerators. When you’re a growing company, it’s not very easy to get your foot in the door with such a global, well-established company like Intuit. This program was such a strong proposition for us, reasons being:
- It was a way to learn from a large global company
- We wanted to be part of a small business accelerator program
- It allowed us to continue to grow as a business in parallel
They always say, “two heads are better than one,” but through this accelerator program, we got fifty heads on the job, supporting us and providing guidance to help us grow and improve our business. It’s a massive opportunity and we were lucky to be a part of it. As a startup, getting access to the minds and potentially game-changing opportunities with a global company like Intuit is invaluable.
What was the biggest challenge as a program participant?
Abrams: The biggest challenge heading into a program like this is always “buying in” – really committing to the process – when we know how busy our lives already are. And we bought into this accelerator in its entirety, and so did all the other startups that participated in our cohort. Highline Beta, (a company dedicated to supporting corporate-startup collaboration, and Intuit made us feel like we were all part of a team. By putting in the time and effort, Homewise really benefited from the program and saw results.
What was your biggest win?
Abrams: Rapid iteration and testing, part of Intuit’s Design for Delight principles, allowed us to test our thinking with customers quickly and determine what works and what doesn’t. Without Intuit and Highline Beta guiding us to focus on the customer, we wouldn’t have been able to undergo so much testing and not just drive growth, but fast and sustainable growth. These principles have become integral to our business as we continue to grow.
Were there any surprises along the way?
Abrams: We were pleasantly surprised by how much focus and attention Intuit put on company values. They spent the time getting to know our business, but also made sure our values really aligned with what values Intuit is bringing to the table – things like putting customers first and building technology that’s going to help them save money, save time and ultimately, gain confidence through financial services.
How has your experience impacted your business in the long run?
Abrams: Through our work with Intuit and Highline Beta, we’ve been able to really build up our partnerships portfolio and think more strategically about the partnerships we take on. Through Intuit’s guidance, we choose partnerships whose corporate values align with ours.
With industries becoming more competitive by the day, startups and entrepreneurs don’t have the advantage that larger, established organizations already possess. In order to keep innovation going, proper training and insight need to be provided for startups to grow, and the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator is here to do just that.
Homewise set out on a goal to determine if they could pinpoint when a user was seeking mortgages, and how recommendations from Homewise could integrate into this process. Different integrations were tested through Mint to evaluate segmented customers’ interest in a mortgage – results showed promising long-term value, with 100% of users saying they would recommend it.
Where are you now?
Abrams: It’s over a year later and we haven’t lost any momentum. We continue to grow, evolve and optimize our business, much of which stemmed from the support we gained from the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator program.
Since 2020, our team size has increased by 50%, we’ve raised a seed round of financing of $3.1M and surpassed 2020 revenue in the first half of 2021. One of the best achievements to-date is that our application completion on Homewise has increased by 15%.