It always seems impossible until it's done!


Kibunda (derived from the Swahili word for commerce) is combining start-up topics with traditional marketing, sales & BD, and digital strategy consulting to take an idea from conception, via execution, through to a client’s IPO and beyond.

Innovation is rapidly becoming global, products are becoming increasingly complex and innovation cycles are much shorter and faster. These reasons lead our clients to look for ways in which to strengthen their portfolios by using technology and strategies developed externally, and by finding innovative ways to monetize technology that has been developed in-house.

We help our clients to define their strategic positioning, address their most critical challenges, and seek the technology they need to remain competitive in a global market. In order to accomplish this, we help them to understand emerging trends and business models in technology, identify the highest-value opportunities in the market, and leverage these through vehicles as diverse as technology licensing and in-house developments.


Uncertainty, financial burdens and resourcing issues pose challenges for new entrepreneurs that must be overcome when starting up and growing a business. We provide the support to start-ups and SMEs to help them reach sustainable growth. Depending on the nature of the business, the sector in which it is operating, and the demands of the product or service developed.

We provide the following services:

The Kibunda Incubator Start-up Life-cycle Model

We apply the Kibunda incubator start-up life-cycle model to understand where a start-up is within its life-cycle and assess its progress.

The start-up life-cycle identifies six main stages of development, supported in a tree-like structure by multiple sub-stages of development. This allows for a more granular assessment of the start-up because one is able to pinpoint the main drivers of progress at each stage.


Our first four top-level stages are based loosely on Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to the Epiphany”, but one key difference is that our life-cycle is product-centric rather than company-centric. This is because we believe that constant product alignment with the originally-identified needs of the target market will ensure the success of the start-up, rather than focusing on an overly-complex internal structure.

We have seen a number of promising companies fail because too much attention was concentrated on shareholder and stakeholder requests, instead of being directed towards the needs and requests of their target audience.
That is the principal reason why we will not attempt to influence your product development process or your organisational structure.

The correct timing is crucial / critical, and start-up companies go through some very distinct stages of growth before reaching their goal of sustained profitability or Exit Strategy. We at Kibunda developed our own view on these stages based on our own experience

What many entrepreneurs don’t realize when founding a new start-up is that each stage of their company’s growth is a completely different incarnation, and the company is actually a different company than it was in its previous stage.

Understanding this and preparing for each incarnation can be crucial to the success of the company. Like most things in life, it is better to understand these stages ahead of time and prepare for them rather than having to learn these lessons the hard way.

While these incarnations can vary somewhat based on product, technology and market, the stages a technology start-up company goes through usually look always similar.


We focus on ensuring that you will be profitable as of Stage 2!

Read more in our “Approach” Section.


The topic of a Demand Generation or Commercialisation Strategy can be a complex one, within all verticals of a company, particularly given that a new B2B buying behavioural pattern has emerged in the market.

The Kibunda Commercialization optimizes lead generation ROI by providing the essential human touch that enables your sales people to focus on selling and convert highly qualified leads into revenue. We can help you drive ROI for your lead generation efforts through a scientific approach that is based on our research and experience into how customers buy.

Our experience has proven that the most productive meetings are those where there has been ‘significant engagement’ with a prospect prior to an initial meeting. This nurturing process is invaluable – particularly in long sales cycles – when it comes to ensuring that both parties have clear expectations regarding objectives and outcomes.

Therefore, our approach to appointment setting and demand generation follows a straightforward sequence based on four key questions:


Has the prospect…

    • Identified the tactical pains?
    • Linked the tactical pains to the consequential pains?
    • Mapped the identified pains to the business’ KPI’s?
    • Established a framework for further engagement, such as a meeting?

A collaboration map is created to help the prospect pinpoint their pains and clarify their requirements. This ensures that they have clear objectives when it comes to a meeting, and that the prospector presents a solution that matches their needs, thereby establishing a level of trust.

Definition of client goals

In order to create an open innovation strategy, our group works closely with our clients throughout the entire scope of the project. This process varies depending on client goals and may include the following elements:

    • Market Study
      – Market dynamics and overview of common business models
      – Breakdown of emerging start-ups, disruptive players and large companies that are working in the space
      – Initial mapping of relationships between key players
      – Analysis of emerging opportunities
    • Development of detailed list of suggested activities clustered around business lines
    • Screening and interviewing companies mainly from the EMEA and Americas regions, and other areas with business models and/or technologies of interest to the client.
    • Value proposition creation for both the client and customers.
    • Scheduling of initial round of meetings between client and potential customers or partners.
    • Diversification and risk management of client’s portfolio of initiatives (quick wins and big bets)
    • Stress tests of company initiatives under various scenarios and development of possible responses
    • Evaluation of real options generated by suggested business lines
    • Development of action plan to roll-out approved initiatives

Do you know who your market is?

Kibunda knows: Nothing remains the same!

That’s why it’s critical to make sure your market is still who you think it is.

How do you do this?

Through developing an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and updating it at least every six months. An ICP is the foundation of your entire lead generation program. It enables you, through database analysis, to identify the people and businesses that will benefit your organization the most. It helps you narrow your lead generation universe and provide a standard against which you can prescreen opportunities.

Here are the steps to developing an ICP:

1. Identify your five best customers
    • Those who provide the most revenue and profit
    • Those who are delightful to do business with
2. Identify your five worst customers
    • Those who give you the least revenue and profit
    • Those who are challenging to do business with
3. Create profiles for each and populate them with:

Create profiles for each of the above mentioned customers and populate them with:

    • Their SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) and/or NAICS (North American Industrial Classification) codes
    • Annual revenue
    • Number of employees
    • The positions and roles of your key contacts
    • The scope of the organization – local, regional, national, global
    • Their business situation – are they a startup, mature, in growth or decline?
    • Internal/and external factors affecting the company
    • Psychographics, such as corporate values, culture and philosophy
4. Trigger events that attracted them into your database in the first place.

Common trigger events include changes in:

    • Strategies
    • Financing
    • Ownership
    • Legislation
    • Buying processes, influencing roles and decision-making roles
5. Analyze what they have in common:
    • Your worst customers should look completely different than your best
    • You should see a distinct picture of where your target market lies

Data analysis = Truth

Everyone has an opinion, which may or may not be accurate. An ICP created through thorough customer data analysis reveals the unvarnished truth. It is based on objective evidence of marketplace behavior, not on observations that can shift with every individual’s perspective.

The dangers of not having an accurate ICP: If your ICP isn’t spot on, your lead generation will be off and there will be no getting it on track. You could have the perfect channels and execution, but it won’t attract whom you want. Or, it will turn people off.

The benefits of having an accurate ICP: An accurate ICP can increase revenues without increasing budget.

The upshot: An ICP ensures you take full advantage of the very best lead generation opportunities and never waste time, resources or energy settling for so-so ones.


One of the top priorities for a new business is to secure its First Customer. Engineering a Demand Generation strategy is a complex task for new businesses in all verticals, particularly in current market conditions. Today, Digital Marketing is the most important initial factor in convincing a customer to buy. Buyers carry out most of their preliminary research online before initiating conversations with vendors and are better informed at an earlier stage. This means that by the time your Sales team is aware of a prospect they are likely to have already visited your website, downloaded product information, and looked at your competition and consulted blogs and social networks. In light of this, there has been a shift away from traditional methods of Marketing.

At Kibunda, we design a bespoke Marketing strategy to meet the requirements of a new business operating in today’s markets.

We can guide you through any of the following:

The Kibunda Marketing  Approach

We want to make sure that all of your marketing strategy is build upon what makes your business unique in your space — so identify we will identify what  those characteristics are and keep them in mind as we  plot out your tactics.

1.Get organized and actually create your 90-day marketing plan

Especially in a our environment, whoever is responsible for marketing ought to also be one of the more organized people in your organization.  You likely don’t have a lot of marketing dollars to spend, and therefore you need to be extremely efficient with the tactics you execute.  Disorganized people typically aren’t very efficient.

2. Understand your assets

You want to know your products and silos, and every piece of content that corresponds with each element of your business.

To determine what content would be effective for your efforts, there are questions you should be able to answer.

  • The checklist is, you have to ask tons of questions inside of your organization:
      • Why we are doing this?
      • Why are we selling it?
      • How much are we selling it for?
      • Who are we selling it to?
      • Why are we selling to them?
      • Why would they buy it?
Know who, when, where and what will be used to engage. Know yourself and your team and really know the plan.

3. Make sure your website is optimize Search Engine

Basic SEO is fundamental. And essential. SEO will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.

4. Do Public Relations and Get involved in Social Media

Not every  organisation can afford to spend budget a month on retaining a public relations agency, but that’s not an excuse to ignore public relations. Is there a good reason NOT to announce your business?  Afraid of a poor first impression on the media and consumers of your product?  If so, you may be facing a product problem or a problem with other elements in your marketing mix.

As always, with social media, our advice is to join, listen, learn, then post.

5. Understand the CRM

Make sure all leads, contacts, online forms, etc. connect correctly to the CRM and visible by our Sales Team.
The key here? Data hygiene! You need to audit your contact list and make sure that everything and all fields are there!Audit your data! If not, you are going to be sending out emails to people that are not real. It’s going to be a waste of your time and a waste of money!

6. Plan and Review the ROI

When implementing a marketing strategy, we will analyse the ROI on the marketing activities for six months  within the organization!

Once this phase  is complete, think long-term in regard to recognizing Marketing ROI.


The Principles of The Lean Startup

Philosophy meets management
We are borrowing from current best practice in the field and Lean principles developed by the “Holy Trinity of the Start-up industry”:

    • God: Steve Blank’s “Four Steps to the Epiphany”
    • Jesus: Eric Ries’s “Start-up lessons learned”
    • And the Holy Ghost: Alexander Ostwalder’s “Business Model Canvas”

The principles of “The Lean Start-up” developed by Eric Ries provide a scientific approach to creating, managing start-ups and get a product faster to its customers. The methodology is a principled approach to new product development. The core component of “The Lean Start-up”-methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. These new experimental approach constitutes a whole new way of looking at work. Open data, open innovation, and big data are enablers of this new management method, by making it possible for organizations to continuously – in real-time – evaluate whether their work is having an impact. “Running Lean” is a rigorous approach for quickly testing new product ideas and raising the odds of success. The framework is based on The Lean Start-up and our own experiences as entrepreneurs, covering the complete lifecycle from understanding a customer’s problem to identifying and optimizing your engine of growth.

The Principles

Entrepreneurs are everywhere! You don’t necessarily have to work in a garage or on a Dutch barge on the Thames (as we did) to be a start-up.

Entrepreneurship is management!

A start-up is an institution, not just a product, so it requires management, a new kind of management specifically geared to its context. The heart of entrepreneurial management is continually juggling these vital management issues:

    • What is this venture about? (mission and values statement)
    • Where should it go? (goals and objectives)
    • How will it get there? (growth strategy)
    • What does it need to get there? (people and resources)
    • What structure is best? (organizational capabilities)
    • How much money does it need and when? (financing strategy)
    • How will it recognize the final destination? (vision of success)
Validated learning

Start-ups exist not to make stuff, make money, or serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically, by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision.


Pivots come in many different flavours, each designed to test the viability of a different hypothesis about the product, business model, and engine of growth. What are you doing to get to the required pivots faster?

Innovation accounting

To improve entrepreneurial outcomes, and to hold entrepreneurs accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to setup milestones, how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting, specific to start-ups. While standard accounting policies and procedures are an integral part of any successful business, particularly larger corporations, they are not necessarily beneficial in evaluating entrepreneurial endeavours, especially early on.


The focus here is building an early version of the product and getting it launched as quickly as possible. The Agile approach is more focused on short cycles of building a product.

Or Learn, Measure, Build?

This methodology asks the question, “Why build first?” We believe this could be one of the most important trends in start-up methodology since Agile development replaced the traditional waterfall approach. Why build a product that people don’t want? In the end, your investors and your friends are not your customers.

Executive Team

Together, our team has complex solution-selling and marketing experience. Setting up an open innovation strategy requires building a strong technological intelligence platform from which to spot global market opportunities at a very early stage. It requires an understanding of different markets and industries that could hold important business opportunities outside the traditional scope of a given organization. The process of finding these opportunities is often complex and expensive. Client retention and the forging of long-term relationships are key to our success. We see ourselves as part of each client’s business – so that our success becomes their success.


Our mentors and consultants have a proven experience in developing a go-to-market strategy for technology start-up companies. We engage with a start-up just prior to market entry as the sales & marketing mentors, and build the market-facing or outward-facing side of the company, including sales, marketing and digital marketing activities. Primarily this involves developing a framework, then attracting and empowering the right people who clearly understand and commit to the mission at hand.



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Corporate Headquarters

Kibunda by KPLS & Partners Ltd.
86-90 Paul Street 3rd Floor London, EC2A 4NE

Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 34 753 686

Fax: +44 (0) 20 35 141 870

We currently take appointments at the following locations:


Zellestrasse 2a and Jägerstrasse 22/23
10247 Berlin , Germany
phone: +49 (0) 30 40 577 564
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Silicon Sentier, 12 Galerie Montmartre
Passage des Panoramas
151 rue Montmartre
75002 Paris, France
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United States

One Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142 USA
phone: +1 6176829501
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Mahatma Gandhi 2 - Group 822/823
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
phone: +1 (0) 6176829501
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South Africa

Convention Tower
Cnr. Heerengracht Street and Coen Steytler Ave
Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001 South Africa
phone: +27 (0) 218136200
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