NUOPTIMA > SaaS Podcast > How to Monetize Communities with Tech

How to Monetize Communities with Tech

July 12, 2024

Interviewee Introduction: Hannah Forbes

Dr. Hannah Forbes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lima, a SaaS startup focused on enhancing community engagement and monetization through AI. Prior to Lima, she embarked on a tech journey at Sky TV and pursued a PhD in crowdfunding at the University of Liverpool, blending her interests in technology and community dynamics. Her career also includes running a successful crowdfunding consultancy, working with various startups to navigate funding challenges. 

With a strong background in both the academic and practical aspects of community engagement, Hannah’s venture into Lima is driven by her passion for leveraging technology to support community managers across platforms like Slack, Discord, and WhatsApp. Her expertise lies in identifying and addressing the unique needs of community spaces, aiming to streamline engagement and monetization processes for managers and participants alike.

In addition to her PhD, Hannah also has a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management.


In this episode with Hannah Forbes, you’ll learn:

  • The essence of Lima, its role in enhancing community engagement and monetization, and the journey of its inception.
  • How Hannah transitioned from a tech career and consultancy to co-founding Lima, including the pivotal role of an accelerator in meeting her co-founder.
  • The unique challenges of building a SaaS platform for community managers, emphasizing the balance between engagement and monetization.
  • The strategic decision behind starting with Slack as their primary platform, aiming for broader platform inclusivity in the future.
  • Insights into Lima’s approach to maintaining community vibrancy and preventing the common issue of engagement decline over time.
  • The iterative process of achieving product-market fit, highlighted by direct feedback from community managers and the importance of addressing their core needs.
  • An overview of Lima’s marketing strategies for 2024, hinting at innovative approaches to reach and engage their target audience.
  • The complexities surrounding the pricing model for a new SaaS product in the community space, with a focus on delivering value to both community managers and members.
  • Hannah’s reflections on the challenges faced during Lima’s early stages, including product adoption hurdles and the importance of adaptability and resilience.
  • Fundraising insights and strategies for navigating the current investment landscape, emphasizing ongoing investor engagement and transparency.
  • The significance of the Bay Area’s startup ecosystem for community-focused businesses and Lima’s plans to tap into this vibrant community network.
  • Lessons learned from Lima’s journey so far, including the importance of preemptive breaks and the strategic use of marketing channels.
  • Hannah’s book recommendation for other SaaS founders, the entrepreneur or business leader she admires the most, an underrated SaaS tool she uses, who she would like to see on the SaaS Minds podcast, and the best piece of advice she has ever received.

Book Recommendation

1. Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It by April Dunford 

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