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Pacing Startups

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My presentation to entrepreneurs on pacing your startup. Presented to Techstars Boston, First Growth Venture Network NYC...

My presentation to entrepreneurs on pacing your startup. Presented to Techstars Boston, First Growth Venture Network NYC...

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  • KISSThese slides are simpleI try to keep them that way because your business is complex

Transcript

  • 1. Pacing Your Startup
    Dayna Grayson
    dayna@northbridge.com
  • 2. I Have $, Now What?
    Venture capital is not an alternative to bootstrapping. . .
    Venture Capital provides entrepreneurs time and money to take risks for big rewards.
    So, use the money to take measured risks.
  • 3. Step 1: Maximize Productivity
    Speed is your only advantage at the early stages.
    Otherwise, many others (larger competitors, etc.) could do what you’re doing.
  • 4. Step 2: Map Where you Want to Be when the Money Runs Out
    Yes, the rock will just roll down the other side
    You will have to keep pushing it back up, but it won’t always be as hard . . .
    These are times to capture the value of what you’ve built.
  • 5. Step 3: Figure Out What You Need To Get There
    Create times for honest check points.
    And adapt along the way.
  • 6. Step 4: Stay Focused
    Use your blinders for what they are intended: minimize distractions
  • 7. Timeline
    You CAN raise money after any one of these iterations but figure out when you SHOULD
  • 8. Top Ten Don’ts
    Don’t underestimate the time it takes to hire. Always be interviewing
    Don’t settle on hiring because you need a warm body in the room
    Don’t hire your friends because you like them
    Don’t give away equity for ideas with no execution
    Don’t miss a conference where 10 leads could be
    Don’t commiserate
    Don’t overinvest in infrastructure
    Don’t spend half of your money on an experiment
    Don’t make excuses. Be honest with yourself
    Don’t take everyone’s advice
  • 9. Top Ten Dos
    Do learn to recognize A+ players (A+ = experience OR potential)
    Do hire athletes (Doers)
    Do hire people who share your passion
    Do find advisors
    Do experiment and listen to results
    Do value the low noise to signal ratio in the early stages
    Do pitch your business to anyone who will listen
    Do describe your business to your mother. If she doesn’t get it, refine it
    Do hire previously successful people who will show results
    Do trust pattern recognition. Your business is new. Starting a business is not
  • 10. About North Bridge
    Active, early stage venture firm
    120 investments
    75% were seed startups (only a founder and a powerpoint)
    Areas of focus include Digital Media, Communications, Materials, Software, Healthcare IT
    Founded 1992, Seven funds, $2.5B under management
    Initial investment size $200K - $5M.
  • 11. The End