Pacing Your Startup Dayna Grayson email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
Step 3: Figure Out What You Need To Get There Create times for honest check points. And adapt along the way.
Step 4: Stay Focused Use your blinders for what they are intended: minimize distractions
Timeline You CAN raise money after any one of these iterations but figure out when you SHOULD
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
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
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.