Pacing Startups

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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
  • Pacing Startups

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

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