16 Habits ofSuccessful Entrepreneurs for the Startup America Learning Series
About Founder Training CenterFounder Training Center helps emerging business leaderssharpen business skills and exceed $100K and $1MMrevenue milestones through interactive learning experiencesin print, digital, online, and program format.The Founder Training Center is an affiliate of Portland Ten,a premiere startup accelerator in the Northwest which runsSprint & Marathon programs and is engaged in developingten $1MM companies in Portland, OR.3 companies have already reached $1MM, and P10 alumnicombined revenue & funding have exceeded $20MM since2009.
About Carolynn Duncan● Carolynn Duncan is an expert in startup management; CEO of Founder Training Center & founder of Portland Ten, a regional incubator in the Northwest whose alumni have generated more than $20MM in revenue and funding in the prior 3 years.● Prior work with a venture capital fund (Epic Ventures), entrepreneur center (Eastern Idaho Entrepreneurial Center), seed fund (Provo Labs), speedpitching events (FundingUniverse), micro-incubator (Hundred Dollar Business), and as a biz dev team member of a tech startup (TagJungle).● Carolynn is also founder of Social Venture Society, a private forum for social venture capital and impact investing, and is developing a social venture fund in the Northwest. She works with at-risk youth as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Todays Webinar● Why Meeting Investors is Easy, But Raising Capital Is So Hard● 16 Habits Across 4 Areas: Intangibles, Traction, Execution, Concept Viability● Benefits of Developing Successful Habits
Many founders want to know,“How do you meet investors?”
Generally speaking, 1. here are the 7 steps: Be at an event, get introduced Give a 1-2 minute pitch Trade business cards Ask for a coffee meeting Run through a 20 minute slide deckMake it through a 45 minute ass-kicking interrogation & unsolicited advice Send a follow up email
But here’s something to think about: If its that easy to meet investors, why is it so hard to raise capital?What is really happening during that series of interactions?
In other words, In 7 steps and 60 minutes or less, what criteria are youbeing evaluated you on?
Investors look for traits, habits, indicators, and evidence that you are, or have verifiable potential to become, a successful entrepreneur. It can be summed up as,“things that indicate you get it”.
The following are 16 habits of successful entrepreneurs.These are things you may be asked or evaluated on (even if not directly asked!),meant to extract information to confirm whether or not, you “get it”.
4 Categories Intangibles: Biz savvy, ego, appearance. Traction: Scorecard of accomplishments to date. Execution: The ability to “get things done”. Concept Viability:Can this business make money?
Intangibles1. Continual progress: Have they made progress since our last meeting?2. Professionalism: Do they appear professional, prepped for the meeting, and canthey talk succinctly about the concept?3. Delegation: Can this entrepreneur partner & delegate effectively?4. Team player: Does the team work well together, are they free from burnout strain, arethere any underlying major issues between co-founders, partners, clients, etc.?5. Able to manage critique: Rapid-fire critical questions that appear to undermine yourcompetence or attack your idea.6. C/B analysis: Is the entrepreneur just living the “lifestyle” of being an entrepreneur, orare they making strategic business decisions consistently that will prevent unnecessaryrisk/loss?
Traction7. Able to develop product: Where is the product at, in terms of development,and how long have you been working on it?8. Can attract talent: Who is working with you on this project?9. Use of prior funds: What has been invested so far, and what has it beenused for? Let’s take a look at your pro formas.10. Risk mitigated by other investors: Who has invested in the concept sofar? What partners are on board?
Execution11. Effective use of capital: What have you done so far being self-funded?What are you currently working on? What will you do if you are not funded,versus if you are?12. Crisis management/problem-solving: What kind of mishaps/big problemshas the entrepreneur faced in the project—and how have they handled them?13. Operational effectiveness: Is the entrepreneur dropping the ball on aregular basis, or are they able to manage multiple high priorities successfully?
Concept Viability14. Market opportunity: What’s the market?15. Ability to capture market demand: What kind of reception are you gettingin the market, and when is your next product release?16. Ability to generate revenue: What is your revenue model, and where areyou at in terms of revenue?
Benefits of Successful HabitsCredibilityFounders don’t have job reviews. Professional credibility as an entrepreneur is based onwhat your network thinks of you.Real feedbackA venture professional sees hundreds or thousands of deals in a year. You see mainlyone– yours. Their opinion may not be something you’re excited about, but theperspective is invaluable.Passing gatekeepersYou get one coffee for free - anyone will meet with you at least once. Its up to you, toget past gatekeepers and tap into hidden and/or free resources in the network.
Recap & Challenge● Investor interactions: screening for indicators that "you get it"● Reviewed 16 habits & benefits of being known as a successful entrepreneur● Challenge: choose 2 areas to improve!