Build and Keep an Investable Team


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No offense, but we’ve heard that angels and venture capitalists find as much, if not more, value in your team than they do in your ideas and technologies.
This workshop will provide investors’ perspectives on what they look for in a fundable team and an entrepreneur’s point of view along her path to funding. Other team-related topics and your specific questions will be answered including:

- What is a founder’s role on the management team?

- Is the current team complete enough for the stage of the company?

- Does the current team need someone to play an interim role to fill in a critical need?

- At what stage of the company growth would it be appropriate to have a management reorg?


Jessica McLear – Launchpad Venture Group

Jim Woodward – Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

Beth Marcus – Founder and CEO, Playrific Inc.

Published in: Business
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Build and Keep an Investable Team

  1. 1. Building a Fundable Team @tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  2. 2. Jess McLear • Angel investor and member of Launchpad Venture Group • Portfolio companies fall into many sectors including manufacturing, IT, medical devices and consumer goods • Board seats include: Zyrra and 3Play Media and other • MassChallenge mentor 2@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  3. 3. Building the Team? • Probably, the most important investment criteria for any angel group and VC • May not need all the parts of team in place before funding – need enough to see the pathway to a great company 3@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  4. 4. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly • Ideal fundable management team – 3-5 CxOs on their 3rd startup together after 2 very successful M&A /IPOs, leveraging their experience, market, and product knowledge. • Non-fundable management team – 1-2 1st time entrepreneurs in a space that they have never worked in, with no product, no IP, no business plan, nothing. 4@tcnupdate
  5. 5. Who is Fundable? • 3 engineers in a room do not make a fundable team, unless… – Experienced advisors • Identify strengths and weaknesses • Fill in the gaps – Previous company experience – Always thinking forward 5@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  6. 6. What are investors looking for? • CEO – proven leader, a visionary, capable of selling to customers, investors, media, must be in charge • CTO – capable of managing development as company grows • CFO if financially complex • Can be added later – Sales & Marketing • someone(s) to sell & identify what the target market(s) are willing to pay for 6@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  7. 7. Measuring the CEO • What do people who have worked with you say? • Have you managed people before? • How much financial responsibility have you held in the past? • Can you sell – can you communicate the vision to key customers you need? • Do you play well with others? • Are you a leader? • Are you a visionary? 7@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  8. 8. Key Characteristics • Honesty • Leadership • Vision • Coachable • Accessible • Intelligence • Driven • Good communication skills 8@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  9. 9. Coachability • Do you listen? • No one is the perfect CEO, has the perfect team or business plan – need to take advise/criticism and turn it positive - use it to shape your vision • Have confidence but don't be stubborn or arrogant - investors can smell it a mile away – investors need to know that if there is a problem or a block in the road for the company you and the team are going to listen to advise from the board/ advisors and be willing to make a pivot/change for the benefit of all • Not as easy as it sounds - need to always keep the company (make money!) in the front 9@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  10. 10. Culture and the Organization • The management team, primarily the CEO, creates the corporate culture • Everyone needs to wear a lot of hats in the early stage • There must be an environment of openness to foster innovation and • Solve real business problems • Surround yourself with strong boards of advisors and directors 10@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  11. 11. Timing for Transitions • Stay ahead of the curve • Best negotiated up front • Founder may not always be the CEO • Great connections often make transitions easier – Use your board and board of advisors 11 @tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  12. 12. How do you do it? • Know your strengths and weaknesses – work to fill those gaps in both the long term and short term • Surround yourself with a strong board of advisors • Ask questions to anyone that will listen 12@tcnupdate #tcnLIVE
  13. 13. Building a Fundable Team