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Farming Unicorns: Building Startup & Investor Ecosystems (Stanford, June 2016)

Dave McClure
Dave McClure
Dave McClureInvestor at Practical Venture Capital

slides for my talk on building startup ecosystems, for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (Stanford, June 2016)

Farming Unicorns: Building Startup & Investor Ecosystems (Stanford, June 2016)

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@DaveMcClure
@500Startups http://500.co
Stanford - June 2016
Farming Unicorns
Building Startup &
Investor Ecosystems
Dave McClure

Founding Partner, 500 Startups
00’s & 10’s:
• VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups
• Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid
• Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com, O’Reilly
80’s & 90’s:
• Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy)
• Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT)
• Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
• What is 500?
– $250M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator
– 125 people / 25 languages / 20 countries
– 1500+ Companies / 3000+ Founders / 200+ Mentors
– Investment, Accelerator, Distro, Marketing, Events, Education
– Community + Content + Conferences
• 1500+ Co’s / 50+ Countries
– Credit Karma
– Twilio
– Grab
– Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M)
– MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M)
– Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M)
– Behance (acq Adobe, $150M)
– Simple (acq BBVA, $117M)
– Sunrise (acq MSFT, $100M)
– Udemy
– Ipsy
– TalkDesk
– Intercom
500 Startups

Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator
How Many Startups
to Get to 1 Unicorn?
Perils of Becoming a Unicorn
(Before/After IPO)
2009 2016
Jeff Lawson, Founder/CEO Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
Investor Ecosystem
Angels &
Incubators
($0-10M)
“Seed” Funds
($10-100M)
“Traditional” VC Funds
($100-500M)
“Unicorn” VC Funds
(>$500M)
Incubation
0-$100K
Seed
$100K-$1M
Series A/B
$1-10M
Series B/C
$10-100M
Bootstrap, KickStarter,
AngelList, Crowdfunding
Ad

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Farming Unicorns: Building Startup & Investor Ecosystems (Stanford, June 2016)

  • 1. @DaveMcClure @500Startups http://500.co Stanford - June 2016 Farming Unicorns Building Startup & Investor Ecosystems
  • 2. Dave McClure
 Founding Partner, 500 Startups 00’s & 10’s: • VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups • Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid • Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com, O’Reilly 80’s & 90’s: • Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy) • Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT) • Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  • 3. • What is 500? – $250M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator – 125 people / 25 languages / 20 countries – 1500+ Companies / 3000+ Founders / 200+ Mentors – Investment, Accelerator, Distro, Marketing, Events, Education – Community + Content + Conferences • 1500+ Co’s / 50+ Countries – Credit Karma – Twilio – Grab – Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M) – MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M) – Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M) – Behance (acq Adobe, $150M) – Simple (acq BBVA, $117M) – Sunrise (acq MSFT, $100M) – Udemy – Ipsy – TalkDesk – Intercom 500 Startups
 Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator
  • 4. How Many Startups to Get to 1 Unicorn?
  • 5. Perils of Becoming a Unicorn (Before/After IPO) 2009 2016 Jeff Lawson, Founder/CEO Twilio (NYSE:TWLO)
  • 6. Investor Ecosystem Angels & Incubators ($0-10M) “Seed” Funds ($10-100M) “Traditional” VC Funds ($100-500M) “Unicorn” VC Funds (>$500M) Incubation 0-$100K Seed $100K-$1M Series A/B $1-10M Series B/C $10-100M Bootstrap, KickStarter, AngelList, Crowdfunding
  • 7. Dinosaurs vs. Cockroaches
 LEAN Startup: Simpler, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter 1996 ”Big, Fat, Dinosaur Startup” • Sun Servers • Oracle DB • Exodus Hosting • 12-24mo dev cycle • 6-18mo sales cycle • <100M people online • $1-2M seed round • $3-5M Series A • Sand Hill Road crawl 2016 ”Lean, Little, Cockroach Startup” • AWS, Google, PayPal, FB, TW • Cloud + Open Source SW • Lean Startup / Startup Wknd • 3-90d dev cycle • SaaS / online sales • >3B people online • <$100K incub + <$1M seed • $1-3M Series A • Angel List global visibility
  • 10. 99 VC Problems But a Batch Ain’t 1 10 http://bit.ly/99VCProblems
  • 11. Q: Chances of spotting unicorn?/ a) 1% b) 2% c) 5% d) 10% e) ZERO
  • 13. If portfolio size = 15 companies/
  • 14. / If portfolio size = 30 companies
  • 15. / If portfolio size = 100 companies
  • 16. 500 Strategy: Lots of Little Bets* 1) make lots of little bets on early-stage startups when they’re just getting started 3) wait 5-10 years for returns: -10-20% small exits @1-5X ($5-25M+) -5-10% larger exits @5-20X ($25-250M+) -1-2% unicorns @20-50X+ ($250M-1B+) *See Peter Sims book: “Little Bets” 2) over the next five years, double-down on top 20-30% ~500 co’s @ $100K 1st checks 100+ co’s @ $200-500K 2nd/3rd checks (hope for a few big exits @ $100M-$1B+) (assume high failure rate ~50-80%)
  • 17. The Lean Investor Make lots of little bets: • Start with many small “experiments” • Filter out failures + small wins • Double-down on stuff that looks like it’s working • Incubation: $0-100K (“Build & Validate Product”) • Seed: $100K-$1M (“Test & Grow Marketing Channels””) • Venture: $1M-$10M (“Maximize Growth & Revenue”)
  • 18. Startup Risk Reduction Concept Early Customer Usage Scalable Customer Acquisition [about to be] Profitable Unit Economics Scalable Profitable Business Functional Prototype PRODUCT MARKET REVENUE Exit? When 500 Likes to Invest
  • 19. Investment Stage #1: 
 Product Validation + Customer Usage • Structure – 1-3 founders – $0-$100K investment – Incubator environment: multiple peers, mentors/advisors • Test Functional Prototype / “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP): – Prototype->Alpha, ~3-6 months – Develop Minimal Critical Feature Set => Get to “It Works! Someone Uses It.” – Improve Design & Usability, Setup Conversion Metrics – Test Small-Scale Customer Adoption (10-1000 users) • Demonstrate Concept, Reduce Product Risk, Test Functional Use • Develop Metrics & Filter for Possible Future Investment
  • 20. Investment Stage #2: 
 Market Validation + Revenue Testing • Structure – 2-10 person team – $100K-$1M investment – Syndicate of Angel Investors / Small VC Funds • Improve Product, Expand Customers, Test Revenue: – Alpha->Beta, ~6-12 months – Scale Customer Adoption => “Many People Use It, & They Pay.” – Test Marketing Campaigns, Customer Acquisition Channels + Cost – Test Revenue Generation, Find Profitable Customer Segments • Prove Solution/Benefit, Assess Market Size • Test Channel Cost, Revenue Opportunity • Determine Org Structure, Key Hires
  • 21. Investment Stage #3: 
 Revenue Validation + Growth • Structure – 5-25 person team – $1M-$10M investment – Seed & Venture Investors • Make Money (or Go Big), Get to Sustainability: – Beta->Production, 12-24 months – Revenue / Growth => “We Can Make (a lot of) Money!” – Mktg Plan => Predictable Channels / Campaigns + Budget – Scalability & Infrastructure, Customer Service & Operations – Connect with Distribution Partners, Expand Growth • Prove/Expand Market, Operationalize Business • Future Milestones: Profitable/Sustainable, Exit Options
  • 23. Critical Ecosystem Factors • Optimism & Belief (“Silicon Valley”) • Mentorship + Education (Knowledge) • Universities + Companies (People) • Capital, Legal, Finance (Infrastructure) • Engineering + Design / UX (Product) • Platforms + Distribution (Customers) • Online Payments (Monetization) • IPO / M&A Market (Exits)
  • 24. Investing Resources • The Venture Capital Cycle (Gompers, Lerner) • Venture Deals (Feld, Mendelson) • Angel Investing (Rose) • Venture Hacks (Naval, Nivi) • blogs: Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Mark Suster • Quora: Jason Lemkin, David Rose, etc
  • 25. Questions? Comments? • More Info? – http://500.co (our company) – http://500hats.com (my blog) – https://angel.co/500startups (our fund) – Dave McClure, @DaveMcClure