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How to actually build startups with graduates
Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford 2013
@matthewclifford // @EntreFirst
What is EF?

In Year 1:
33 individuals
-> 11 startups
-> $11m raised in seed

We start with recent grads, pre-team and pre...
An uncontroversial premise...

More students should start startups
when they graduate

It was hard to find people who disa...
… with some implementation “challenges”

Only two problems with students
who want to start startups…
… with some implementation challenges

They don’t have teams
1
and they have bad ideas

… and hard to find people who thou...
The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer

Accelerators don’t solve
the problem

Find a good accelerator who will take ...
The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer

(and actually accelerators
are broken)

An accelerator for graduate startups...
How new accelerators imagine the market for
teams1
Team at 100th percentile
Team at 90th percentile
Exit value

Team quali...
How it actually works

Team at 100th
percentile
Exit value

Team at 90th percentile
Team quality

The 10th best startup is...
The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer

Picking first matters a lot

This is true fractally. A massive proportion of...
The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer

EF is YC for individuals

We want to pick first – e.g. before Google, Goldma...
How EF works

1. 6 months team building
2. 3 months validation
3. 3 months acceleration

Team building is part-time, start...
How team building works

We treat teams the way Lean
treats ideas
TEAM

People start with team “hunches”. We require them ...
Some case studies
Felix
CompSci
Imperial

Andy
Management
Manchester

 Mobile and web app for mobile mechanics with realt...
Some case studies
Rashid
CompSci
Sussex

Elia
CompSci
Warwick

 Models billions of desktop, mobile and tablet
datapoints ...
Some case studies
Leo
History, St Andrews, selftaught hacker

Zefi
English, UCL

 Version control for everyone and everyt...
Why it works

1. Everyone is awesome
2. Everyone is determined
3. Everyone commits a full year

These three conditions hav...
We’re recruiting now for 2014

Apply now: entrepreneurfirst.org.uk

@matthewclifford // @entrefirst

Any questions?
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Entrepreneur First: How to start startups with graduates

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An overview of Entrepreneur First - why we exist, what problem we're solving and what we're learned

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Entrepreneur First: How to start startups with graduates

  1. 1. How to actually build startups with graduates Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford 2013 @matthewclifford // @EntreFirst
  2. 2. What is EF? In Year 1: 33 individuals -> 11 startups -> $11m raised in seed We start with recent grads, pre-team and pre-idea, and achieve top-tier acceleratorlike funding outcomes for the companies they create
  3. 3. An uncontroversial premise... More students should start startups when they graduate It was hard to find people who disagreed with the premise…
  4. 4. … with some implementation “challenges” Only two problems with students who want to start startups…
  5. 5. … with some implementation challenges They don’t have teams 1 and they have bad ideas … and hard to find people who thought it was possible 1 I’m going to focus on how we solve the first problem today, as it’s the harder one to solve
  6. 6. The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer Accelerators don’t solve the problem Find a good accelerator who will take you pre-team and pre-idea
  7. 7. The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer (and actually accelerators are broken) An accelerator for graduate startups wouldn’t be any good
  8. 8. How new accelerators imagine the market for teams1 Team at 100th percentile Team at 90th percentile Exit value Team quality The 10th best football player is a little bit worse than the best 1 Maybe they don’t imagine this is true, but they act as though they do
  9. 9. How it actually works Team at 100th percentile Exit value Team at 90th percentile Team quality The 10th best startup is a LOT less successful than the best
  10. 10. The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer Picking first matters a lot This is true fractally. A massive proportion of YCombinator’s value is in two companies.
  11. 11. The existing infrastructure isn’t the answer EF is YC for individuals We want to pick first – e.g. before Google, Goldman Sachs, etc
  12. 12. How EF works 1. 6 months team building 2. 3 months validation 3. 3 months acceleration Team building is part-time, starting in the February before people graduate. Validation and acceleration are full-time, starting in September.
  13. 13. How team building works We treat teams the way Lean treats ideas TEAM People start with team “hunches”. We require them to test these hunches repeatedly by building real products in multiple team permutations over the summer. The idea is to fail the team fast.
  14. 14. Some case studies Felix CompSci Imperial Andy Management Manchester  Mobile and web app for mobile mechanics with realtime bookings and quote engine, drawing on massive dataset of repair times  Growing revenue 40% per month
  15. 15. Some case studies Rashid CompSci Sussex Elia CompSci Warwick  Models billions of desktop, mobile and tablet datapoints to create a single customer profile for mobile advertisers  Raised one of the largest seed rounds in Europe (£1.5m) earlier this year
  16. 16. Some case studies Leo History, St Andrews, selftaught hacker Zefi English, UCL  Version control for everyone and everything (First step: git running inside MS Office)  Funded by YCombinator
  17. 17. Why it works 1. Everyone is awesome 2. Everyone is determined 3. Everyone commits a full year These three conditions have to be in place – and it’s hard to put them in place for people other than recent grads. Who else can commit a year?
  18. 18. We’re recruiting now for 2014 Apply now: entrepreneurfirst.org.uk @matthewclifford // @entrefirst Any questions?

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