a day in the life of aSTARTUP FOUNDER               http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
A BIT ABOUT ME…• CONSEROS FOUNDER• STARTED IN 2006• 100% EXPORT• EXIT IN 2009
TOPICS1. STARTING2. GROWING3. EXITING              http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/phot...
team | validation | funding   STARTING             http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedmars/6816878644/
TeamMake wise choices, including your co-founders                                                http://cdn.api.warnerbros...
Founders•   Committed & Passionate•   Ideal Number? Well: 1 < n ≥ 3Core Team•   Never settle for anything less than A+•   ...
You will wake up in a puddle of your          own sweat realizing you’re                  completely fucked               ...
ValidationYour idea solves a problemcustomers are willing to paymoney for                               http://wallpapergr...
Validationhas never been easier, or more cost effective
Validation:If you don’t do it, you’reburning cash by guessing               http://www.flickr.com/photos/trip22nlarry/5984...
FundingThe art of bootstrapping                           http://www.flickr.com/photos/trippinlarry/5987691227/
Bootstrappingretain control | no dilution                               http://www.flickr.com/photos/tfpc/6139591124/
Art of Bootstrapping•   Get lean – personally & professionally•   Explore work for equity options with core team•   What’s...
Turning $1 into $2…NRC-IRAP (r&d) | ACOA (sales, bd, marketing)BNB (taps) | SR&ED (tax credit)                            ...
Angel / SeedOnce you have avalidation, prototype, andideally paying customers                             http://upload.wi...
Failure is from a lack of paying    customers, not funding                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/minusbaby/3...
process | planning | advisors      GROWING                http://www.flickr.com/photos/evoo73/6930638399/
ProcessImportant, but don’t havetoo many rules &proceduresBalance with employeeempowerment & that‘startup’ cultureEnsure y...
PlanningWhen starting, doing is moreimportant than planning.At some point you will needsome ‘planning’ for growth         ...
AdvisorsImportant to you as a founder, and to your company
strategy | positioning | execution              EXITING                   http://www.flickr.com/photos/javi_velazquez/6908...
StrategyAre you an entrepreneur, or empire builder?                                              http://commons.wikimedia....
Lean Startup + Early Exita winning combination                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/18054144...
Which path is better?reducing time to exit = reducing risk + enhances IRR                                               3 ...
Strategyskate to where the puck will be & wrap yourself around acquirer’s axle                                            ...
Exit StrategyHave your “end game” exitstrategy on Day #1                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/uckhet/26...
Positioning•   Tell a good story, with passion•   Specifics on potential of “together”•   Vision of “what could be” in the...
Negotiation•   Hire A+ finance & legal advisors•   Never piecemeal•   Clean house before diligence                        ...
ChallengesStarting a company fromhere?                     http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamhenning/45704086/sizes/l/in/ph...
There Are None!Stop making excuses: regardless of location, it isn’t easy                                                 ...
TOPICS1. STARTING2. GROWING3. EXITING              http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/phot...
Most startups fail because the founders give up…                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcnickerson/1008563510/
don’t give up…
Contact Me:   E-Mail: jthompson@about.me   Twitter: @thomjeffSome of the photographs in this presentation were retrieved f...
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The Life of a Startup Founder

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My experience in starting, growing and exiting from a startup in under 3 years. It was a great ride

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The Life of a Startup Founder

  1. 1. a day in the life of aSTARTUP FOUNDER http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
  2. 2. A BIT ABOUT ME…• CONSEROS FOUNDER• STARTED IN 2006• 100% EXPORT• EXIT IN 2009
  3. 3. TOPICS1. STARTING2. GROWING3. EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  4. 4. team | validation | funding STARTING http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedmars/6816878644/
  5. 5. TeamMake wise choices, including your co-founders http://cdn.api.warnerbros.com/WB_Portal_3.0/imageRequest?rendition=SmallThumbnail&contentId=087194
  6. 6. Founders• Committed & Passionate• Ideal Number? Well: 1 < n ≥ 3Core Team• Never settle for anything less than A+• Hire for culture fit & functional skills• Be slow to hire & quick to fireMentors• Have founded a startup• Available when needed http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4400844746/
  7. 7. You will wake up in a puddle of your own sweat realizing you’re completely fucked http://sleepdisorders.dolyan.com/30‐great‐tips‐what‐can‐help‐me‐sleep/
  8. 8. ValidationYour idea solves a problemcustomers are willing to paymoney for http://wallpapergravity.com/Image.php?ID=382174
  9. 9. Validationhas never been easier, or more cost effective
  10. 10. Validation:If you don’t do it, you’reburning cash by guessing http://www.flickr.com/photos/trip22nlarry/5984291227/
  11. 11. FundingThe art of bootstrapping http://www.flickr.com/photos/trippinlarry/5987691227/
  12. 12. Bootstrappingretain control | no dilution http://www.flickr.com/photos/tfpc/6139591124/
  13. 13. Art of Bootstrapping• Get lean – personally & professionally• Explore work for equity options with core team• What’s your Obama-O strategy?• Leverage every dollar you have, or can get http://www.flickr.com/photos/h‐k‐d/4490192739/
  14. 14. Turning $1 into $2…NRC-IRAP (r&d) | ACOA (sales, bd, marketing)BNB (taps) | SR&ED (tax credit) http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielygo/6814491438/
  15. 15. Angel / SeedOnce you have avalidation, prototype, andideally paying customers http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/WinonaSavingsBankVault.JPG/1280px‐WinonaSavingsBankVault.JPG
  16. 16. Failure is from a lack of paying customers, not funding http://www.flickr.com/photos/minusbaby/3403178463/
  17. 17. process | planning | advisors GROWING http://www.flickr.com/photos/evoo73/6930638399/
  18. 18. ProcessImportant, but don’t havetoo many rules &proceduresBalance with employeeempowerment & that‘startup’ cultureEnsure you have a cultureof employeeaccountability http://www.flickr.com/photos/liberato/2292651755/
  19. 19. PlanningWhen starting, doing is moreimportant than planning.At some point you will needsome ‘planning’ for growth http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/21470089/
  20. 20. AdvisorsImportant to you as a founder, and to your company
  21. 21. strategy | positioning | execution EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/javi_velazquez/6908063653/
  22. 22. StrategyAre you an entrepreneur, or empire builder? http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maccari‐Cicero.jpg
  23. 23. Lean Startup + Early Exita winning combination http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/1805414461/
  24. 24. Which path is better?reducing time to exit = reducing risk + enhances IRR 3 Year  IPO / Exit  Exit$25M at  $150M at 10% 65% Mezzanine   Product /  Prove  Series A  Series B  Raise Angel  Market Fit (own 35%) Model (own 40%) (own 25%) Traction (own 10%) Validation 2 to 3 years 5 to 7 years Source: “Exit Strategy for Startups”, VentureArchetypes, LLC
  25. 25. Strategyskate to where the puck will be & wrap yourself around acquirer’s axle Credit: Sporting News Archive
  26. 26. Exit StrategyHave your “end game” exitstrategy on Day #1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/uckhet/268319752/
  27. 27. Positioning• Tell a good story, with passion• Specifics on potential of “together”• Vision of “what could be” in the future http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaconradio/5911999506/
  28. 28. Negotiation• Hire A+ finance & legal advisors• Never piecemeal• Clean house before diligence http://www.gazprom.com/about/history/events/italy40/
  29. 29. ChallengesStarting a company fromhere? http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamhenning/45704086/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  30. 30. There Are None!Stop making excuses: regardless of location, it isn’t easy http://www.flickr.com/photos/mona_q/3595738923/
  31. 31. TOPICS1. STARTING2. GROWING3. EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  32. 32. Most startups fail because the founders give up… http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcnickerson/1008563510/
  33. 33. don’t give up…
  34. 34. Contact Me: E-Mail: jthompson@about.me Twitter: @thomjeffSome of the photographs in this presentation were retrieved from Flickr and made available under a Creative Commons license. Please refer to each photograph for a link to the image source.

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