List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Show Me the Money!
Are you ready to raise money for your startup?
Leslie Mitts, Managing Practice Leader at the Wharton SBDC and Lead Advisor for the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, tells us that most entrepreneurs coming through her programs are focused on raising capital, even though there are higher priorities in many of their businesses. Since fresh dollars help drive the business engine, this is a natural entrepreneurial concern.
But are you ready to raise money?
Going to investors before you are really ready can damage your reputation and may actually hinder future funding efforts.
Team and a Dream uses a unique Fundability Diagnostic to help companies assess their strengths in four key areas:
Team - This is the most frequently cited attribute examined by investors. Many investors will invest in an A-level team and a B-level product, but not the opposite. Having your Seed Team nailed is crucial.
Traction - Showing momentum is a critical element to demonstrating progress and your ability to execute.
Perceived Pain - Do people really need your product? Why? Will they need it in the future?
Product Eco-system - How does your product fit into existing and emerging landscapes? Who else is out there and how big will this market grow?
Find out what you need to succeed and discover your roadmap to getting there. Take the quiz below to see how well you might expect to score with investors. For each of the four sections outlined above, see which hurdles you can clear given the current state of your business.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Only self-aware entrepreneurs should take these results seriously.
ASSESSING YOUR TEAM
If you or any member of your current team are not planning on being the CEO, give yourself two points and proceed to Part B.
If someone on your team IS planning to continue on as CEO, then you'll need to answer yes to both of the next two questions in order to score two points; otherwise, take a zero.
A1. Our CEO has significant, previous management experience in a startup or comparable operating environment (i.e. middle management in a large company doesn't count!) ( 1 point)
A2. Our CEO is able to rapidly assess and prioritize our work with the respect of the team ( 1 point)
Score one point for each answer.
B1. Someone on my team has significant experience in the domain space in which we are starting the company ( 1 point)
B2. Our team understands and acts as if they understand the difference between tasks that are urgent, urgent and important, important, and none of the above ( 1 point)
B3. This team has terrific chemistry ( 1 point)
Your score (0-5) is your Total Team Score.
If you scored three or more, you pass the Team Hurdle.
Score one point for each item you can answer positively.
1. We have made a few initial sales and have positive indicators from the marketplace for additional sales growth ( 1 point)
2. So many good things are happening I am bouncing off the walls with excitement ( 1 point)
3. I have added a significant team member (besides myself!) in the past two months ( 1 point)
4. In the past two months, I received press coverage that would be acknowledged by my prospects as legitimate business coverage ( 1 point)
5. We recently have achieved a significant product or marketplace milestone (includes a single, initial sale) ( 1 point)
Your score (0-5) is your Total Traction Score.
If you scored three or more, you pass the Traction Hurdle.
Award your Team the number of points indicated after each question that you answer positively.
1. My product or service solves an important problem for a well defined group of people ( 2 points)
2. My product or service will be in great demand in the future in order to solve problems emerging from a new trend that has a large population of prospects ( 2 points)
3. My product or service takes advantage of newly available market forces (technology, demographics, societal). The result is an offering that will clearly appeal to an existing, well-known market demographic ( 1 point)
Your score (0-5) is your Total Perceived Pain Score.
If you scored three or more, you pass the Perceived Pain Hurdle.
Score the stated number of points for each item you can answer positively.
1. My product is unique in a clearly defined (i.e. I can describe the difference in one or two clear sentences) and useful way ( 1 point)
2. My product is patented or can easily be patented or I have another competitive barrier (e.g. trade secret, unique manufacturing process, etc.) that will make it difficult for others to compete directly ( 1 point)
3. My marketplace is well established but fragmented or my product has "category killer" potential because it is so unique to the market ( 1 point)
4. My marketplace is either very big (> $5 billion/year in sales) with clear room for a product like mine or is rapidly growing with well documented trend lines ( 1 point)
5. My marketplace is wide open and there are no competitors ( subtract 1 point)
Your score of (-1 to 4) is your Total Product Eco-System Score.
If you scored three or more, you pass the Product Eco-System Hurdle.
Now that you have completed the scoring, we shall take a look at how "fundable" your company is. Before we do, it's important to realize that this is a snapshot in time. If you are not satisfied with your score, there are plenty of things you can do to improve it. I've seen many of my clients make tremendous progress along these dimensions by extending their team, focusing on sales or tweaking their offering.
YOUR FUNDABILITY RATING:
Number of Hurdles Cleared: None
If you received this score and hope to receive funding, then you have a lot of work to do. Perhaps you just know you want to start a business and are looking for ideas. If so, keep these criteria in mind as you formulate your plans.
If you already have a business concept, you should think long and hard about "re-conceiving" some elements of it to improve your scores.
Many perfectly good "lifestyle" businesses may fall into this scale - you just can't get funding for them.
Number of Hurdles Cleared: One
Funding from your rich uncle may be possible
Number of Hurdles Cleared: two
Funding from family and friends network may be possible
Number of Hurdles Cleared: three
Professional investors will consider this, but you'll need to be prepared to explain how you'll address your gaps.
Number of Hurdles Cleared: all four
Put the finishing touches on your business plan and hit the funding trail!
You will have the best chances of success in fund-raising if investors see that you can clear the hurdles in all four areas.
NOTE: Team and a Dream offers a professional version of this assessment that offers additional detail and examines nuances that aren't possible to convey in a simple quiz. If you have an interest in the professional assessment, please visit us at http://www.teamandadream.com/contactus.htm
Copyright (c) 2005, All rights reserved by Post Destiny, Inc. d/b/a Team and a Dream(SM)
As an advisor-builder with a sense of adventure, founder Skip Shuda has worked with numerous startups since 1983, including Destiny WebSolutions, which he founded in 1994. Destiny was named Startup Company of the year in 1998's Philadelphia Area Enterprise Awards. Destiny grew to $25 million in annualized revenues in 2000 and employed over 120 people. Today Skip enjoys working with technology startups and using his experience, lessons and tools to assist fellow entrepreneurs. He works with private clients as well as Wharton SBDC clients as a VIP advisor. Prior to founding Destiny in 1994, Skip worked as a software architect with data communications and object oriented database development firms. He also ran a successful consulting practice with clients that included The Vanguard Group and Unisys. Skip has spoken at numerous industry events and has been published and/or quoted in top trade publications on technology-based strategies. He has an MS in Computer Science from Villanova University where he specialized in artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Managing Workplace Conflicts
Kinds of Workplace ConflictsLet's start by identifying where conflicts happen. Think about the kinds of conflicts that happen around your workplace.
Do Customers Like the Feel of Your Organization?
In two recent articles "Some Evidence of How We Are Spiritually Connected" and "Healing Dysfunctional Families" I reported on how individuals who live or work within a system or group are inherently connected at a level that goes beyond words. This realm of connection, which is largely spiritual or unconscious, may or may not be familiar to the more business minded person so I will take some time to explain the nature of this connection and then the wide reaching implications this idea has on the optimal functioning of organizations.
Resistance - How to Handle It
Do you ever meet with resistance from other people - I bet you do! It might be a customer, a colleague, a member of your team or even someone in your personal life. Dealing with resistance or objections is one of the biggest challenges faced by business people; so let's consider why we get resistance and how we can handle it.
10 Ways New Managers Become Great Leaders
"It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead and find no one there." - Franklin D.
Making Change Work
Shaky FoundationsWhilst over 60% of businesses will be looking to implement some form of business improvement initiative over the next 18 months, less than 1 in 4 of these change programmes will achieve any worthwhile results that are sustainable for a further 12 months post the introduction of change.This brings into focus two key problems:1.
Supervisor-Employee Relations: Tips For Managers
Supervisor-employee relations are a critical part of a work place atmosphere and promoting productivity and cohesiveness. The following tips address these issues:1.
Creativity and Innovation Directors, Consultants and Managers
Creativity and Innovation is essential for competitive advantage, yet the role of Creativity and Innovation Manager is often not viewed as essential. Organizations without such a role will simply not perform as competitively as their rivals.
Innovation Management - Diversity Can Make All The Difference
Companies are welcoming a diverse range of employees (The Sunday Times, April 10 2005). Doh!It is incredible that this concept is getting coverage in 2005.
How to Enhance Quality in Your Business
Every business must strive to provide quality products and services to customers. To achieve that objective the company must draw well thought out policies and procedures to ensure 100% achievement of the targets.
Delegation - The Basic Steps To Reducing Your Workload And Creating A Successful Team
If you have a task greater than you can handle on your own, then you need to delegate. Not a choice many of us choose to make, but one we can all learn.
Work Priorities: Where Can You Spend Your Time Most Effectively?
Understanding where you can spend time most effectively requires concentration in three areas:1. Doing what you enjoy 2.
Is A Bad Attitude Permanent
Today there is great weight put on a person's attitude. It is as if this is something for which they are individually responsible and should be held to account for.
Follow Up: It Makes A Difference
A while back the headlight switch on our minivan quit working, so early one Saturday morning we took it to the neighborhood repair shop that has been mailing postcards to us the past three years. They said it would take 90 minutes to check things out.
Planning For Growth
Are you planning your business or are you planning your growth? If you are like many high-performing business people, you have an annual ritual to set your plans for the coming twelve months. Some people do it in December, others at weird, miscellaneous times of the year, but most -- me included -- tend to do it the beginning part of the New Year.
4 Steps to Success In Life, Business, The Universe And Everything
Everyone wants to succeed in life. And no one starts a business of any sort, on-line or off-line, wanting to fail.
Muggers in Our Midst - When Rumour and Gossip Pay You a Visit
'I heard it on the grapevine' the old song goes. But the grapevine has the potential to cause your business strife, misunderstanding and ruin! In effect the rumour mill and gossip are dangers you cannot ford to ignore.
What are Your Best Practices?
Best Practices StudiesThese studies can be defined as inquiries into the skills and methods of your high performers to recognize their achievements, document their methods and skills and then share this information with team members to improve overall performance. The responses generated from your study may hold the solutions to a variety of team challenges in the Call Center.
Finding Proactive Solutions: A Key to Demonstrating Your Management Fitness
In my book Talking Points: 25 Tips for Clear, Credible Communication, Tip #17 states: "Managers and professionals in positions of responsibility got there by finding solutions to problems. They didn't rely on someone else to come up with the remedy.
Creativity and Innovation - Large Firms Versus Small Firms
There is a pervasive assumption that small firms are more creative and innovative than larger firms. That is, they identify problems and generate ideas (creativity) and idea select, develop and commercialise (innovate) those ideas to a greater degree than larger firms.
Give Yourself a Boss' Day Gift
Become a better boss and reap the benefitsAnother interesting study was done. One that should really catch our attention.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !