Lessons From A Study of Perfect Pitch Decks: VCs Spend An Average of 3 Minutes, 44 Seconds On Them

DocSend, a startup that provides people with a secure and private way of sharing files like offer letters or legal agreements, studied more than 200 pitchdecks to figure out the right way to graduate from bootstrapped to seed-funded, or from angels to a Series A.

They partnered with Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann to look at companies that had raised $360 million in total.

What did … [ Read more ]

The Complete Quantitative Guide to Judging Your Startup

There have been fantastic essays written about the fundraising process. This is not a guide to fundraising, but rather a look behind the curtain from experience as a venture investor at most of the quantitative metrics that are analyzed when judging an early-stage startup. These metrics fall into five groups: financial, user, acquisition, sales, and marketing. While the statistics are important, the relevant weight any … [ Read more ]

Startups: Give Us Your Best One-Sentence Pitch

If you had to describe your company’s mission in a single sentence, what would your pitch read or sound like? One good way to summarize what you do and boil it down to one clear sentence is to follow the advice of Founder Institute founder Adeo Ressi. This is how it’s done:

“My company, _(insert name of company)_, is developing _(a defined offering)_ to help … [ Read more ]

Why So Many M&A Deals Fail

While some M&A deals turn out to be great successes, it’s no surprise that a lot of mergers and acquisitions fail. The obvious factors explaining the failures include culture clashes or founders leaving—taking the DNA with them in the process.

But M&A is more art than science, and the reasons why so many deals fail to deliver on their 1+1=3 promise are complex. Here … [ Read more ]

Whom Should You Hire at a Startup? (Attitude over Aptitude)

Startups. We know the mantra: Team matters. Is this philosophy exaggerated? Overrated? Cliché? No. Team is the only thing that matters. So how exactly do you assemble such a team?