Tagged: programme

checklist

Early stage startup checklist

It’s a known fact: the vast majority of startups fail, most of them fail making the same mistakes again and again.

If you are crazy enough to be trying to beat the odds, we salute you.

At Activate Capital we have put together a programme designed to help founders like you to avoid the most common pitfalls and significantly improve your chances of success.

Here’s what we will explore with founders who will join us:

  1. Get Your Strategy Straight. Understand why you are doing this. Really. Not a strapline, why are you doing this, how do you want to have an impact,what concrete goals do you want to reach in the short, medium and long term.
  2. Business Model Design. Get clarity on how you are going to make money. How you are going to spend money. Who is going to help you doing both and how you are going to make sure that the business model will support the growth of your company.
  3. Your Value Proposition. Let’s understand your product or service. How does it touch people. Why would they want to use it. Why would they want to spend money for it.
  4. Your Market. Who are your customers? What problems do they have? What gains are they trying to get? How do you verify your assumptions?
  5. Impact mapping. Let’s start designing your product by creating a map of what tools are going to be needed to perform which jobs by who in order to obtain what specific goal. This will be the main guide for all your design efforts.
  6. Understanding the software business. Creating software is hard work, if you don’t have a background in software development it is completely different from anything you have experienced before. It’s extremely important that you understand how. And yes, there will be bugs. Lots of them.
  7. Prioritising for your MVP. The importance of “Minimum” in your Minimum Viable Product. It has to be embarrassing, otherwise you have spent too much time or money on it.
  8. Prototyping and testing. Before you start investing in a huge development project, let’s test your assumptions by building prototypes of the key moving parts of your products.
  9. Legal and accounting advice. It’s not only a matter of product. There are many other things that can kill you.
  10. Marketing & Branding. Once you will have a product you will need to get the whole world to notice. There are some key elements to keep in mind while building your marketing plan.
  11. Pitching. Convincing people to invest in your company is tough. We will train you to pitch your product and answer difficult questions.
  12. Hiring the right people. Who will be your first hire? And the second? The success of your enterprise depends on your ability to form an awesome group.

Let me know what you think about this list. And if you are one of the crazy ones: at Activate Capital applications are open for the April 2016 programme.