Seeking: 100 Nos

When I was five years old I played a sheep in the school nativity play. Seriously.

My ‘role’ was to crawl through the audience with a sheepskin rug on my back and “baaa” like a sheep.

When the audience began to notice me shuffling past on all fours I heard laughter. I was so embarrassed that I forgot my only line in the play — “baaa”. For the rest of primary school my teachers, not knowing the extent of the mental trauma this would cause, reminded me that I was and would always be “the sheep who didn’t baaa”.

When you’re five, there aren’t really any actionable steps you can take when you’ve been publicly humiliated. I don’t remember throwing a tantrum or crying, although at some point I probably did, but I was five, hurt and rejected. You’d think my woolly, four-legged trauma would have given me a pathological fear of rejection as an adult, but it seems to have had the opposite effect — I have a start-up.

If you fear rejection then starting a business is a pretty terrible idea. When it comes to raising investment you’re going to look stupid, have a lot of people think you are stupid and you are going to get rejected. A lot.

Rather than avoid situations where I’d be at risk of a ‘forgetting-to-”baaa”’ style humiliation, I’ve decided to actively seek them and be rejected 100 times from investors over the next month.

A hundred no’s in one month

We hear all the time that:

“Investors say no to a hundred businesses before they say yes to one”

As a startup, we optimise for learning and learning often comes from rejection so we want those hundred no’s under our belt in a month. We want 100 reasons why investors don’t want to part with their money and, hopefully, some reasons why they will.

That’s a hundred hard no’s, not those easy does it “let me think about it and get back to you” soft no’s.

  • Our favourite investor: A quick yes: we accept all major credit cards…
  • Second favourite investor: A quick no, hopefully with an explicit and transparent reason.
  • Least favourite investor: A long drawn out umm… maybe… call me when you’ve done XYZ…

Help us reach 100 investors

Now if you’ve read enough and want to help us reach 100 no’s then we’d love it if you could mention an investor in the comments box below.

If you’re an investor and you’re reading this then know that we can send you all the things you need to give us a reason not to invest. We’d love to know all of the reasons why our business won’t work, why we’re “just too early” for you and look forward to “staying in touch”, but know you don’t really mean it. ;)

Of course, if you are an investor who sees our pitch and can’t think of a strong enough “no”, we may be forced to discuss a “yes”.

Interested in seeing how we’re getting on? You can check out our progress here at

Why we’re worth rejecting

“A team with pedigree, with an unfair competitive advantage, in a big market.” — Every investor, ever

All VCs have a similar mantra to the one above. So let us help give you the opportunity to reject us.

What we do

ThriveMap is a software tool that predicts culture fit by measuring how people and teams work together. We have 2 main utilities, hiring people that fit in culturally and helping managers get more from their people.

Here are some quick headlines:

  • We were MassChallengeUK finalists (program finished)
  • We’re Belron Drive Accelerator finalists (in progress)
  • We’ve an experienced founding team (check us out on LinkedIn here and here)
  • We’ve got early traction and revenue from enterprise customers, not just other startups (more info about this in our deck)
  • Talent assessment and team effectiveness are both massive markets

That’s it. Check out to download our pitch deck or comment in the box below with your email address and we’ll zip it across faster than you can say “Series A”.

Thanks for reading, oh and “baaa”.