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you also need a bit of luck…!

Talking to many successful entrepreneurs and investors, here is an overview of what they say is needed to start a successful business. We’ll look at the skills required in a new venture, how to gage whether the idea will work, what resources are needed and… getting started!

A successful venture will require key skills from you and your co-founders. You don’t need to be an expert at everything in a new venture (that’s what your team is for!) …

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photo credit — Clark Tibbs

You want to start-up a venture but have no idea how to get started? Here are the main steps on the road to success!

We’ll go from what to do when you don’t have an idea yet, to validating your new idea, building proofs of concepts and MVP (minimum viable product), and eventually reaching product-market fit and getting traction.

1. Let’s start at the beginning: ideation.

The ideation part is probably the most tricky one because it’s all about creativity. Make sure you start by identifying a need, ie a problem worth solving, preferably one that someone somewhere would be happy to pay for! …

Startup founders have a tendency to pick the best numbers, so investors have a tendency to check them…!

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Congratulations, you just got your first seed round covered… or do you? Getting the first “yes” is an amazing feeling, but it’s still a long way until the money is in the bank. And in that way stands the due diligence, especially technical, financial and commercial due diligence.

Commercial due diligence covers 3 main points:

  • your TAM (total addressable market) and assumptions behind the TAM. This is about how big you can be and how fast you can get there. Investors love to dream, and they don’t want to waste time (and money) on the small fry — they’re all looking for a 10X return, or even the occasional unicorn, to compensate for all the failed investments. So, yes, they want you to have a big TAM, but a real one, not some fancy number. Same for your potential market share. Oh, and they want the detailed assumptions behind those forecasts: how many customers acquired, retained, how much average revenue per customer, how often, etc… Most investors have mandates, or at least preferences, so they’d already have a benchmark in mind to judge how realistic your TAM is, so don’t fudge it or they won’t read any further. …


Max Bonpain

Helping startups and scale-ups hack growth. I love tech! Reach me on

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