Insights

Our perspectives, learnings, and insights on traction, venture capital, and product management.

Category: Venture Capital

A black swan

Pitching the Tailwinds of the Coronavirus Outbreak

With half of Americans now ordered to “shelter in place,” we’re definitively in the throes of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In the startup world, venture capitalists have put the breaks on new deals as they assess the cash positions of their portfolio companies, potential systemic risks, and what the new normal may be. Meanwhile, scrappy…

Startup founder working from home

Raising Venture Capital in the Time of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Baron Rothschild famously said “buy when there’s blood in the streets,” but when the metaphor is playing out in real-time it’s hard for any investor to imagine backing a venture deal. Though venture capitalists know there are plenty of great opportunities when markets are distressed, everyone puts on their breaks following a 7-day run of…

Determining your target VC check size

Founders seeking venture capital typically know their target round size, but they underestimate the sales process involved with successfully closing. To make an otherwise distracting and stressful fundraising process more efficient, it’s important to have a target check size. I’ve seen founders arbitrarily target checks of $100–200k in seed rounds, and $500k in Series A…

How Venture Capital Will be Impacted by the Next Recession

Many within the startup community believe we’re staring the next recession in the face. Founders I’ve been working with are trying to figure out what that means for go-to-market strategies reliant on venture capital. While I won’t attempt to predict when the next recession will strike, I will make some predictions about how the VC…

The Value of a Startup’s Vision Statement

Why a Vision Statement is the most important line of code a startup will ever write. Traditional Vision Statements are Exciting for the Company A traditional vision statement is aspirational for a company; it describes where the company is going if it’s successful. It can also be limiting when viewed through the lens of a venture capitalist.…

Time Travel to Save your Startup

Dramatically improve the odds of your venture’s success by rooting out and mitigating knowable risks with a premortem. In startup culture, optimism tends to flourish at the expense of honest pessimism. At Foundational, we embrace this by starting our strategy engagements collaborating with our clients to agree on how the world must be changing, what…

The Fundamentals of Traction

What is Traction? Where does it come from? And, most importantly, how do you generate it? Startups are in an endless pursuit of product-market fit. If they are very young, they might still be defining their vision of what the world will look like should they find it. If they are more mature, they are justifying…

Q3 2017 venture funding by region

The 5 Traits Every Startup Needs to Raise Venture Capital

…and how to get VCs to give them to you. These common traits define every startup successfully raising venture capital in today’s traction-centric market. What it Takes to Raise a First Round VCs are ultimately judged by their own investors on their Internal Rate of Return (IRR). In order to optimize that metric, they need to time…

startup matriculation rates

Why It’s So Difficult to Disrupt

How rising VC expectations are causing founders to ignore user experiences in favor of unsustainable growth. The trouble with innovation… Through my experience as a repeat technical startup founder, I’ve found the greatest difficulty in developing a new technology is not getting something to function. It’s discovering that a user’s tolerance for learning a new…