The Five Star Startup

How to score the viability and fundability of a startup on five dimensions:

1. Product
2. Market
3. Team
4. Strategy
5. Economics

Description

How to score the viability and fundability of a startup on five dimensions:

1. Product
2. Market
3. Team
4. Strategy
5. Economics

Each dimension is measured on 10 data points, for a total of 50 data points. How these data points are evaluated and scored can predict how viable and sustainable a startup is likely to be. The very first step to determining whether a startup is worthy of your time and money is to surface the flaws – especially the fatal flaws. To do that, you need to know what to look for and how to measure it.

The totality of the 10 data points measure the substance of each dimension. Too many startups are one dimensional. They may have a good idea…even a cool product, but little substance in the other dimensions. Good startups are multi-dimensional. They can be evaluated and measured on all five dimensions and each one has considerable substance. We will explore each dimension (star) individually and then look at them as a cluster.

For Entrepreneurs

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a startup idea, it’s useful to know how smart investors, partners, and other potential stakeholders are going to evaluate your opportunity. It’s also helpful to have a reality check to gauge whether or not you should move forward, and how you might adapt your idea to make it more likely of being funded and commercialized. You don’t want to waste valuable time pursuing an idea that will be dead on arrival. This guide is your reality check. Use it to test the strength of your idea and how you should be developing it and executing on it.

For Angel Investors

If you are an angel investor, it’s useful to know how experienced investors evaluate startups, so you can create your own system of evaluation. There is no one-all-be-all system of determining the merits of a startup. There are a lot of variables to consider, so it’s important to have a baseline. Don’t just rely on your gut. Startups can be seductive. They must have more than big ideas and entrepreneurial passion. They must be capable of maturing into viable, profit-making businesses. This guide can help you determine which startups have a shot at becoming one of those businesses.

For Mentors

If you are a mentor assigned to assist and advise founders, this material can help you guide them. We are all prisoners of our own experiences, so it is natural to push founders towards decisions and practices that worked for us in our careers, but which may not be well suited for them. All mentors have blind spots. We may be very strong on product development or finance, but weak on team building and strategy. This material can help you fill in the gaps and help founders think more objectively about each dimension of their business.

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