Startup Company Scorecard

How to determine the merits of a new business opportunity. Score a startup on five dimensions:

Product – how good/unique is the product or service?
Market – are they targeting the right market segment?
Team – does the team have relevant experience in the space?
Strategy – how do they plan to go-to-market, capture share, and generate revenue?
Economics – does the business model make sense and provide good ROI to investors?

Description

How to determine the merits of a new business opportunity. Score a startup on five dimensions:

Product – how good/unique is the product or service?
Market – are they targeting the right market segment?
Team – does the team have relevant experience in the space?
Strategy – how do they plan to go-to-market, capture share, and generate revenue?
Economics – does the business model make sense and provide good ROI to investors?

Each dimension is comprised of 10 criteria, for a total of 50 data points. Each data point is rated between 1 and 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being very strong. After the scores are totaled in each dimension, the template will total and chart the score so you can visually see where the startup is strong and where the founders need to do some work to make it a better opportunity. Most startups rank between 5 and 7. Learn how to improve a startup’s success for funding.

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 scorecard 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 new to angel investing, 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 scorecard can help you determine which startups have a good shot at becoming one of those businesses and provide you with a good return on your investment.

For Startup Accelerators and Mentors

If you are a mentor assigned to assist and advise founders, this scorecard can help you advise 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. The Startup Scorecard can help you fill in the gaps and help you to guide founders to think more objectively about the key drivers of their businesses.

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