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The modern-day startup is a fascinating expression of entrepreneurship, and the model offers amazing opportunities for aspiring tech entrepreneurs. That’s why we’re so excited about our “Get Your Startup Started” course, because it’s specifically designed to help you establish a strong foundation for your business, and confidently pursue viable funding models, including bootstrapping, crowdsourcing, accelerators, incubators, and more.

We’ve worked and consulted with a number of leading subject-matter experts to ensure we’re bringing you the most valuable curriculum possible. One such individual is Matt Kaufman, Head of Operations at CrunchBase. He has had so many compelling insights to offer that we finally asked if he would be willing to compile some of his thoughts into a blog post. He’s done exactly that, and we’re very pleased to share his post with you today. So without further ado, here is Matt Kaufman!



How to Get Your Startup Started

by Matt Kaufman, Head of Operations, CrunchBase

What separates the weak from the strong when starting a company? It boils down to a few key things, and the data about startups can help us identify founders who have the right mindset for success. At CrunchBase, we follow companies through all stages of their lifecycle and we can identify key criteria for success. In fact, based on data in CrunchBase we know that of all startups that received seed funding, only a little over 5% reach a series C. So what are the factors that lead to success?

Focus, focus, focus

Always keep your eye on one problem that your startup is going to solve, figure out what makes your solution the best one out there, and prove there is a business worth building. Project creep is a problem for many startups—it’s easy to get carried away trying to solve for many tangential issues or markets. Resources will quickly evaporate if you cannot stay focused on the big idea that got you started.

Understand your investors

We know that most startups fail, so think about the returns that an investor is seeking on the few companies that will succeed from their portfolio. If just 5% of their portfolio go on to a liquidation event (acquisition or IPO), they will expect those who succeed to have a 20x-100x return. You must prove that your idea is not only great, but that it will capture a large enough market to deliver a material return for your investors.

Know your strengths

No founder can survive on their own—you need to surround yourself with the best people to build and execute on your vision. A founder’s ability to recognize their own limitations and use that to build a strong, passionate, and diverse team is key to a company’s ability to succeed. Be able to clearly articulate the reason that the combined experience of your team will help you understand and anticipate the needs of your target markets. A team that can grow together and build towards your goals as they evolve will attract investors and be more successful.

There are lots of factors that lead to success for a startup, and it’s best to keep your eyes open for the factors that you can’t control, and stay hyperfocused on those you can. And always list your startup on CrunchBase!

You can check out more tips in the course, “How to Get Your Startup Started”.




Matt Kaufman
Matt Kaufman
Matt Kaufman, Head of Operations, CrunchBase