Awesome April

Money, Metrics and Milestones

How do you show investors/funders your real, tested, key metrics?
And how do you tie them to meaningful business milestones and financials?

Core Concepts: Revenue, identifying and mapping to business milestones, costs & operating best practices, valuation & investor options.

Outcomes: Financial Projections, Funder Pitch, Completed a Sale

This is listed in a detailed step-by-step fashion. Please be sure to review all portions of this page:

Here’s an easy to use guide to all the links on the page


  1. Update your VPC and/or BMC using Rise@.

  2. Update your goals sheet.

  3. We strongly recommend you go through Udacity Lesson 9, covering :

    • How Do You Make Money

    • Revenue Streams and Price

    • Direct and Ancillary Models

    • Common Startup Mistakes

    • Market Types and Pricing

    • Single and Multiple Side Markets

    • Revenue First Companies

    • Market Size and Share

  4. Schedule some VVM community support/network meetings between bootcamp weekends. You have several choices:

    1. Schedule a 20 minute session with an EIRs.  They are awesome - take advantage of their expertise and availability.  Each is offering several slots for startups between bootcamp weekends via their scheduling apps of choice linked on their bios.

    2. Ask for a 20 minute meeting with one of our Super Mentors.  Links to their LinkedIn profiles, their email addresses, expertise and images are located in the directory.  Please note they are doing this as volunteers and have each offered to speak with up to 4 of you a month.  So if you take too long, they might be all filled up!  Please put this in the subject of your email “VVM Accelerator, SuperMentor.”  

    3. Sign up for Lunch with a VC! Come hear veteran venture capitalists talk about how to take those next steps. Find out if this flavor of capital is right for you, and if so, how to maximize your odds of securing it. Two dates available, limited seating, lunch provided.


Interview 40 customers/key partners/industry experts to test your current hypotheses (as covered in this month’s presentation, see below).  Tips…

  1. Update your interview script so it is testing the hypotheses we’re focusing on in April (revenue model, pricing, cost structure, & metrics) as well as any from last month that you still need to validate.  

    1. One great way to do this is to update your business model canvas to reflect all that you have learned so far.  Strike out invalidated hypotheses, mark validated hypotheses so you know you can move on, and add/update the remaining hypotheses to reflect what you’ve learned.

  2. At this point your interviews are probably centering around a demonstration of your product (or a Minimum Viable Product if you are pre-launch).  These interviews are likely “second dates” with people you interviewed in prior months.

  3. Remember to populate your Call List/CRM with lots of leads.  Now that you have a strong peer network, don’t hesitate to ask (nicely) for referrals from them… or even to interview them directly if they are a potential customer.

  4. When people give you an answer, strongly consider asking Why a few times.  This is called “5 Whys” and is a proven, and powerful, technique.

  5. Sample questions, especially around determining pricing, can be found in the solution interview script template.


  1. Update your elevator pitch.  You get 1 minute during speed dating, so feel free to continue to use the
    30-second elevator pitch template if you like it and expand on it.

  2. Prepare your Peer Percolate Presentation. This is a presentation, with slides, focusing on your company’s revenue, expenses, financials & core metrics. ou will deliver this presentation, live, to a subset of your peers on Saturday of the bootcamp weekend. One-third of you will also deliver this same presentation to a panel of judges during our practice judging session on Saturday.

    Peer Percolate Presentation Requirements:

    1. No more than eight (8) minutes long. 

    2. Google Presentation format.

    3. The file name must be named {MyCompanyName}_April.  

    4. The rest of your presentation MUST cover all the topics covered in the April Peer Percolate Presentation template.  It is strongly recommended (but not required) that you present them in the same order and with roughly the same time allotments as the template as well.  

    5. You must deliver your final version of your presentation into your herd’s sub-folder by Thursday, April 11th at 8:30 AM.

    1. Tips:

      1. Again you will notice you have to repeat and condense key components (Customer, Value Proposition, Competitive Advantage, Get, Keep, Grow customers) from your last months’ presentation in half the time to make room for Revenue in your 8 minutes pitch.

      2. Check your peer percolate feedback from last month here.

      3. Presented in front of judges last month? Check out their feedback here.


Prepare for MasterMind.  Prepare an informal presentation (no slides) for your day three MasterMind group that:

  1. Thanks everyone in the herd who helped you over the past month by name & need. Review last month’s goals, and whether you reached it or not, and why.

  2. Shares the most important goal you wish to complete by the next bootcamp.

  3. Outlines the steps you are planning to take to address it.

  4. Asks the group to keep them accountable to reach the next goal.


Optional reading/watching/listening that will give you strong insights into this month’s bootcamp.

Lessons 7 & 8 (from March) will give more background on how to generate revenue as well as how to translate this to producing meaningful financial models for your business and a solid understanding of the topics you are interviewing people about.  

Some resources you can check out to understand funding sources and what they are like:

  1. Bootstrapping tips

    1. 10 quick tips on bootstrapping from FastCompany

    2. Entrepreneur magazine's tips for bootstrapping

    3. ReWork, an ebook by the founder of BaseCamp that talks a lot about bootstrapping.

      1. Not sure if you want to read the book? Check out this 14 minute video summary.

    4. Bootstrapping your marketing (25 min, intro skipped)

  2. Fundraising tips for nonprofits:

    1. Seth Godin's advice - inventor of the Dead Seagull! (10 min)

    2. Basics of nonprofit fundraising (12 min)

    3. Top Ten Fundraising Tips, as Featured in Nonprofit Fundraising 101 via the Foundation Center (80 min)

  3. Raising equity funding:

    1. Startup Valuations: the Dave Berkus Method, valuing pre-revenue companies (via Angel Capital Education Foundation)  

    2. Trying to understand convertible notes, KISS, SAFE, and equity-based investment vehicles?

      1. Quick primer on convertible notes vs equity (2 min)

      2. Detailed walkthrough by 500 Startups on: convertible notes, KISS, SAFE, and equity-based investment vehicles (1 hour)

How to develop & communicate Metrics that Matter

  1. Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) overview.

  2. What does Burn Rate mean and How to calculate it

  3. Start-up Metrics that Matter by Dave McClure (video)

  4. Andreessen Horowitz’s 16 Startup Metrics

  5. StartupGrind’s How to Pick Metrics That Matter for Your Startup

Other links:

  1. How to Prepare a Financial Forecast

  2. Customer Acquisition Costs (Quora)

  3. Value of Various Channels

  4. Crossing the Chasm - Marketing and selling disruptive products to mainstream customers

  5. Disciplined Entrepreneurship (Step 19)

    1. Book / Workbook


Use the Slack channel (#homework) for any questions, your cohort is happy to help!

Here’s an easy to use guide to all the links on the page