Awesome April: Money, Metrics and Milestones: How to show investors/funders your real, tested, key metrics and tie them to meaningful business milestones and financials.

Core Concepts:  Revenue! (identifying most promising revenue streams, translating customer data to potential revenue), identifying and mapping to business milestones, costs & operating best practices (P & L 101, cash flow 101), valuation & investor options.

This is listed in a detailed step-by-step fashion. Please be sure to review all portions of this page:
Want to know if you're presenting on Sunday?

April Assignments

Here's your quick link to all the information on this page.

Unless otherwise noted, items are due on April 6th at 9:00 AM

This is listed in a detailed step-by-step fashion. Please be sure to read everything and make sure to budget your time accordingly. 

Things listed as "tips" are just that, optional resources you can take advantage of if you wish.

Meetings - Due April 6, 2018

  1. Update your MasterMind Goals Log.

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

    1. Sign up for a group session (6 startups meeting at the same time with Liz).  Folks can be in-person or use google hangout to join. Lunch available on 3/12 or 3/14 - email Dorota for link. 

    2. Schedule a 20 minute session with an EIRs.  They are awesome - take advantage of their expertise and availability.  Each is offering 10 - 20 first come first serve slots for startups between bootcamp weekends via their scheduling apps of choice linked on their bios

    3. 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.”  Be sure to read and follow VVM’s networking etiquette guidelines.

      • Tell them your company name, in-a-tweet-description, and link to your website.
        Let them know what kind of help you are looking for.  For example...

      • "I just want to hear about life after VVM so I can prepare better for it"

      • "It is clear you have a lot of knowledge about [field/customer segment], I'm struggling to understand how one even gets started with [problem]"

      • "I am trying to network into organizations in your field and am hoping you can help me think through how to approach them."

    4. Sign up for lunch with a VC with Tripp Peake! Come hear veteran venture capitalist Tripp Peake of Long River Ventures, Jay Leonard of the Springfield Venture Fund, of Angel and Venture Capital. 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. Lunch available on 4/5 or 4/20 - email Dorota for link.


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 (and business model canvas) so it is testing the hypotheses we’re focusing on in April (revenue model, pricing, cost structure, & metrics) as well as any from prior months that you still need to validate.

  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 with lots of leads.

  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.


Want to know if you're presenting on Sunday?

  1. Update your 1 minute 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. You will deliver this presentation live to your herd on day two of the bootcamp weekend.  1/3 of you (look here for a list of what month every team is presenting) will also deliver this same presentation to a panel of judges during our practice judging session on Sunday.  

    1. Requirements:

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

      2. Google Presentation format.

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

      4. First slide MUST list your company name, in-a-tweet description, and the number of customer development interviews you have completed since Jan 1.

      5. Your last slide MUST be a repeat of your first slide.  This helps judges / peers remember your company (and your) names and key facts.

      6. The rest of your presentation MUST cover all the topics covered in the April Peer Percolate Presentation template.  It is recommended (but not required) that you present them in the same order(corresponds with April score sheet) and with roughly the same time allotments as the template.  Feel free to alter the formatting, look, and feel of the presentation any way you like.

      7. You must deliver your final version of your presentation into your herd’s subfolder in the April Peer Percolate Presentations folder by Saturday, April 7th at 8:30 AM. Watch this video if you're confused on how to upload!

    2. 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. Be sure to review all the March feedback you received from peers, EIRs and judges if you presented Sunday (look at scores and comments!).

      2. Review the April Score Sheet that will be used to give you feedback and make sure your presentation is addressing these questions.

      3. Review our Best Practices for Presentations and at a minimum read Really Bad Powerpoint if you didn’t last month.  Use your pitch time and visuals/slides strategically!

      4. Check your peer percolate feedback here.


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

  1. Thank everyone in the herd who helped you over the past month by name & need.  Review last months goals.
  2. Example: “I’d like to thank: Juanita for referrals to critical interviewees; Salim for helping my CTO smash a really tricky tech issue; and Akahito for just sharing a drink with me when I was really down last week - I needed it!”
  3. Updates your peers on if you hit your goal and if not, why.
  4. Shares the most important goal you wish to complete by the next bootcamp.
  5. The steps you are planning to take to address it.
  6. The help you need.


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

We strongly recommend you go through Udacity Lessons 6, 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

Also useful are lessons 7 & 8.  These 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.  

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

    1. Flavors of Capital Keynote Speech from Angela Lee explaining the many different types of funders, their incentives, who they are a fit for, and how to get to them.

    2. 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)

    3. 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)

    4. 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)

  2. 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

  3. Links shared by Joe Bush

    1. Customer Acquisition Costs (Quora)

    2. Value of Various Channels

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

    4. Disciplined Entrepreneurship (Step 19)

      1. Book / Workbook


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

Here's your quick link to all the information on this page.