Toolkit: The Go-to Source for Tips and To-Dos Entrepreneurs –Seed Stage

Rev1’s Entrepreneur Toolkit is a handy, easy-to-use collection of practical tips and tools curated especially for entrepreneurs and founding teams. Think of the Toolkit as an online extension of the company-building instruction delivered in Rev1’s investor startup studio.

Using the language of entrepreneurship, the Toolkit matches milestones, risks, and critical success factors to each stage of startup growth. These blogs teach entrepreneurs what to do and how to do it.

14 Seed Stage Blogs – Read One a Day for Two Weeks and See How Much You Learn!

 Mitigate Risk · Achieve Milestones · Intentional Networking ·  Next Steps

For Seed Stage startups, it’s all about defining your product concept, validating the market, and assessing the differentiating features that drive your business model for your company and the cost- justification model for your customers.

Mitigate Seed Stage Risk –  Product Feasibility. MVP Mindset. Development Partners.
  1. A Tech Entrepreneur’s Guide to Early Product Development – Successful companies build products for their customers, not for themselves. Here’s a high-level guide to introduce entrepreneurs to a customer-driven approach and the vocabulary to improve a startup’s chance of creating products that customers buy and use. Get started.
  2. How to Solve the Puzzle of New Product Pricing – Rule #1 is never losing money. Rule #2 is never forgetting Rule #1. Rev1’s CEO provides tips and insights from his career in venture investing and working with startups. Invaluable!
  3. MVP Mindset: Reducing Risk and Inefficiency – You’ve completed some degree of validation—talking to customers, industry experts, and even competitors. You’ve formulated a hypothesis. It is time to evaluate that hypothesis with a real product and real customers with a minimum (least amount of effort and features) viable (it must be useful to the customer) product. When it comes to MVP, the magic words are just enough. Learn how.
  4. Joint Development or Joint Venture: What’s the Best for your Business – Most startups need outside help to develop their products. Startups are lean. Founders are strapped for cash, strapped for time, and may lack technical resources. Joint development projects (JDP) and joint venture projects (JVP) are two viable options. Tips on how to choose.
Seed Stage MilestonesReadiness. Research.  Beta Customers. Business Plan.

5. How Big Is Your Market? 3 Tips to Size It like a Pro – Investors look for companies that have credibly identified large, reachable market opportunities that are large enough to generate significantly better than average returns. Understanding the TAM, SAM, and SOM methodology is critical to startup success. Here’s a checklist.

6. How to Identify Your Largest Target Audience: Part 1 – Validate features and assumptions through prototypes with surveys than beta customers. Here’s how Part 1 and Part 2.

7. What Do Customers Want? Tips for Effective Market Validation Interviews – Here’s how you conduct seed-stage customer interviews to gather the information you need to create the right survey questions to drill further down on feature sets and product design. Three tips. Two tools. Jump in.

8. Gaining First-Mover Competitive Advantage – First-mover advantage is the idea that a business can gain competitive advantage by being the first to market, either with an entirely new concept or an innovative disruption in an existing industry. It happens, but not as often as entrepreneurs hope. Here are five situations where first-mover advantage can be significant. Do you have the first-mover edge?

9. How to Write a Startup Business Plan – A well-thought-out and well-written business plan is the cornerstone of every new venture. The most effective and successful business plans anticipate and answer the questions that investors will have. You cannot delegate this. Start here. 

Seed Stage NetworkingStartup Pitch. Customers Talk.
  1. How to Develop a Perfect Startup Pitch – Start preparing long before the opportunity arrives. Every effective investor presentation is the result of months of demanding work, hours of practice, and dozens of rewrites. You can’t finish until you start. Begin now.
  2. Three Ways to Use References to Attract More Customers – With seed-stage companies, it’s all about proving credibility in the marketplace. You must find early adopters. Customers understand your value proposition better than you do. Here’s how to get customers talking for you.
Next Steps – Raising Capital. Building a Team
  1. An Overview of Team Topics – This roundup provides brief descriptions and ready links to expanded topics on talent and teams. It’s an easy-to-read series for your management team—either to build an approach to hiring and managing talent or to gain know-how in a specific area of team building or talent retention. Get answers here. 
  2. 5 Ways to Create an Interview Process that Leads to Terrific Talent – This approach relies on a cross-function team, staged interviews, and thoughtful questions designed to dive deep into qualitative areas. It works. Find out how. 
  1. Rules for Startups Raising Capital in the MidwestRules for Startups Raising Capital in the Midwest” is a multi-part Entrepreneur Toolkit series based on Rev1 Ventures Capital Access Learning Lab. Everything you want and need to know in Six posts. Part 2Capital Planning Worksheet, Part 3 – Building Your Investor List,  Part 4 – Due Diligence, and Part 5 – Investor Outreach.

Whether your product is still in prototype or in an early adopter’s hands, our experience can help your company succeed. Contact us.