The quickening pace of tech layoffs is creating growing uncertainty for workers, but it’s giving investors access to a new wave of technical and entrepreneurial talent.
There’s no simple test to determine which aspiring founder can turn their idea into a billion-dollar business, but VCs who know which questions to ask can uncover the right mindset, says Sanjay Reddy, a co-founding partner at Unlock Venture Partners.
In this TC+ article, he shares an extensive list of questions he asks first-time founders to gauge their relative strengths and weaknesses across several vectors.
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This post isn’t angled solely at VCs and angels: Reddy states that investor “confidence is typically based on pattern recognition,” which means aspiring CEOs must be able to credibly answer specific questions like:
- “Why are you doing this? Passion? Mission? Chip on the shoulder? Belief?”
- “Do you have control over your finances, both personal and business?”
- “How do you communicate your message to investors, coworkers, potential partners, etc.?”
There are a ton of barriers to launching a startup, but impostor syndrome need not be one of them. Anyone who can confidently answer the 20 questions in this post is ready to pitch an investor, IMO.
Thanks very much for reading TC+, and have a great weekend.
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
3 tips for crypto startups preparing for continued compliance
Most startups can avoid getting into the weeds on legal matters before launching, but crypto companies are in a different boat. Facing a tangle of state and federal legislation, inadequate compliance can quickly generate regulatory hassles and undermine customer confidence.
In a TC+ post written by three lawyers from law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, the authors share basic information relevant for any crypto startups that operate in the U.S..
“By establishing a robust, risk-based compliance function … and staying abreast of the latest regulatory guidance, cryptocurrency companies can better position themselves to weather the crypto winter,” they write.
4 Indian investors explain how their investment strategy has changed since 2021
For our latest survey, TechCrunch reporter Jagmeet Singh asked four Indian investors about how their work has changed since the global tech downturn began.
Venture capital funding in the region “dried up in the second half of 2022,” so he inquired about their current pace of dealmaking, which investment trends they’re watching and how founders can reach them.
- GV Ravishankar, managing director, Sequoia India
- Ashutosh Sharma, head of India investments, Prosus Ventures
- Vaibhav Domkundwar, CEO and founder, Better Capital
- Roopan Aulakh, managing director, Pi Ventures
How Fellow bootstrapped for 8 years to build a coffee empire
It takes a lot of work to turn a college class project into a self-funded hardware startup.
Fellow first drew notice in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of its Duo coffee maker. Although that item turned out to be a dud, Fellow now sells a line of high-end kettles, grinders and other gear. Last summer, the San Francisco-based company announced a $30 million Series B round.
“Looking back, not raising institutional money early on was absolutely the right call,” CEO Jake Miller told TechCrunch+. “We only exist today because of that choice.”
Ask Sophie: Which visas will allow us to expand our startup in the U.S.?
My co-founder and I launched a B2B SaaS startup in Poland a few years ago and are now looking to expand in the United States for market access since we have product market fit in a few countries in Europe.
We really need to be on the ground to interview our ideal users in the U.S. What visas will allow us to do that?
— Aiming for America
Can you please share details on premium processing for international student work permits?
— Psyched Student
Pitch Deck Teardown: Prelaunch.com’s $1.5M seed deck
Earlier this week, Haje Jan Kamps interviewed Prelaunch.com’s Narek Vardanyan to get his perspective on how hardware startups can validate products before going to market.
In a follow-up, he analyzed the pitch deck for Prelaunch.com’s $1.5 million seed round, which showed investors how the company monetizes its product forecasts:
- Cover slide
- Summary slide
- Market context slide
- Problem slide
- Solution slide
- Problem with the existing solution slide
- Product slide 1
- Results slide
- Product slide 2
- Product slide 3
- Product slide 4
- Vision slide
- Value prop slide
- Traction and metrics slide
- Business model and pricing slide
- Market trends slide
- Why now slide
- Team slide
- The Ask slide
- Contact us slide