Deep understanding of problem, customer, and competitors

Well-researched Market Size TAM

A basic understanding of unit economics/market dynamics in the problem space gives the founding team a good head start towards success and demonstrates the potential for future profitability.

Key attributes:
1. Understanding of unit economics/market dynamics
2. Clearly identified assumptions and data to support business model
At this early stage, establishing a feedback loop (build - measure - learn) is critical to a startup's success. What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that the successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability, and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Two distinct attributes inform this dimension:
1. Founder is open and receptive to learning from data and feedback signaling necessary changes to strategy.
2. Founder provides evidence of adaptability by demonstrating action taken on data and feedback received.
Tangible, measurable evidence that demonstrates the proposed product / solution is fulfilling a market need.

This can be demonstrated by:
1. Extensive research results on need for product (such as user research, sign ups, ad engagement, etc.)
2. If MVP is launched (not required) - evidence that the product is resonating with existing users (such as customer adoption metrics that denotes users are engaged)
We are a venture fund, so the opportunity should be large enough to sustain a venture scalable business. A basic understanding of market dynamics in the problem space gives the founding team a good head start towards success.        

Key attributes:
1. Understanding of problem space market dynamics
2. The size of the market is large enough for venture scale
Deep understanding of the problem, customer, and competitors are critical to creating an effective solution and implementing effectively.

Solution Validation

Adaptability and openness

Unit Economics

Product Priorities


Plan For Use of Funds


Research and lived experiences tell us that Grit (a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance) as a key indicator of success in early-stage founders. When evaluating underestimated founders, we believe assessing for grit, evident through past endeavors, should supplant traditional achievement metrics.

Key attributes:
1. Passion for the idea
2. Perseverance through examples in the individual's professional and personal life
We want to know that if we gave this entrepreneur funding, they have a plan for how they will use the funding, and have identified the goals/milestones associated with this plan.

Two distinct attributes inform this dimension:
1. Well-defined plan (even rent is okay)
2. Realistic goals/milestones (learning milestones)
Founders must know how to gather, marshal, and prioritize resources. It is important that founders are scrappy in getting things built as well as having a plan to bridge the gaps in team capabilities.

Key Attributes:
1. Identification/understanding of key functional capabilities and skills needed for early success
2. Past examples of bridging gaps in the team capabilities
Clean technical prioritization and a linking of set priorities to higher objectives is essential for cash-strapped companies. Lack of strong prioritization is often the killer of startups.

Key attributes:
1. What - Clearly defined and understood product priorities
2. Why - Strong reasoning behind why these product priorities should be worked on
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