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What founders need to know: You score funding for a liquidity event – start looking

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 24, 2016

There are many reasons to found a startup. There are many reasons to work at a startup. But there’s only one reason your company got funded. Liquidity. ——- The good news To most founders a startup is not a job, but a calling. But startups require money upfront for product development and later to scale. … Continue reading »

It’s About Women Running Startups

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 22, 2015

Just before the holidays I had coffee with Anne, an ex MBA student running a fairly large product group at a search engine company, now out trying to raise money for her own startup. She had an interesting insight: existing content/media companies were having the same problem as hardware companies that rarely made the leap … Continue reading »

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 1, 2014

Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team.  Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than … Continue reading »

Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster — Part 3 of Bigger in Bend

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 24, 2014

Dino Vendetti a VC at Bay Partners, moved up to Bend, Oregon on a mission to engineer Bend into a regional technology cluster.  Over the years Dino and I brainstormed about how Lean entrepreneurship would affect regional development. I visited Bend last year and caught up with his progress. Today with every city, state, country … Continue reading »

A New Way to Look at Competitors

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 11, 2013

Every startup I see invariably puts up a competitive analysis slide that plots performance on a X/Y graph with their company in the top right. The slide is a holdover from when existing companies launched products into crowded markets. Most of the time this graph is inappropriate for startups or existing companies creating new markets. Here’s … Continue reading »

Reinventing life science startups – evidence-based entrepreneurship

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 21, 2013

What if we could increase productivity and stave the capital flight by helping Life Sciences startups build their companies more efficiently? We’re going to test this hypothesis by teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Health Care (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) this October at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. Part … Continue reading »

Reinventing life science startups – medical devices and digital health

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 20, 2013

What if we could increase productivity and stave the capital flight by helping Life Sciences startups build their companies more efficiently? We’re going to test this hypothesis by teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Healthcare (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) this October at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. In this three … Continue reading »

Don’t give away your board seats

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 9, 2013

I had group of ex-students out to the ranch who were puzzling over a dilemma – they’ve been working hard on their startup, were close to finding product/market fit and had been approached by Oren, a potential angel investor. Oren had been investing since he left Google four years ago and was insisting on not … Continue reading »

Fund raising is a means, not an end

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 11, 2013

“Not all that glitters is gold.” — William Shakespeare For many entrepreneurs “raising money” has replaced “building a sustainable business” as their goal.  That’s a big mistake. When you take money from investors their business model becomes yours. ———– One of my ex students came out to the ranch to give me an update on … Continue reading »

China’s Torch Program: The glow that can light the world (part 2 of 5)

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | April 11, 2013

I just spent a few weeks in Japan and China on a book tour for the Japanese andChinese versions of the Startup Owners Manual. In these series of 5 posts, I thought I’d share what I learned in China. All the usual caveats apply. I was only in China for a week so this a cursory view.Thanks to Kai-Fu Lee of … Continue reading »

Startup communities: Building regional clusters

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 8, 2012

How to build regional entrepreneurial communities has just gotten it’s first “here’s how to do it” book. Brad Feld’s new book Startup Communities joins the two other “must reads,” (Regional Advantage and Startup Nation) and one “must view” (The Secret History of Silicon Valley) for anyone trying to understand the components of a regional cluster. There’s probably no one more qualified … Continue reading »