Handy Tools For Startups & Investors


In this entry we focus on some of our favorite resources for potential startup founders and investors.  These are resources focused on better understanding the nature of startups in terms of mechanics, fundraising, valuation and other important keys. We will highlight several of our favorite resources on these important topics.



1 – Kauffman.org


Some of the most useful resources for startups and potential founders is the Kauffman Foundation.  Visit kauffman.org.  Most education from the Kaffuman Foundation is free and readily available online for download.  The Kauffman Foundation is an organization focused on those key facts and further resources for startup entrepreneurs.  We found it particularly useful for a broad range of topics. Interestingly, Kauffman Labs focuses on hands-on, laboratory type interactions for potential startup founders and investors to better understand the mechanics of starting a new venture.


2 – Social Media


Social media is one of the more interesting resources for potential angel investors and potential startup founders.  In particular, Twitter has multiple users who tweet daily on different important topics in investing, startups, and other useful information.  There are also multiple CEO’s who maintain Twitter accounts.  On twitter, for example. you can find Y-combinator, Kickstarter, 500 startups, Start-ups.co, and multiple other interesting resources such as entire VC firms like Sequoia and others.  Social media like Twitter has a plethora of daily updates that give free information, often with links to evidence, or blog entries that discuss certain useful topics for startups.  Angel investment teams like Grizzly and Gibbon LLC can also be found on Twitter and, although unlikely to result in a deal, you can follow these different investment teams on that platform.


3 – The Founder’s Dilemmas


Another useful resource for startups is The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman.  This text highlights many of the issues involved with startups.  Old favorite subjects that we also cover on this blog include dynamic ownership equity, alignment, scaling, team composition, and whether to startup with family.  We can’t stress highly enough just how useful this text is for potential startups.  It really functions as a roadmap and can prevent you from having to learn lessons by brute force methodology or by going through them yourself.  Take a look at The Founder’s Dilemmas if you have a moment.


4 – The Lean Startup


Another useful text for startups is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.  This is one of the fundamental texts that develops and introduces the concepts of applying lean methodology to business startups.  Other old favorites on this blog, such as the minimum viable product, the business model canvas and host of others are introduced by The Lean Startup.


5 – Novoed.com


One of the other useful sources of knowledge for investors and startups is Novoed.com.  novoed.com runs classes such as Clint Korver’s Venture Capital 101.  VC101 which recently completed an online class was conducted with a team from the Kaffuman Foundation and Clint’s useful course gives insight into the multiple functions of VC, the mechanics, and the investment decisions involved with venture capital. Clint gave excellent case studies from Ulu Ventures, which is the VC fund he co-manages.  Novoed.com has an excellent team-based approach to learning the intricacies of VC etc.


6 – Coursera.org


Coursera.org is another online platform for acquiring the tools necessary to startup effectively.  Entrepreneurship 101, and other similar courses have excellent opportunities to join a team that runs through the startup mechanics online.  These course, often put on by Stanford University Professors, are free to join and make you part of a team that is often located throughout the country or even the world.  The creation of a business model canvas is a focus as are other topics such as optimal team size, creation of a low fidelity prototype and other useful decision making strategies.


We can’t speak highly enough of this selection of tools for making your next startup or investment decision of a higher quality.  So, today we have reviewed several useful tools for better understanding startups, investment opportunities and the nature of entrepreneurship.  We highly recommend the online learning platforms of Novoed and Coursera.  Further, we recommend those selected texts including The Founder’s Dilemmas and The Lean Startup.  We think these will equip you well so you can avoid having to relearn some of the same lessons we have experienced in our time.  Here is wishing you higher quality investment deals and smoother, more effective startups.  We feel that using the tools above will make it easier for you to achieve your goals in entrepreneurship.