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Tools, Templates & Best Practices

Name Author Description Format
Design Sprints Google A concept honed by Google, the Design Sprints is an efficient methodology to test product ideas. In this open-source resource for design leaders, product owners, developers or anyone who is learning about or running Design Sprints, this site will help you learn, plan, and execute a Design Sprint at your organization. Online Tool
How to evaluate Startup Ideas Kevin Hale – Y Combinator In this video lesson, YC Partner, Kevin Hale, walks you through the process of evaluating ideas. Knowing when an idea is promising can be very subjective and hard to verify. This class will help you apply more objectivity when evaluating ideas. Video
IDEO Design Thinking  IDEO On this website, IDEO introduces design thinking, how it came to be, how it is being used, and steps and tools for mastering it. You’ll find IDEO’s particular take on design thinking, as well as the perspectives of others.  Article
Introduction to the essential ideation techniques at the heart of design thinking Rikke Friis Dam, Yu Siang Teo – Interaction Design Foundation There are literally hundreds of ideation techniques, for example brainstorming, sketching, SCAMPER, and prototyping. In this compilation, you will be exposed to ideation techniques that are old, new and adapted. You’ll learn about each technique and when to use it. Article
Value Proposition Canvas Explained Stategyzer Get a 2 minute overview of the Value Proposition Canvas, a tool for marketing experts, product owners, and value creators. This tool brings structure and clarity to your customer profiles, and enables a more detailed understanding of their so-called ‘pains’ and their ‘gains’. Template
8 Design Thinking Flaws & How to Fix Them Braden Kelley, Adam Radziszewski – Customer Think Design Thinking attempts to extract the mindset of a designer, an artist, a creator, or even a child into a series of steps that can be applied to any discipline (even business or politics) to solve human-centered problems. Its steps are so logical that we can’t imagine anyone opposing them. Read this article to avoid common design thinking pitfalls. Article
Amazon Press Release Andrea Marchiotto This article describes, how to smartly create a different kind of business plan and increase your chances of success for your product idea. Learn about Amazon’s approach to communicating a new business idea for internal validation. Article
Name Author Description Format
How to talk to users Eric Migicovsky – Y Combinator

In this video, YC Partner Eric Migicovsky shares a framework for asking questions and collecting feedback from your users. Knowing where to start when learning about customer research techniques is hard, as depending on your situation, you will have to apply different methods. This video teaches you the essentials of customer research.

Know your customer jobs to be done Clayton Christensen – HBR

Learn how SNHU adapted their online learning program to become more customer-centric. For as long as we can remember, innovation has been a top priority—and a top frustration—for leaders. Learn from an institution that succeeded in innovation through a deep user understanding.

Strategies for Qualitative Interviews Harvard University

In this E-Book, Harvard University, outlines best practices for conducting qualitative interviews as well as common questions and mistakes when doing so. Conducting interviews can present many challenges – this cheat sheet should help you avoid the mistakes even experience user-researchers make.

How to Ask the Right Questions During Customer Research Ula Holovko – KeepSolid

This article answers key questions about user research such as: how do I conduct an interview properly? What kind of questions should I ask? Which questions are better for the interview and which you should leave for a survey? No market research and analysts’ forecasts can give you as much insight and practical data as a well-thought-out customer interview.

The Complete Guide to the KANO Model Daniel Zacarias – Folding Burritos The KANO model is a typical method used to help you to quantify, cluster and visualize customer needs in an efficient manner such that the team can work towards satisfying these needs. This article provides clear information about how and when to use this method for customer feedback integration. Article
Quantitative vs Qualitative Research Survey Monkey

Understand when to use different methods of customer research. Quantitative and qualitative research are complementary methods that you can combine to get results that are both wide-reaching and deep.

Name Author Description Format
The Illusion of Product/Market Fit for SaaS Companies FeldThoughts Learn about the biggest myths of product/market fit. Part of the illusion of product/market fit is that there’s a belief that once you have it, you never lose it. There’s also the belief that there’s a magic moment where you have it and declare it. Worse, there’s the belief that it’s obvious when you have it. Article
The Product Management Triangle Daniel Schmidt – doubleloop Learn about the product management trianlge – a graphical model for discussing product management topics. Product management is a role that most software companies recognize to be critical. Yet, it is surprisingly hard to define “product management” in precise terms. The people who call themselves “product managers” do very different things from organization to organization. Article
Tools and Software list Ellen Merryweather – Product School

What are the essential tools and software for product managers in 2020? Using the best product management software and tools are things you can control. Update your gear with this tailored guide and use tools to your product management process shine.

Inside Intercom – Blog Intercom This Blog is a compilation of several great articles about various aspects of product management. Intercom helps you build better products. Understand how your product is being used by reaching out to the right users for contextual feedback in your app. Blog
This is Product Management – Podcast Mike Fishbein Get to know successful product managers in this podcast series. Podcast
Name Author Description Format
How to do market research: A 6 step Guide Debbie Farese – Hubspot This article provides a 6-step guide covering the basics of market research. Market research is a crucial process of gathering information about your business’s buyers personas, target audience, and customers to determine how viable and successful your product or service would be among these people. The aim is to learn how to conduct market research using primary and secondary research methods to identify your target customers and competitors. Article
How to Perform a Best-in-Class Competitor Analysis (w/ Template) Masha Maksimava – Buffer This article provides a framework for a competitor analysis covering business & company metrics, product, customers & awareness, and marketing. Done properly, competitive analysis will give you plenty of quantitative and qualitative data to back your own business decisions. The aim is to understand where your business falls in the market and to find new opportunities to make your product stand out. Article
How to create a competitor analysis report Midori Nediger – Venngage This article provides a guideline on how to create a competitive analysis report outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors compared to those of your own business. There will always be competition and if you don’t know what that competition is up to, you could be missing out on huge opportunities. The aim is to get the tools to quickly adapt to any changes in the competitive landscape and potentially capitalize on industry trends that your competitors haven’t even noticed. Article
How to Make Consumer Research Work for You Euromonitor This white paper provides best practices for consumer surveys so researchers and users can get the most out of consumer insights. Surveys are an essential, cheap, and fast way of collecting consumer data. The aim is to understand the pros and cons of different methodologies, to identify when to use different sampling techniques, and to explore best practices for researchers and users to collect and analyse the data in the most useful way. White Paper
5 things early startups should know about competitor research Yulia Semenova – Hackernoon This article lists 5 tips/common mistakes for startups, from not evaluating one’s own company to considering the solution over addressing the problem. It is of key importance to always keep in mind the customer’s point of view. The aim is to get accurate, actionable information and avoid a few common mistakes. Article
The 12 Best Market Research Tools For Startups Feedough This article provides a list of 12 great market research tools to help you succeed in your venture. Entrepreneurs make decisions every minute, and every such decision should be backed by data to minimize the chances of failure. The aim is to combine a good set of tools to conduct effective research enabling the organization to understand the customer’s problem in the most effective way possible. Article
Five marketing research tips to help jumpstart your startup Darrell Jones – WeWork This article quickly points you in the right direction to combine the most essential information about marketing research. With a little diligence, planning, and some well-timed decisions, you can put your startup in a good position to succeed. The aim is to effectively gather important facts before you spend a lot of time and money on an idea or strategy that was doomed from the start. Article
Startup Business Plan: Our Guide On How To Do Market Research To Not Fail Oleksii Shevchenko – Medium The first step of a startup is to validate your startup idea by finding your market, asking essential questions, and doing extensive market research in order to uncover endless amounts of valuable information. The aim is to answer if your project has been done already or otherwise illuminate why your project hasn’t been done before. Article
12 Ways to (Legally) Spy on Your Competitors Carol Tice – This article provides time-tested methods that predate the Internet – and newer techniques – to mine the wealth of information readily accessible online about your competitors. Your competitors might be creating new products, planning to enter new markets – or maybe they’re floundering. Any and all information about the competition is helpful! Article
Name Author Description Format
How To: Business Model Canvas Explained Mike Ebinum – Sheda This article explains the Business Model Canvas (BMC), a strategic management tool to quickly and easily define and communicate a business idea or concept. You can use this tool to quickly and easily define and communicate a business idea. The aim is to work through the fundamental elements of a business or product, structuring an idea in a coherent way. Article
Business model canvas tool Tuzzit This tool, the Business Model Canvas, is a strategic management template for developing new or existing business models. This visual strategic management and entrepreneurial tool can be highly useful for startups to design their business model. The aim is to structure the key questions in a one-page tool composed of 9 elements describing a company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances.
Business model innovation in entrepreneurship Silvana Trimi, Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent – International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal This paper tackles the specific problems faced by new technology-based firms, linking their needs with the advantages of having a flexible and well-designed business model. Whereas flexibility is typical for startups, having a well-designed business model supporting their needs is a challenge. The aim is to develop an understanding of emerging developments in business model design within the field of entrepreneurship. Scientific Paper
How to Write a Great Value Proposition Lindsay Kolowich – Hubspot This article lists five steps to write a value proposition, from identifying all the benefits your product offers to connecting this value to your buyer’s problem and differentiating yourself as the preferred provider of this value. Your value proposition is the core of your competitive advantage, lifting conversion rates and sales. The aim is to create a value proposition the specifies the problems your product can solve, the benefits it brings and why customers should buy from you instead of a competitor. Article
Why Your Operating Model Is More Important Than Your Business Model Waleed Rashed – This article explains the foundations and the goals of an operating model, as well as a list of high-level steps on how to create an operating model for your business. If you plan to scale or franchise your business, your operating model is as important as your brand and team. Article
The Operating Model Canvas: The best tool for business designers, architects, strategists & experts Ashridge Executive Education This tool helps you translate a strategy or business model into a high level target operating model or business architecture. Having a target operating model gives those working on detail – process experts, functional heads, project managers – a helicopter view of the operations they are influencing. The aim is to convert the developed strategy into a target operating model, enabling the startup to deliver and communicate the strategy. Video
Architecting an operating Model. A platform for accelerating digital transformation. Anne Kwan, Maximilian Schroek, Jon Kawamura – Deloitte This article provides a guide to structure an operating model, exploring how successful transformations align models with clear strategies. An organization has a far better chance at succeeding when an operating model is aligned with the strategy. Article
Operating models that navigate business volatility Dave Kuder, Mic Locker, Matt Schreibeis, Alex Wittenberg – Deloitte This article describes how to build a working operating model capable of withstanding business volatility. The world and business are evolving at a faster pace than ever before, increasing the business volatility and thus demanding stability. Article
Introducing the next-generation operating model Xavier Lhuer, Tunde Olanrewaju, Rohit Sood, Hyo Yeon – McKinsey This this online tool, the Business Model Canvas, is a strategic management template for developing new or existing business models. Structure key questions on this single-page tool comprising all 9 elements of a company’s offering and operations. Article
Name Author Description Format
The Founder’s Guide to Financial Modeling Dave Lishego This free E-book provides detailed instructions for writing a financial business case. E-Book
Managing Startup Finances Kirsty Nathoo – Y Combinator In this video lecture, YC Partner and CFO Kirsty Nathoo shares the most common mistakes startups make with their finances and how they can be prevented. Video
The Founder’s Guide to Startup Accounting Jennifer Dunn, This article is part of a series on how to think about entrepreneurial finance. While the finance function in a startup is much more strategic than just financial accounting, both bookkeeping and accounting are vital to every business’s success. Article
Cash Basis Accounting vs. Accrual Accounting Cameron McCool, The difference between cash and accrual accounting lies in the timing of when sales and purchases are recorded in your accounts. Cash accounting recognizes revenue and expenses only when money changes hands, but accrual accounting recognizes revenue when it’s earned, and expenses when they’re billed (but not paid). This article will look at both methods in detail, and how each one would affect your business. Article
The basics of financial accounting for startups Marte Matin, EU-Startups This article is part of a series on how to think about entrepreneurial finance. While the finance function is much more strategic than just financial accounting, both bookkeeping and accounting are vital to every business’s success. This article will provide you with the basics, as well as the other main benefits of thoroughly knowing your numbers. Article
Name Author Description Format
Startup Branding: Guide to Make it Consistent Across all Platforms Irene Sun – Growth Hackers This checklist highlights the most important steps to develop your brand. For many first-time entrepreneurs, it is surprising how many people overlook their company completely because of the branding and the visual messages they convey. Article
How to hack your brand in 24 hours – A guide to building your brand narrative Alex Chuang – Startup Grind In this article, you will learn how to create a narrative for your communication. In the early-stage, a startup’s brand is a reflection of the founder’s ethos, values and beliefs. It is an extension of you. This is why it’s important to understand your personal identity and the events that have occurred to shape it. Article
The Concise Guide to Successful Startup Branding Anastasia D. – Ruby Garage This article will show you the significance of brand identity and ways to build a successful brand for your startup. A brand is the heart and soul of any business. Creating a brand strategy from scratch isn’t easy. To build a strong, recognizable brand for a startup, it’s important to consider your value proposition, tone of voice, visual identity, and more. Article
17 quick ideas to start with branding Lexie Lu – Designroast Here are 17 quick ideas to get you started with branding: A brand image isn’t stagnant. It grows and changes with the market, when the business gains experience, and as competition ebbs and flows. Think of your branding as a living part of your business that defines how the world sees you. Your image changes slightly over time, but the core values you espouse remain the same. Article
Startup branding: how much does it really cost? Tech Crunch In this guide, you will received specific information about how much a branding project could cost you and how it can help you figure out what and how to communicate your company’s story. A brand is far more than logos and colors. A consistent brand identity not only communicates your company’s purpose and values to customers, but it also shapes your product development cycle and corporate culture. Article
Naming a Startup: The Definitive Guide Failory Here is the definitive guide to come up with an amazing name for your startup. Facebook, Uber and Nike are all really great names that stay on the customer’s brain really easily. Naming a business tends to be one of the most difficult decisions when starting. So go on reading to learn how to choose a cool, memorable and strong name! Article
Color inspiration for startups: 10 trends and 40 palettes to get your creative juices flowing Deanna deBara – Get some inspiration by looking at these 10 trends and 40 examples of color palettes. Color is, hands down, one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. According to Buffer, a whopping 90% of your assessment on a product is based on color alone. Because color can make such a big impression on your audience, it’s crucial for you to choose the right color palette—and that’s especially true in the world of startups. Article
50 meticulous style guides every startup should see before launching Mary Stribley – Take a look at 50 stunning and detailed examples of style guides that are sure to encourage you to begin compiling your own. All good brands have a great style guide. Creating a simple booklet that catalogs the specific colors, type, logos, imagery, patterns, taglines, etc. of a brand makes sure the brand machine runs smoothly. Article
How to get the perfect logo for your brand – A step-by-step guide 99design Learn the art of logo creation with this free, step-by-step guide. Logos are more than just pretty pictures. They’re the tools you need to help you attract the right customers and build brand loyalty. Article
Name Author Description Format
Project management for non-project managers Atlassian This holistic guide answers a range of questions about project management in general, necessary skills, steps, templates and useful software. In startups, roles are often rather flexible and responsibilities have to be taken on by employees not specialized for the situation. The aim is to master the art of project management: making a plan and executing it. Company Website
Project Management for Startups & Entrepreneurs: A Quick reference guide Vartika Kashyap – ProofHub This article addresses why a startup needs project management and gives useful tips and tools for entrepreneurs on startup project management. There are many things employees in a startup have to take care of — finances, email threads, bugs to fix, conversations with clients, and more. Article
The Startup Guide to Project Management & Collaboration Binfire This article shares project management best practices that relate to planning, product development, issue management and results tracking. Many startups assume that Lean is the only valid methodology for startups. The aim of this document is not to create a new project management methodology, but to explain how existing practices can be applied to startups. Company Website
Project Management Evolution: Startups vs. Enterprises Vytas Butkus – Project Managers This article compares the different characteristics of startups vs. corporates. In a startup roles usually become intertwined, which leads to project managers being likely to take on many more duties outside of what they would traditionally do in an enterprise. This article gives an understanding of the different challenges so you can better predict what you might encounter moving from one environment to the other. Article
PMO meets agile
Project Management Offices in the
context of agile transformation
Jochen Fauser – Deloitte This whitepaper covers the influence of agile methodology on traditional PM standards and demonstrates how an agile PMO structure can help to cover social rethinking and changing values. Agile project organization represents an opportunity to react more quickly to new requirements. Whitepaper
Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum Mike Cohn This book elaborates how to maximize productivity by applying the principles of agile project management. Starting the transition to an agile development process like Scrum is easy; succeeding with Scrum and becoming a genuinely agile organization is harder. E-Book
10 project management tools for startups Eric Smith – Dzone This article lists project management tools that startups will find valuable. Within startups specifically, team sizes are small, project agility is high, and team coordination is really critical. In this article. Article
How to Manage a Remote Team Wade Foster – Zapier This article provides ideas for how a startup should set up their team to be successful at remote work. It gives real world insights and learnings into how you can make remote work… work. Article
10 key principles of stakeholder engagement Association for project management APM This guide provides insights into why stakeholder engagement and stakeholder management are arguably the most important ingredients for successful project delivery. Project managers depend on people to respond to the outputs and benefits that they deliver. This resource gives access to a collection of resources including: case studies, patterns, tools, bibliography, presentations and videos. Company Website
The Atlassian Team Playbook Atlassian This article provides step-by-step instructions for tracking your team’s health and new ways of working. Healthy teams are happier and more productive, it pays to invest in the teams, not just your product. The aim is to first identify strengths to exploit as well as challenge areas to grow, then improve your team’s overall health by the use of plays. Company Website




Name Author Description Format
The Basics of Marketing a Startup Kinsey Lane Sullivan – The Lane Collective In this extensive step-by-step marketing guide, The Lane Collective answers the question what marketing is all about in the first place, then deep-dives into the market, customer, brand, strategy and execution of the marketing strategy. At the core, marketing your startup is all about generating leads for your new product or service. White Paper
The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing Neil Patel In this blog, Neil Patel provides a complete Startup Marketing Manual. Startup marketing is a unique challenge often times because of the limited resources, whether it’s time, money or talent. You have to be sure every effort, no matter how small, is well-planned and flawlessly executed. Properly combine the right channels: Content Marketing and PR. Article
The Ultimate Startup Marketing Strategy For Incredible Growth Marcus Taylor – VentureHarbour This article focuses on both customer acquisition and improving your product-market fit. Successful startup marketing requires that you have both a great product and great marketing because a great product alone is not enough to succeed, just like no amount of marketing will make a bad product gain a mass audience. Article
Guide to Startup Marketing without a big budget Josh Ledgard – Kickoff Labs This article provides a list of options for getting your marketing moving in the right direction without having to expend too many resources. Startups are typically short in terms of money. The goal is to determine what measures you can take when you don’t have the budget for a big marketing campaign. Article
Five Essential Marketing Strategies For Any Startup Arya Bina – Forbes This article explains that to reach growth for startups, three points should be considered: One, start by doing things that don’t scale. Two, measure your retention. Three, build a culture of experimentation. Article
Establish a solid framework for your startup by following these 8 marketing tips. Mark Sands – This article provides an extensive, categorized list of tools for startups. In startup marketing, you need to strategically map out competitors, analyze and understand data, talk to customers and probably build parts of your website. Article
Growth for Startups Gustaf Alstromer – Y Combinator This article covers some things that will give your company the boost it needs through press coverage. In order to grow, your startup requires effective promotion. PDF
63 of the Best Marketing Tools for Startups Andrew Frawley – Startup Grind This article provides an extensive, categorized list of tools for startups. In startup marketing, you need to strategically map out competitors, analyze and understand data, talk to customers and probably build parts of your website. The aim is to give a thorough introduction to some of the items you may have at your disposal as a startup marketer. Article
The Advanced Guide to Startup PR Neil Patel This article covers some things that will give your company the boost it needs as effectively as press coverage. In order to grow, your startup requires effective promotion. The aim is to get the right press coverage so that you can increase your visibility and acquire more customers at a key stage in your startup’s development. Article
How to Create a B2B Content Strategy Neil Patel This article provides points and strategies to consider when creating effective content. It’s content that moves your prospects through the buyer’s journey, reinforcing relationships at every stage of the sales funnel. The aim is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry via quality content, which has proven to generate the most organic search traffic and social shares. Article
11 Effective Offline Marketing Ideas for Startups in 2019 James Javier – Live Plan This article provides a list of offline marketing ideas to give your business a boost. Most of us believe that these days, digital marketing is the only way to get results. While this may be true for a specific target market, some of the best marketing ideas happen offline. Article
Marketing Scoop Espree Devora – SEMRush

This podcasts addresses the basics of digital marketing. Get insights from experts on tips and tricks about conversion rate optimization, pay-per-click marketing, A/B testing, social media marketing and much more.



Name Author Description Format
The 2020 startup sales playbook Close

This is a holistic handbook for closing deals, growing revenue, and scaling a high-performing sales team. Building and training an effective sales team is hard. Learn everything you need to know in this handbook.

How to Build a B2B Sales Strategy in a Startup Company Konsta Laitinen – Startup School This E-book is should help you understand how to start selling your product or service and gain competitive advantage by building an effective B2B sales strategy. The B2B sales strategy presented in this handbook is designed to be easily implementable. You can immediately start to utilize the concepts of the handbook and build a B2B sales strategy for your company. E-book
A Simple Sales Methodology for B2B SaaS Startups Alan Gleeson – Strategic Content Marketing This article outlines how B2B SaaS founders need to modify their approach and to implement a simple sales methodology to increase their odds of success. In the early stages of most SaaS startups’ lives, it is often the CEO or founder who acts as the initial Head of Sales. While this makes sense given the likely resource constraints, and the value to be gained in getting in front of customers from Day 1, a lack of formal sales training and an absence of a sales process can seriously undermine the initial sales efforts. Article
How to shorten your sales cycle and avoid wasting time Mark Suster – Both Sides This short article summarizes a B2B Sales Hacks: Calling high, i.e. reaching the highest level appropriate person in an organization that you can reach to hear your pitch. Article
The Key to Customer Centric Selling (& 9 Other Sales Methodologies) Emma Brudner – HubSpot This is a collection of proven Sales methods. Knowing these methods will help you to find the sweet spot by identifying the sales methodology best suited to your business at a specific point in the sales life cycle. The article will help you to know when to use which method. Article
The Sales Outreach Strategy That Won Us Our First 10 Customers Janet Comenos – HubSpot This article elaborates Hubspot’s outreach strategy. An outreach strategy is a specific set of tactics intended to attract new business – and having one is critical. Depending on the complexity of your sales organization, your outreach strategy can consist of one action or a combination of multiple tactics. Article
Sales advice for technical founders Carol Luong – Y Combinator This article explores how to identify and prioritize low hanging leads, how to get in front of these leads, and what a successful sales conversation looks like. You can have the best product or service, but if no one knows about it or understands the value, you won’t survive. Here you can read about three easy ways to jump start your sales and build the momentum you need. Article
How to Choose the Best CRM for a Startup: A Step-by-step Guide Angelina Lugova – Marketing And Growth Hacking This article explains how to choose the best CRM for your startup and how to optimize the work routine while staying on the top of the competition. Rapidly growing startups and small businesses are struggling to streamline their daily operations. According to NetHunt research of 400+ companies worldwide, less than 40% of startups use CRM for its main purpose — to keep and manage leads and customer data. Instead, startups rely solely on Excel files, Spreadsheets or other document-based solutions. Article


Name Author Description Format
Company culture Ed Nathanson – LinkedIn This article give you a step-by-step guide to building company culture for small businesses. It’s a candidate’s world and we’re just living in it. For small businesses, that means that if you want to fill your open roles, you need to set yourself apart – and you need to have a great company culture to do that. Article
Building culture Tim Brady – Y Combinator In this online lecture, YC Partner Tim Brady covers the importance of building a strong and coherent culture early and shares six things that you can do now to help you create a solid foundation for your startup. Video
How to win the talent war Justworks This is a step-by-step guide to building company culture for small businesses. Even within the start-up universe, attracting and retaining the best talent requires more than a vision and a ping-pong table. In fact, the employee experience has become just as important as the customer experience. E-Book
Salary & Equity Tool AngelList Use this tool to compare salary and equity for different roles, with different skills in various locations. Online Tool
How to negotiate compensation (don’t) Avrom Gilbert – MultiChain Learn about a compensation approach based on equal pay and that thus doesn’t require a negotiation. Article
Creating a benefits package Justworks Get an overview of benefits and a guideline on how to choose a suitable compensation package. A competitive salary is great, but increasingly people are looking for a more holistic offering from employers. Money isn’t the only motivating factor. In fact, some people are willing to take less pay in exchange for better benefits and perks. Whitepaper
How to let employees go Justworks This is a guide on the most important considerations to have when letting people go. You know you have to let an employee go, and you dread doing it. Firing people because they did something wrong, or simply laying them of because of what is happening within your business, involves sensitive emotions. Perhaps, due to an economic downturn, you have to let someone go with whom you have forged a friendship over the years. In other cases, you may fear that your employee will become angry and look for ways to damage your business after you part ways. You may also harbor concerns about how your other employees will react after you let someone go. Whitepaper
Myers-Briggs type indicator 16Personalities This personality test is clustering people into 16 personality types. Understand yourself and your employees better. Online Tool
Name Author Description Format
Corporate Governance for Early-stage, innovative companies Danielle Piskadlo, Deborah Drake, Ezra Mannix, Jasper Veel – Center for Financial Inclusion Featuring candid insights from leading investors, executives, academics and development finance professionals, this governance resource is dedicated to helping board directors and executives/founders navigate challenges of steering a growth-stage, innovative company toward success. Article
Why governance must be a priority for start-ups Praseeda Nair – Growth Business This article explains the importance of governance from a company’s very early beginnings – and best practices for doing so. Startup founders have so many other areas to focus on when growing a business, it is easy to assume that governance is something that can be addressed later, when the company is bigger and has a more pronounced need for it. But recent controversies with Uber, a highly successful startup, involving allegations of sexual harassment, have illustrated how a dysfunctional company culture can grow as the company does, particularly if it grows quickly. Article
Why governance matters for your startup Evan Epstein – Stanford Law School

This guide focuses on good governance for rather later-stage companies. Founders, investors, board members, employees and all participants in venture-backed companies should understand the basic principles of corporate governance. Different rules and practices will apply depending on the type of organization, ownership structure, stage of the company, investor base, size, geography or industry.

How 4 Top Startups are reinventing organizational structure Adam Henshall – This article explores case studies of innovative governance approaches for startups. With the opportunity to be dispersed remotely and to build complex products without factories and production lines, the tech industry is particularly able to pursue innovative approaches to structure, management, and organization. Article
Rewarding Talent: Employee Stock options Index Ventures This handbook is designed to help European founders make critical decisions about the ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan) and explains, why it is a great way to motivate your employees. Who do you offer stock options to? How many? When? How do you adapt your policy as you grow, and as you move into different geographies? How can you ensure employees understand the scheme? Online Tool
Should Startups Bother with Corporate Governance? Chin Hooi Yen In this article, Yen argues that all a startup needs to do is to allow the board and the attendant corporate governance practices to grow in tandem with the company. Founders should remember that investors are more attracted to startups that implement processes that promote transparency, checks and balances and effective decision making. E-Book


Name Author Description Format
Investment Process Steps Tarryn Lewis – Board of Innovation This guide explains the step-by-step process that investors typically go through. Founders know a lot about their business, but investors use very specific indicators to assess a company. When you understand, what investors expect from you and what their evaluation criteria are, it’s easier for you to specifically showcase achievements to ‘check their boxes’. Article
Forms of Startup Financing Carolynn Levy – Y Combinator YC Partner and GC Carolynn Levy details the basics of startup financing and how modern early stage rounds of financing are done using convertible securities, like SAFE. For startups, the investment negotiation is often the first time they get exposed to the workings of different funding vehicles. This knowledge will help you even out the playing field, as investors are experts in these topics. Article
Crucial Parts of a Pitch Deck Slidebean Slidebean has put together a graphic that visually demonstrates how opinions vary between different venture capital firms and successful start-ups. Your pitch deck is supposed to be short and sweet, while also including enough information to convince investors to give you money. This article will help you to identify, which sections are required for your pitch deck. Article
The Pitch Michael Seibel – Y Combinator This post condenses the pitch creation process to answering seven questions. If you can answer all seven questions succinctly you’ll be well ahead of the curve. It is much easier to talk to an investor if they understand what your company does. To be effective, your pitch has to be clear and concise every time you speak to investors, and this article will help you achieve that goal. Article
Venture Valuation Upcounsel This article showcases a few valuation methods, that are widely used in the venture capital world. To determine a fair valuation for your startup is difficult. And it is almost impossible to do “right”, as often in an early venture phase, many key financial indicators are still missing. The valuation is therefore highly dependent on the negotiation process and a mutual understanding on how to reach an agreement. Article
Important Questions to prepare when fundraising Miruna Girtu – Syndicate Room Compiled by Miruna Girtu, SyndicateRoom’s Strategic Partnerships Manager and head of SR Connect, The Art of Fundraising aims to help guide entrepreneurs through the often perilous road of raising early-stage funding. If you’re raising funds in the near future, you can quickly go through the chapters and practice articulating answers to the questions you find most relevant. Alternatively, if you’re just starting to build a company, use the guide to put things in perspective. Article
Want To Find Investors For Your Startup? Here’s How To Begin Quora This article talks about the first steps of fundraising, as entrepreneurs make a common mistake when it comes to raising money for their startup—they don’t start soon enough.
You can’t spend six months building a prototype, then wake up one morning and decide it’s time to fundraise and watch the money flow in. You have to network in the finance community as you build your business to secure the right funding.
Is Government Funding Good for Your Startup? Luke Sykora, Stanford University This article showcases common (mis)conceptions about public funding for startups. Sometimes, investors have a strong opinion on who should and who shouldn’t receive public grants. Being able to answer questions about public funds you have received will increase your chances of securing investments during fundraising. Article
Ten Questions Every Founder Should Ask before Raising Venture Debt Brian Feinstein, Craig Netterfield, Allen Miller – Bessemer Venture Partners In this guide, the most important questions about venture debt are answered. There’s an adage that says your first job as a startup CEO is to make sure your company never runs out of cash. But when financing a growing company, venture debt can be a great supplement to venture capital and in some cases may be a necessity. Article
Cap Tables from Formation to Exit Capdesk This article mainly focuses on understanding cap tables for UK companies, but some references will be made to European norms in general. The cap table is the cornerstone of all equity reports and filings, as well as an important part of any company throughout its life – from formation to exit. It’s the database in which rights to the company’s value are listed and it’s not always easy to understand how cap table decisions affect the company stakeholders. Article


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