Zero2Billions+ Roundup: Firing yourself as CEO, board deck basics, venture debt explanation

Feeling pretty confident about the marketing slides you’ve prepared for your upcoming board meeting? If so, you may be on the wrong track.

Very few board members have direct experience in the area, so founders should “stick to what’s measurable,” advises Michelle Swan, a partner at investment firm Tercera.

In this TC+ post, he covers five marketing bullet points your board needs to understand:

What are the marketing priorities? How are you performing against those priorities? How is the health of the pipeline? Are the company and its offerings positioned for future growth? What is planned for the next quarter or year?

Condensing all of this into just five slides is difficult, which is why Swan includes real-world examples that “showed boards the full value of marketing, and the impact it can have on business.”

Remember, channel metrics are only one part of the story.

For your next meeting, draw a picture of where you stand in terms of market position and brand reputation, and “create a scorecard based on these priorities that you can update and share at future meetings.”

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, Zero2Billions+

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All money is not created equal: What does an increase in accounts payable look like

stack of dollar bills balancing toothpicks

Image Credit: Phil Ashley (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In excerpts from his new book, All Money Is Not Created Equal, CEO and founder of Runway Growth Capital David Spreng gives TC+ readers a candid explanation of how venture debt is raised.

From a breezy introductory meeting to a “confirmation due diligence,” this article explains the process from a lender’s desk. Some good news: You don’t need a new pitch deck, and venture debt lenders “have no problem with” signing an NDA, says Spreng.

“I would estimate that everything I have outlined above will take about four to five weeks from our first phone call,” he wrote. “That means you will probably have an assignment sheet by week 5.”

Can insurtech recover from ‘death of insurtech 1.0’?

Health, life, accident and travel insurance concept with health, home, family, car and investment icons, used in a post about Igloo insurtech Southeast Asia

Image Credit: Getty Images / marchmeena29

I don’t want to be the Gloomy Gus who says startup ecosystems are driven by hype cycles, but in H1 2023, “global insurance technology funding declined by more than 50%,” wrote YoY, Anna Heim, and Alex Wilhelm at The Exchange.

“This morning, let’s dig into what’s going on with global insurance startups and see if we can find some light in the murky quagmire that keeps so many insurers astray.”

Bittersweet tale of two seed markets

seed deal, count deal, venture capital

While seed-focused investors are seeing a good flow of deals, the number of seed deals is down. Image Credit: Getty Images

According to PitchBook, only 766 seed rounds closed in Q2 2023, down 26% from 1,044 deals in Q1.

“And that drop means the second quarter had the lowest number of seed offers we’ve seen since Q3 2016,” wrote Rebecca Szkutak.

“If things don’t change, 2023 could be the slowest year for seed activity since 2017.”

Why did this founder decide to replace himself as CEO

Recruiting and hiring human resources (HR) concept.  Marketing segmentation, targeting, personalization, individual customer service (services), customer relationship management (CRM) and leaders concept.  (Recruit and hire human resources (HR) concept). Marketing

Image Credit: Getty Images / Jirsak

Many say building a startup is a marathon, not a sprint. But in most cases it is actually a relay race.

Particle Health founder Troy Bannister told TC+ that he launched his search for a new CEO after realizing that his skillset did not align with the company’s future needs.

“There are organic moments. . . who created this opening to ask that question: ‘Is there someone better? Who’s that?’ All these questions started to emerge, and organically developed into an action plan,” he said.

Deal Dive: Support the founder again after they leave the acquirer

Performance Livestock Analytics, agtech,

Performance Livestock Analytics pivots beyond the acquirer to scale. Image Credit: Getty Images

In her latest Deal Dive column, Rebecca Szkutak looks at SaaS Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA) startups.

The livestock management software company was acquired in 2020 by animal health firm Zoetis, but this week, the PLA announced plans to roll out “with $7.5 million in funding from Builders VC and Alaris Capital,” wrote Rebecca.

GP builder Mark Blackwell – whose company backs the PLA seed round – said he was “jumping for joy.”

8 reasons why the venture capital market isn’t as bad as you think

spin down, valuation, startup

Image Credit: Getty Images

If current funding trends hold, this “could be the slowest year for seed activity since 2017,” according to Rebecca Szkutak.

However, “we can also paint a brighter picture,” claims Alex Wilhelm, identifying “data points and trends that suggest good reasons to maintain optimism that the worst days for startup fundraising are behind us for now.”

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