6 Month Startup – Cohort I Seattle

6 Month Startup – Cohort I Seattle

Sponsored by:

Perkins Coie

2017 Cohort 1 – 6 Month Startup Seattle Sessions

Month 1 Deliverables – October 18

Session Slides

    • Why do you want to do a startup?

        • Write your reasons to your future self – the cost of doing this will be high. Define your why and document it.

        • Does the money matter?

      • How long will you “try” to do the company?

    • Ideation deliverables 

        • Write out a two paragraph summary of each of your ideas

        • Rank the ideas based on 1-4

      • Rank them based on your willingness to spend 6 years on the idea

    • Product/Service deliverables

        • What will the product look like to the customer

        • How will it be delivered

        • What features are required for launch

        • What would be nice to have at launch

        • How much will it cost to make?

      • How much will it cost to sell?

    • Target Customer deliverables

        • How big is your TAM/SAM/SOM/LAM – post

      • What research can you find on the topic

    • Research deliverables

        • What did you find on the web that makes you think this is a good idea

        • What are the headwinds and tailwinds that make you think this is a good idea

      • What have other companies been funded in this space? How much and by whom?

    • Bring your research list to the next session

      • Companies in Crunchbase with links

  • Want to get a jump start on the next session? Start doing customer interviews

Startup Resources



Pitch Resources

Month 2 Deliverables – November 8, 2017

Session Slides

Competitive Landscape

  • Build your competitive landscape as a Google Sheet
    • Subscribe to Google Alerts for all of your competitors
  • Resources and plugins
    • SEO Stats – Chrome toolbars show traffic, page info, speed and keywords
    • SEM Rush – Chrome plugin opens a new window and show’s traffic on topics

Customer Development

  • Write up your customer development questions
    • What are the top five questions you want to be answered
  • Create your form on Google forms, embed that form into your website if you have a site
  • Get your first 20 interviews completed in the next month
  • Bring your results to the next session

Awkward Co-Founder Discussions

  • Schedule both co-founder meetings
  • Complete the Foundrs survey, print out the results of your second meeting
  • Get the discussion out there before incorporation or
  • Have the discussion after incorporation
  • Setup Slicing Pie tool

See you next month!

Month 3 Deliverables

Session Slides

Value Proposition

  • Draft and test your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • You will be using this to test in your customer development tasks below

Product Feature/Benefits

  • Rank your features and benefits
  • Review MVP Blog Series
    • Blog 1 – Launching a product
    • Blog 2 – Writing a spec
    • Blog 3 – picking a vendor
    • Blog 4 – Contracts, Monitoring Progress
  • DRAFT your spec for pricing
    • Share on Slack Channel for feedback with team

Business Model Canvas

  • Complete Business Model Canvas using LeanStack (free tool) – https://leanstack.com/users/new 
  • Complete sections – Customer Segment, Problem, Value Proposition
  • DRAFT the rest of the canvas
    • You will be using this tool to communicate with mentors in the following sessions

Cost to Build

  • Get estimates for PowerPoint/Keynote designed slides
    • Mobile and Web
    • Decide if it’s worth your investment?
    • Bring the demo to the next event
  • Get estimates for MVP
    • Mobile first or Web first?
  • Use at least Fiverr (Free $5 in link) and UPWork to create estimates

Customer Development

  • Write up your customer development questions
    • What are the top five questions you want to be answered
  • Create your form on Google forms, embed that form into your website if you have a site
  • Get your first 20 interviews completed in the next month
  • Bring your results to the next session

A Novice’s Guide to SEO

I’m a regular subscriber to David Farkas, The Upper Ranks site. He recently published a Novice’s Guide to SEO. I wanted to link to answer some of the basics of SEO questions that came up in the last session.

See you next month!

Month 4 Deliverables

Session Slides

Should you build it?

You’re bringing together your passion, product, and ability to make $$ with your idea. This month you don’t need to focus on your solution or product. Instead, you need to focus on how you’re going to make money – specifically how you both create and capture value. Much of this test can be done without a completed product.

Startup Marketing

Funnel Breakdown Post

Marketing Hypothesis

  • Build your marketing hypothesis
    • Prioritize your channels
    • Test actual cash $100 on spend
    • Landing page A/B test your messaging, pricing, and get people to register

Sales Model Choice

  • Pick your sales model from the options provided in the deck
  • Create your sales script for testing
  • Test this messaging with the Customer Development interviews below

Revenue Model Choice

  • Pick your Revenue Model Choice – just one. You can change it if you find more information to make a change
  • Get familiar with the basic financial model at Venture Ready Models – FREE promo code for attendees of this session
    • You don’t need to finish a model – this isn’t a priority yet. Just be familiar with basic so you have a hypothesis of how you will make money

Lean Canvas

  • Update Customer Segment, Problem, Unique Value Prop.
  • Add Revenue Stream, Channels

Customer Development

  • Write up your customer development questions
    • What are the top five questions you want to be answered
  • Create your form on Google forms, embed that form into your website if you have a site
  • Get your first 20 interviews completed in the next month
  • Bring your results to the next session

See you at the next Seattle Meetup on February 15 (Thursday)

Month 5 Deliverables

Session Slides from Emily Carrion (LI)


Identify your customer persona

  • Who is your customer profile?
  • What problem are they solving? What is the “job to be done?”
  • Where does your customer’s hang out?
  • What are your Key Performance Indicators – KPIs

Building Content

  • Identify the key phrases that your customers are typing into the Google Search bar
  • Write those headlines into blog posts
  • Who can you interview to build that content

Build a network of your peers

  • Similar stage companies
  • Similar customer profiles (B2B or B2C)
  • Meet your peers – regularly connect on best practices

Fundraising Fundamentals

No Session Slides from Serena Glover(LI) and Sarah Imbach (LI)

Preparing your pitch

  • Use the format from the Pitch Clinic
  • Bring this information to the Month 6 Session

Identify your “use of proceeds”

  • What milestones can you hit at:
    • 6 months
    • 12 months
  • How much capital will you require (not want) to get to those milestones? Remember investors, care about results not how long you want to get paid. Providing you 12 months of a personal runway isn’t a reason for them to write a check. Hitting X, Y & Z milestones over 12 months is a reason to write a check.

See you next month!

Month 6

Session Slides

You’ve made it to the end of Seattle’s Cohort I, Congratulations!

Here are your deliverables for this and upcoming months:

  • Set regular monthly milestones with intermediate goals
    • Customer Development Interviews
    • Revenue
    • Product
  • Make progress on your company (you’re no longer an idea, concept or platform)
  • Kill Bad Ideas Fast, don’t fail fast!

Venture Ready Pitch post and scoring.

Do’s and Don’t have Venture Seed Fundraising post

15 Replies to “6 Month Startup – Cohort I Seattle”

  1. For the “Ideation homework” part, Is it compulsory to write about multiple ideas? If its compulsory, can you explain the intention behind it?
    I’m already working on an idea right now and don’t want to explore anything else at this stage.

  2. Dave, can you point me at some resources for both the competitive landscape spreadsheet and the survey questions?

    1. Hey MC,

      The slides from the session has an example. Here’s a quick version:
      – Company, URL
      – Crunchbase URL
      – Team size
      – Capital raised
      – traffic stats, use the resources outlined in the resources pages like SEM Rush, Keywords everywhere to get a feel for both total traffic and cost to purchase that traffic
      – Notes field that you can keep ongoing notes

      For your customer development survey, in your specific case, you’d want to know that last time someone traveled, if they used a local service, what type of traveler they are. If they don’t travel for leisure, you’d want to move on. Data from someone that isn’t in your customer profile will skew your results (aspirational travelers will never pay).

  3. Hey Dave, thanks for the feedback on my story last night – a blinding flash of the obvious (bfoto) that I ‘m thinking product focus and need to be thinking problem/solution. I missed session 2, and see there is a reference to a video on how to create a long form interview. Can you share that link? Enjoy the holidays. I hope Santa Claus is very good to your family.

  4. Hi Dave. As a team of 1+ a bit. When I look at the deliverables, I am looking for a priority of work. Is the priority the order the work was presented, the order on the page or would you suggest a different order? Thank you.

    1. 1. Customer Development is always topic #1 because it informs the other topics.
      2. Value proposition is number #2 followed by Feature Rankings
      3. This info should allow you to help inform your spec/pricing info
      4. Lean Canvas is set for how you report out your results to the mentos at the next session.

    1. Invite sent directly in the email. The Slack invite goes out now in every monthly email (attendee only) via Eventbrite.

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